Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#647 Indiana State 139.5 vs.
#648 Dayton -12.5
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Joshua Broom

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#647 Indiana State University
#648 University of Dayton
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14-15
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14-14-1
17-15-1
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Atlantic 10 meets Midwest Valley Saturday as the Indiana State Sycamores visit the Dayton Flyers. Last Season, Indiana State finished 15-16 overall and 7-11 in conference play while posting their fifth straight losing record. Pressure is mounting for tenth-year head coach Greg Lansing to bring positive results for his middling program.

Meanwhile, once a perennial NCAA Tournament mainstay, the Dayton Flyers haven’t tasted March action since 2018. Though following a 14-17 finish in 17-18, head coach Anthony Grant’s men rebounded last season while winning 21 games. Seated on a 2019 NCAA bubble, the Flyers became one of the first teams not invited to the Big Dance. Deflated, Dayton lost 78-73 vs. Colorado in first round NIT play.

That setback certainly hasn’t tempered the program’s preseason expectations as the Flyers return several faces from last year while adding regarded transfers. Dayton finished 2019 with a 13-5 conference mark.

The Flyers open as -13.5 point favorites for today’s contest according to pregame.com.

With Lansing approaching hot seat, Sycamores feeling pressure

Feeling a sense of urgency, Indiana State will rely on its experienced backcourt to navigate their upcoming schedule. Tyreke Key leads that charge. As a sophomore Key averaged an MVC-best 17.4 ppg and much more is expected from the Celina, Tennessee native. More is also expected of Key’s backcourt mate Jordan Barnes. Barnes averaged 14.6 ppg last year, but struggled down the stretch, shooting .333 from distance overall amid Indiana State’s 3-7 finish.

While backcourt performance remains vital for the Sycamores, interior presence became an off-season sticking point. Enter 6-8, 280 lb. junior college transfer Chris Agbo. Not a division one scoring threat, nevertheless, Agbo’s burly presence will prove large for a team that routinely lost inside battles last season.

Wings Cooper Neese (8.9 ppg) & Christian Williams (7.9) complete the Sycamores’ main rotation. Rostering seven upperclassmen, Indiana State will rise and fall on the backs of its juniors and seniors.

Last season the Sycamores averaged 69.2 ppg and allowed 71.5 ppg. Opponents shot 45.1 percent vs. Indiana State in 2019.

Dayton expected to make another strong A-10 run

Returning a mix of talented players which earned a 13-5 A-10 mark last year, the Dayton Flyers are among their conference’s preseason front runners. 6-9 sophomore Obi Toppin (14.4 ppg) heads the Flyer’s lead quartet consisting of Jalen Crutcher (13.2 ppg), Ryan Mikesell (10.1) and Trey Landers (8.2).

After a seven-win 2019 improvement, the Flyers upperclassmen laden roster is set to take another forward step this winter. Anthony Grant’s defensive principles have placed his group’s defensive efficiency among the nation’s best (66.2 points allowed, #46 NCAA). Now, offensive contributions are needed for a program that verges on NCAA Tournament inclusion. Expect a quality Dayton run if Toppin and company up their mid-pack 72.9 ppg output.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Dayton enters this contest as the clearly superior team on-paper. The Flyers also routinely face, and defeat, higher-level conference opposition. That’s one reason to justify Dayton’s spread cover Friday night. Here's more; Led by Obi Toppin and Jaylen Crutcher, and a rabid home fan base, the Flyers enjoy every competitive edge vs. middling Indiana State.

The Sycamores struggled last season vs. nondescript opponents and didn’t add enough impact pieces this offseason to suggest any improvements. Expect this contest to be a one-sided affair showcasing Dayton’s best. Look for Toppin and company to leave their imprint all over this season-opener.

Prediction: Dayton covers

Full-Game Total Pick

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Dayton’s standout defense should be improved this season as its core remains intact. Meanwhile, Indiana State’s offense ranked #268 nationally last season. With these factors combined, I’ll take the Under today simply because the Flyers aren’t an offensively structured team and Indiana State won’t find easy buckets. Also, this is the season’s first contest for both programs. Naturally, turnovers, poor execution and herky-jerky rhythm will hamper each team’s efforts. Take the Under here as Dayton frustrates the Sycamore’s perimeter offerings while missing more than they would if in total sync.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.