Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#623 Dartmouth 119 vs.
#624 USF -8.5
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#623 Dartmouth College
#624 University of South Florida
5-3
4-4
12-14-2
23-13-1
14-14
17-19-1
71
71
70
67

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The Dartmouth Big Green will try to snap a two-game slide on Friday evening when they travel on the road to the Yuengling Center in Tampa Bay, Florida for a non-conference tilt versus the South Florida Bulls.

Dartmouth will try to bounce back after dropping back-to-back games. The Big Green enter with a 5-3 record in non-conference play and this will be their third Tier-B contest of the season. They are 1-1 in those contests with their quality with coming in the season-opening against Buffalo.

Big Green hope to stop slide vs. USF

Dartmouth dropped its second straight contest on Tuesday night, falling on the road 83-80 in overtime against Georgia State. Junior Chris Knight finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for the Big Green while James Foye scored a team-high 25 points in a losing effort for Dartmouth.

Dave McLaughlin’s squad comes into the week ranked No. 207 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 5-3 start to the season. Through eight games, Dartmouth has scored 96.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (247th in the NCAA) while turning the ball over on 21.0 percent of their offensive possessions (251st in the NCAA). The Big Green do most of their damage from beyond the arc, where they have shot 47.1 percent of their total field goal attempts (21st in the NCAA) for the season. The 3-point shot has accounted for 41.2 percent of their total points this season (12th in the NCAA) but they have connected at a rate of just 33.7 percent (135th in the NCAA) from deep. The Big Green have also shot just 60.0 percent from the charity stripe as a team (331st in the NCAA), which has limited their efficiency on offense.

On the other end of the floor, Dartmouth has surrendered 98.8 points per 100 possessions (144th in the NCAA) while limiting their opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 48.0 percent.

Defense carrying Bulls through early-season struggles

Sophomore guard Xavier Castaneda led the way with 18 points off the bench to help South Florida snap a two-game slide with a 65-55 win over Furman on Monday night. David Collins chipped in 16 points and Laquincy Rideau added 11 points for the Bulls, who overcame a sloppy offensive game with a barrage of 3-pointers. South Florida turned the ball over 17 times but the Bulls shot 9-for-23 from 3-point range and won the battle on the boards 46 to 31 to escape with the win.

Brian Gregory’s squad enters Thursday’s matchup slotted at No. 134 in the latest KenPom rankings. The Bulls have managed to escape with a .500 record despite ranking outside the top-225 in several major offensive categories. South Florida has scored only 96.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (229th in the NCAA) and they have shot just 58.7 percent from the free-throw line as a team (338th in the NCAA). The Bulls also struggle with taking care of the basketball, as they have turned the ball over on a whopping 24.3 percent of their offensive possessions (335th in the NCAA) through their first eight games.

Instead, South Florida has managed to stay in games by forcing turnovers and keeping opposing teams off of the offensive glass. They have limited their opponents to just 94.6 points per 100 possessions (79th in the NCAA) while forcing them to turn the ball over 25.8 percent of the time (13th in the NCAA) on defense. The Bulls have also cleaned up on the glass, holding opposing teams to an offensive rebounding rate of only 22.1 percent (16th in the NCAA).

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This matchup features two below-average offenses going at it, so it could turn into a defensive slugfest. South Florida should have a clear advantage in this game at home. The Bulls rank among the top teams in the country at rebounding the basketball and forcing turnovers, which have been two things that Dartmouth does not do well. That’s going to be the difference in this game. Take South Florida to cover the spread in this non-conference battle at home on Friday evening.

Prediction: South Florida -8

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Both of these teams shoot a lot of 3-pointers but neither team shoots the ball particularly well from deep. South Florida puts a lot of pressure on opposing ballhandlers, which has forced their opponents to go deep into the shot clock to get quality shots on the offensive end. The Bulls also rank 291st in adjusted tempo and they have turned the ball over on nearly one-quarter of their offensive possessions (24.3 percent) for the season.  Dartmouth also likes to slow the game down and they struggle with turnovers as well, which bodes well for a low-scoring game here. The Big Green rank 331st in adjusted tempo and 311th in the nation in average possession length (18.8 seconds), so look for this game to stay under the projected total on Friday night.

Prediction: Under 118.5
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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.