Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: VCU vs. Dayton Betting Preview
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Toumani Camara (Dayton)
- Dayton and VCU square off as both teams are playing their first Atlantic 10 game.
- The Flyers have big wins over Kansas, Miami (FL), Belmont and Virginia Tech, while the Rams have a victory over Syracuse.
- Keg explains why he is comfortable backing Dayton.
VCU vs. Dayton Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
No Atlantic 10 team has been on pause longer than VCU, as it has not played a game since December 15th. But that will change on Wednesday, when the Rams take on the Dayton Flyers.
The Rams postponed four games due to COVID-19 issues, but they were on a four-game winning streak before the 21-day gap without a matchup. Will they be able to pick back up where they left off?
VCU may have the most challenging A-10 schedule of anyone in the league. While they are 7-4 on the season, it’s been an up-and-down start for the Rams, and it isn’t going to get any easier from here.
Eight teams in the A-10 currently sit inside the top 115 of the NCAA’s NET rankings.
The group includes VCU at No. 69, and this year, the Rams are the only team with all five home-and-away partners ranked in that NET top 115: Dayton (No. 108), St. Bonaventure (No. 112), Davidson (No. 42), George Mason (No. 103) and Richmond (No. 106).
On the other side, Dayton has found itself in a similar situation, having not played a game since December 22nd when it beat Southern, 69-60. The Flyers’ first two conference games were postponed due to COVID-19 issues within their opponent’s programs.
However, Dayton’s season so far has been very different from VCU’s, as it has posted impressive wins over Kansas, Belmont and Virginia Tech. Dayton is an outstanding team that features a lot of depth, so no Power 5 team wants to see the Flyers in March — if they can get there.
Will the Flyers be able to defend home court against the Rams with both teams coming off of long pauses?
This year’s Rams team looks very similar to the squad that Dayton saw a year ago in the A-10 Tournament. But one big difference maker is gone, that being Nah’Shon Hyland — last year’s A-10 Player of the Year who scored 80 points total in three games in 2020-21 against Dayton.
The Rams ranked 14th in the nation in defensive efficiency last season, per KenPom, and are even better this year, currently ranking third. They allow just 56.7 points per game, the best number in the A-10.
And like their opponent Dayton, the Rams have one of the most balanced lineups not just in the A-10, but in all of college basketball. Both teams have four players averaging between nine and 11 points per contest, while neither has a single player in the top 25 in the A-10 in scoring.
VCU also has been one of the best in the country at forcing turnovers, currently ranking 12th, averaging 18.6 per contest.
This is something that will absolutely be a factor against Dayton, which has issues with ball security. The Flyers are one of the worst teams in the country in terms of limiting giveaways, as they are turning the ball over on 22% of their offensive possessions.
The biggest question for this VCU squad will be not just who’s able to play, but how long it will take them to shake the rust off. Virtually the entire VCU team has been in the COVID-19 protocols at one point or another since December 15th.
Head coach Mike Rhoades said it has felt like there was a new Rams player or staff entering the protocols every day. Just last week, there were days when just one-to-three players were available to practice.
There’s a lot of fresh faces for Anthony Grant’s squad this year. Eight players in total are in their first year at Dayton, so the Flyers are one of the least experienced teams in college basketball.
The Flyers currently rank 358th in experience, per KenPom, and are second in the nation behind only Arizona in terms of freshmen on their roster — Arizona has 13 while Dayton has 11.
Arizona is a top-10 team, but these Flyers are pretty good in their own right. They are posting a 100th-best adjusted efficiency on offense, while also being one of the best 2-point shooting teams in the nation at 57.1%.
The Flyers are averaging 70.4 points per game behind three starters who average double digits in Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes II, and Malachi Smith.
On the defensive end, Dayton has been even better, limiting opponents to just 42.8% shooting and allowing just 64.4 points per contest.
VCU vs. Dayton Betting Pick
VCU had one of the best defenses in the country before going on its COVID-19 pause. But I think it will take some time for the Rams to find that same success after not playing for three weeks.
That is why I’m backing the Flyers as a small home favorite. I have the Flyers at -1.5 and I would feel comfortable backing them as high as -3.