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Dayton vs. Vanderbilt Odds & Picks for NIT: Is the Wrong Team Favored in This Second-Round Clash?

Dayton vs. Vanderbilt Odds & Picks for NIT: Is the Wrong Team Favored in This Second-Round Clash? article feature image
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Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Grant (Dayton)

  • Dayton takes on Vanderbilt in the second round of the NIT.
  • Dayton's Malachi Smith and Vandy's Scotty Pippin Jr. will look to take over the game on offense.
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Dayton vs. Vanderbilt Odds

Sunday, March 20
3 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Dayton Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3.5
-114
135.5
-110o / -110u
+138
Vanderbilt Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3.5
-106
135.5
-110o / -110u
-166
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Both Dayton and Vanderbilt cruised to double-digit victories in the first round of the NIT. These are two talented rosters led by two-way studs in the backcourt.

Dayton’s Malachi Smith has become one of the better playmaking point guards in the nation.

Meanwhile, Vandy’s Scotty Pippen Jr. took the SEC by storm last season, and he dropped 20 points per game this season.

Dayton came on strong in the second half of the year, yet is catching 2.5 points here.

Is the wrong team favored?

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Dayton Flyers

Dayton ended the season very strong. The Flyers capped off a 14-4 A-10 season with back-to-back wins over Richmond and Davidson.

The Flyers are lengthy and athletic on the defensive end. Every player can defend at a high level, and it gives Anthony Grant the ability to switch effortlessly.

The Flyers rank in the 87th percentile in PPP allowed while playing man defense (.806) — something they do 87% of the time. They also lead the conference in defensive efficiency and eFG% allowed (45.7%).

Meanwhile, Smith was given the keys to the offense, and that unit took off from there.

Smith is such a savvy point guard, especially when you consider his age. He sees the floor so well and has unbelievable playmaking ability. He dishes out over five dimes a night and is top-40 nationally in assist rate.

Malachi Smith | vs St.Bona | 6 PTS, 12 AST #IntuitionHoops
________________@DavidPJablonski @sullymygoodname @ProLOWD @Opitino pic.twitter.com/M5vI9jSJjY

— Intuition Hoops (@IntuitionHoops) January 19, 2022

Dayton finished the conference season third in offensive efficiency and second in eFG% (54.1%). Most impressively, the Flyers shot 41.5% from deep during A-10 play, with six guys shooting over 35% from 3.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

Pippen is a consistent bucket. He’s one of the highest-usage players in the country, but he makes his possessions worth it. Not only does he score 20 a night, but he also dishes out almost five assists per night.

He’s become the Vanderbilt offense.

Image credit: CBB Analytics

Vandy took a lot of 3s and made a lot of 3s — that carried its eFG% to second in the SEC. But it didn’t do anything else well, and that dropped its offensive efficiency mark to 11th in the SEC.

Vanderbilt turned the ball over a lot, was putrid on the glass and never got to the line.

Defensively, Vanderbilt allowed the second-lowest 3-point percentage in the SEC. Outside of that, it didn’t do anything else well.

That’s not a formula for success. Vanderbilt was competitive in the SEC this year, but Pippen has to carry the team.


Dayton vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick

This feels like the wrong team is favored, even if this game is being played at Vanderbilt.

Dayton has elite metrics on both sides of the ball. Vanderbilt does not.

Vandy is going to rely heavily on Pippen, who will get his. But Smith is a point guard that can both break down Pippen off the dribble and strip him on the defensive end.

Smart money seems to realize this. At the time of writing, Dayton is receiving 60% of the tickets but over 90% of the money.

I love the Flyers in this spot.

Pick: Dayton +2.5

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