Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#857 Dayton -8 vs.
#858 St. Louis 139
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#857 University of Dayton
#858 Saint Louis University
15-2
14-3
11-6
9-7
10-6-1
10-6
83
72
64
64

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The Dayton Flyers will travel to Chaifetz Arena as they get set to take on the St. Louis Billikens in an Atlantic 10 showdown on Friday night.

Dayton comes into St. Louis riding a six-game winning streak and it has won each of its first four conference games. The Flyers enter Friday’s matchup ranked No. 13 in the current AP Polls with their only two losses of the season coming on neutral floor against Kansas and Colorado. Meanwhile, St. Louis bounced back from a loss in its A10 opener to win each of its next three conference contests and they are fresh off of their best win of the season in a Tier-A contest on the road against Richmond. Can the Billikens keep their momentum going against an undefeated Dayton team in A10 action on Friday night?

Dayton remains undefeated in conference play

Dayton riled off its sixth consecutive victory 79-65 at home over VCU on Tuesday night. Obi Toppin finished with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds while junior guard Jalen Crutcher added 20 points and five assists to help the Flyers remain undefeated in A10 play.

Anthony Grant has guided the Flyers to an impressive 15-2 start and they enter the weekend slotted at No. 5 in the latest KenPom rankings. Dayton has morphed into one of the nation’s top offensive teams this season, scoring a healthy 116.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (2nd in the NCAA). Led by Toppin (19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds per game), the Flyers sport the top effective field goal percentage in the country at 59.7 percent and the top 2-point shooting percentage in the nation at 62.2 percent (1st in the NCAA). They have shot a healthy 37.3 percent from 3-point range (32nd in the NCAA) while assisting on 62.6 percent of their total made field goal attempts for the season.

On defense, Dayton has given up 91.9 points per 100 possessions (39th in the NCAA) while forcing opposing teams to turn the ball over 21.4 percent of the time (73rd in the NCAA). The Flyers have held teams to just 46.2 percent shooting from 2-point range (88th in the NCAA) and an offensive rebounding rate of only 26.3 percent (94th in the NCAA).

Billikens extend conference winning streak to three games

St. Louis cruised to a 74-58 victory on the road against Richmond on Saturday to improve to 3-1 in conference play. Jordan Goodwin led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds while Javonte Perkins chipped in 14 points off of the bench for the Billikens, who held Richmond to just 4-for-21 shooting from deep and forced 15 turnovers on the night to escape with the win.

Travis Ford’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 88 in the latest KenPom rankings following their strong start to the conference season. St. Louis hasn’t been efficient offensively but they’ve managed to win 14 of their first 17 games thanks to a defense that ranks among the top teams in the country in several major statistical categories. The Billikens have surrendered only 93.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (52nd in the NCAA) while forcing teams to turn the ball over 21.3 percent of the time (75th in the NCAA). For the season, they’ve limited teams to just 42.1 percent shooting from inside the arc (15th in the NCAA) but that number has been trending in the wrong direction since the start of league play. In four A10 contests, opponents have shot a red-hot 49.3 percent from inside the arc against the Billikens’ defense (9th in the A10).

On offense, St. Louis has scored 101.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (162nd in the NCAA) but that number has plummeted to only 94.7 points per 100 possessions during conference play (8th in the A10). St. Louis has shot just 49.3 percent from inside the arc (163rd in the NCAA), 32.3 percent from deep (208th in the NCAA), and 56.2 percent from the free-throw line as a team (353rd in the NCAA). Instead, they’ve managed to make up points by crashing the offensive glass (24th in the NCAA) and getting to the free-throw line at a high rate (34th in the NCAA).

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Most of Dayton’s success has come at home this year but the Flyers did win back-to-back road games to open the conference season. St. Louis relies on generating turnovers to get stops but they are going to have a hard time stopping the Flyers from getting what they want in the painted area. Crutcher and Toppin give Dayton a dynamic duo that will be tough for the Billikens to stop on defense. St. Louis has also slipped offensively during its first four conference games. They have shot just 25.5 percent from beyond the arc and 57.9 percent from the charity stripe as a team during that span, which simply isn’t going to get it done against a nationally-ranked Flyers team. Take Dayton to cover the spread on the road in this A10 battle on Friday night.

Prediction: Dayton Flyers

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The Billikens have not been very efficient on offense during league play, so bettors should the give the under some strong consideration here. St. Louis ranks 181st in adjusted tempo and 116th in average possession length on offense and Dayton doesn’t play particularly fast either, so we should be treated to a fairly slow-paced game here. St. Louis has scored only 94.7 points per 100 possessions and Dayton has allowed just 86.6 points per 100 possessions during conference play. Take this conference matchup to stay under the projected total on Friday night.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.