College Basketball Odds, Prediction: Dayton vs. SMU (Wednesday, Nov. 29)
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Zhuric Phelps (SMU)
Dayton vs. SMU Odds
Here's everything you need to know about Dayton vs SMU on Wednesday, Nov. 29 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.
The Dayton Flyers and SMU Mustangs have no shortage of familiarity with each other, as they've met the past three seasons. SMU won two of the past three meetings, but the trend finally swayed in Dayton's direction in 2022-23.
Which side is the favorable one in this matchup? Here's college basketball odds and a prediction for Dayton vs. SMU on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
The Flyers enter this contest at 4-2, with two losses against NCAA tournament-caliber foes. But at some point, you have to start racking up the wins in order to get in position for an NCAA tournament bid.
That starts on Wednesday in Dallas.
Dayton's offense looks much improved in the early going, ranking 41st in Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom. Some of the numbers might be skewed by the Flyers dropping 88 points on St. John's during the Charleston Classic, but the presence of an All-American candidate in DaRon Holmes II makes me believe in Dayton's upside.
The star forward is averaging over 16 points and five rebounds per game.
The two most underrated players on Dayton's roster came in via transfer — Nate Santos (Pitt) and Javon Bennett (Merrimack). Santos' ability to stretch the floor, drive off weak closeouts and grab rebounds makes him the ideal frontcourt partner for Holmes.
Dayton's offense isn't the offense we saw against St. John's, but it's better than what it showed against Houston. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
I'm pretty sure Dayton fans were ready to put the season in the casket once Malachi Smith went down with an injury seven minutes into the year, but the emergence of Bennett has made the Flyer Faithful optimistic about the future of this campaign.
Bennett won't face any easy task against SMU's strong backcourt and stout defense, but he's capable of running an effective offense, as evidenced by the numbers.
Perhaps SMU was looking ahead to this game when UL Monroe gave the Mustangs all it could handle for 40 minutes. UL Monroe carried a double-digit lead into halftime before SMU slowly crept back and took the game back.
It's a massive win for more than one reason: SMU wanted to avoid playing Dayton with a three-game losing streak looming.
I love the Mustangs' backcourt, which features stud scorer Zhuric Phelps and Chuck Harris. The two combined for 36 points in the recent win over the Warhawks.
In this one, SMU will need a little more scoring from the backcourt tandem.
Phelps is an enigma. He's never shot above 39% from the floor or 33% from deep. However, he can always drop 30 points. The 6-foot-5 junior is as streaky as a player gets. SMU just needs the good side of the streak to occur on Wednesday.
But part of the issue is that Phelps is used to doing everything himself with little help from his teammates. Now Harris can ease the burden a bit, and Phelps can take better shots.
That said, the idea of how good the Mustangs' offense could be is different than how good it actually is. SMU often hits long-scoring droughts, which puts it in a tough spot where a comeback bid is necessary.
This year, SMU is shooting just 42% from the field and 34% from 3. That won't win you a game against a team of Dayton's caliber.
I expect a relatively low-scoring game, as Dayton likes to keep the pace slow and SMU has a terrific defense.
I'm looking at the total here and begrudgingly taking the under, despite totals going over at unbelievably high rates.
Dayton's slow pace and SMU's offensive struggles will make it difficult for this game to find offensive flow.
Pick: Under 134.5
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