Friday College Basketball Odds, Predictions, Picks for SMU vs. Dayton (Nov. 11)
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: DaRon Holmes II (Dayton)
SMU vs. Dayton Odds
After many days of digging into the bottom of the barrel, we finally have ourselves an exceptional slate.
The preseason A-10 favorites got off to a great start as they crushed Lindenwood. It is safe to say the Flyers are flying high into this matchup.
However, this matchup will be a good early test for them, as the market is very high on this team.
As for their opponents, the Mustangs also rolled in their opening matchup. However, that matchup also showed just how much this team lost from last season, and if they put up similar numbers against Dayton, the results could be very different.
So, can SMU play up to its competition? Or will the Flyers continue to soar at home?
This SMU team is drastically different from what we saw last year. The Mustangs were a fun team to watch in the American, as they went 24-9.
However, the starting five from last year was all seniors, which means they all left one way or another.
While many expected the Mustangs to lean on senior Zach Nutall to carry the scoring load, we saw another guard rise to the occasion in the season opener.
Sophomore Zhuric Phelps had a monster night, as he scored 28 points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Though the performance was outstanding, it must be taken with a grain of salt when analyzing the offense.
Phelps was only projected to average 7.5 points on the season and the quality of the opponent will be far more challenging in this matchup.
However, if Phelps can continue to produce with high usage, he and Nutall could be an impactful backcourt.
If SMU wants to hang around, those two will need to connect from deep.
Regardless of who's taking the shots for the Mustangs, the Flyers are going to make it very hard to get clean looks. Dayton is a big and long team that has already shown how well it can defend and close out on shooters.
The Mustangs scored 67% of their points from inside the arc in their first game. However, if they don't stretch this Dayton team, they won't have much success.
The Flyers held their opposition to an effective field goal percentage of 36% the other night.
Despite having a massive length and size advantage on the defensive end of the floor, that edge will only be bigger when the Flyers are in possession.
For Dayton, it all starts with the big man in the middle, DaRon Holmes II.
Holmes is one of, if not the best, player in the A-10. He can do it all from the low block. He is supremely athletic around the rim, but also has the vision to pass and the size to be a factor on the boards.
Holmes is a matchup nightmare for the Mustangs, as they only have one guy who can match up with his size and Efe Odigie had a -4.6 defensive box plus-minus.
However, feeding the big man is just the beginning of this Dayton offense.
Nearly every other player in the rotation has the ability to shoot from behind the arc. 3s made up almost 27% of the Flyers' shot attempts, but they only made five. If they have any positive regression, they could put up points in a hurry.
SMU vs. Dayton Betting Pick
Though it may not be your first thought when looking at these two teams, the ability to take and make 3s will be crucial. Luckily for us, both teams are due from some sizable positive regression in that category.
The last thing that factors into this matchup is the tempo. Dayton was zooming up and down the court in its opener and averaged just 15.2 seconds per possession. That creates more possessions for SMU. So, even if the Mustangs are struggling from the field, they'll still contribute to our over.
The Flyers should win this game handily, as their combination of length and shooting gives them the ability to go on runs.
The spread is right on par with projections, but the total is a tad too low. Take the over.