Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#811 Dayton -3 vs.
#812 Saint Mary's 137
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul



#811 University of Dayton
#812 Saint Mary's College of California


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The Dayton Flyers will travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Sunday afternoon as they prepare for a non-conference tilt against the St. Mary’s Gaels.

Both of these teams enter the weekend with just one loss on the year. The Flyers have won six of their first seven games, including a pair of quality wins against Georgia and Virginia Tech. On the other hand, the Gaels have won nine of their first 10 games but they’ve had the luxury of playing most of their games at home this year. In fact, St. Mary’s has yet to play a true road game and won’t do so until next Saturday against California. Can the Gaels take care of business at home against Dayton on Sunday night?

Flyers rebound from first loss vs. Houston Baptist

The Flyers bounced back from its first loss of the year by knocking off Houston Baptist 99-68 at home on Tuesday night. Chase Johnson came off the bench to lead five Dayton players in double-figures with 18 points while Obi Toppin finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Flyers take control of the game in the second half.

Anthony Grant’s squad enters the weekend slotted at No. 21 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 6-1 start. Dayton has scored 113.2 points per 100 possessions (6th in the NCAA) while sporting the best effective field goal percentage in the country at 63.1 percent. The Flyers move the ball effectively to get good shots on offense and they have assisted on a healthy 63.1 percent of their made field goals (16th in the NCAA) for the season. Grant has given his team the green light from beyond the arc but they also rank among the top 2-point shooting teams in the nation. Dayton has shot 43.9 percent of its total field goal attempts from beyond the arc (53rd in the NCAA) and the Flyers have connected at a rate of 38.5 percent from deep (33rd in the NCAA) through their first seven contests. They have also shot 67.4 percent from inside the arc, which ranks as the best mark in the country.

On defense, Dayton has surrendered 94.1 points per 100 possessions (71st in the NCAA) but they have struggled to defend the 3-point line. Opposing teams own an effective field goal percentage of 51.5 percent (257th in the NCAA) and they have shot 38.1 percent from 3-point range against the Flyers’ defense (318th in the NCAA) this season.

Gaels try for third quality win vs. Dayton

The Gaels pushed their winning streak to eight games on Thursday with a 61-49 victory at home against Northern Illinois. Tanner Krebs led the way with 14 points while Malik Fitts chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Gaels, who limited the Huskies to just 5-for-20 shooting from beyond the arc in the win.

Randy Bennett has guided his team to a 9-1 record in 10 games and they enter Sunday’s matchup ranked No. 42 in the latest KenPom rankings. Led by Jordan Ford (20.2 points per game), the Gaels have ranked among the most efficient offensive teams in the country. They have scored 111.0 points per 100 possessions (14th in the NCAA) for the season while turning the ball over only 16.0 percent of the time (26th in the NCAA) on the offensive end. St. Mary’s has also shot the lights out from long-range where they have drained 42.0 percent of their 3-pointers for the season (4th in the NCAA).

On defense, the Gaels have given up 95.8 points per 100 possessions (93rd in the NCAA) but they have done a good job of keeping opposing teams away from the free-throw line and off of the offensive glass. St. Mary’s has given up a free-throw rate of only 24.7 percent (52nd in the NCAA) and an offensive rebounding rate of 23.4 percent (31st in the NCAA) through its first 10 games.

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Dayton’s lone loss of the season came in overtime against Kansas in Hawaii at the Maui Invitational. The Flyers have been one of the best teams in the country this season. Dayton has a good blend of size, experience, and star power, especially for a mid-major squad. Obi Toppin is one of the best big men in the country and St. Mary’s is going to have a tough time containing him in this game. Take the Flyers to cover the number on the road in this matchup between two of the best mid-major teams in the country.

Prediction: Dayton Flyers -3

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St. Mary’s plays at a slow and deliberate pace but that hasn’t stopped them from ranking among the most efficient offensive teams in the country. The Flyers are also efficient on the offensive end, sporting the best effective field goal percentage and top 2-point percentage in the nation. The Flyers have also struggled to defend the 3-ball, which should work in the Gaels’ favor in this game. Take this non-conference tilt to go over the projected total at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: Over 137

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.