Featured Video from Scott Steehn
The Saint Louis Billikens hope to keep their NCAA Tournament dreams alive as they prepare to take on the Dayton Flyers in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament a the Barclays Center on Friday night.
These two teams split their regular season matchups with Dayton winning the last matchup 70-62 at home on Feb. 23. The winner of the grudge match will advance to the semifinal round on Saturday. Can Dayton continue their success versus A10 opponents with a victory over a battle-tested Billikens squad on Friday night?
Billikens survive scare vs. Richmond
Saint Louis took down Richmond in the second round of the A10 Tournament 71-68 on Thursday evening. Hasahn French scored 22 points and hauled in 12 rebounds, while Javon Bess chipped in 14 points for the Billikens, who overcame an 11-point second half deficit to keep their season alive.
Travis Ford has guided the Billikens to a 20-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark during league play this year. Saint Louis enters Friday’s matchup ranked No. 136 in the latest KenPom rankings after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the A10 Tournament. The Billikens have scored 101.7 points per 100 possessions for the season (222nd in the NCAA) and 100.8 points per 100 possessions during league play. Saint Louis has struggled to put the ball in the basket in conference play, shooting just 47.3 percent from inside the arc (9th in the A10), 29.6 percent from 3-point range (13th in the A10), and only 60.1 percent from the charity stripe as a team (14th in the A10). Instead, they have been forced to generate points by crashing the offensive glass and getting to the free throw line at a high rate. The Billikens lead the league in free throw rate at 39.7 percent and offensive rebounding rate at 37.7 percent.
On defense, Saint Louis has allowed just 97.8 points per 100 possessions (64th in the NCAA) and 99.1 points per 100 possessions versus A10 opponents (5th in the A10).
Flyers hope to capitalize on bye in quarterfinal round
Dayton earned a bye into the quarterfinal round of the A10 Tournament by going 13-5 against league opponents during the regular season. The Flyers closed the year with back-to-back wins and won five of their final six conference games to finish in third place in the conference standings.
— Dayton Basketball (@DaytonMBB) March 14, 2019
Anthony Grant’s squad comes into the quarterfinal round of the A10 Tournament slotted at No. 58 in the latest KenPom rankings after winning five of their last six regular season games. The Flyers have scored 112.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (39th in the NCAA) and a league-best 109.4 points per 100 possessions during conference play (1st in the A10). Dayton sports the top effective field goal percentage in the A10 at 55.9 percent and they also lead the league in two-point shooting, hitting 58.1 percent of their total attempts from inside the arc (1st in the A10). However, turnovers and poor free throw shooting have held them back offensively. Dayon has turned the ball over on 18.7 percent of their offensive possessions during conference play (8th in the A10), while shooting only 68.6 percent from the the charity stripe as a team (9th in the A10).
On defense, Dayton has surrendered 100.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (100th in the A10) and 96.3 points per 100 possessions during league play (3rd in the A10). The Flyers also sport the second-best effective field goal percentage defense in the conference, limiting league opponents to an eFG of just 45.7 percent.
- Flyers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Flyers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Atlantic 10.
- Flyers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Billikens are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Friday games.
- Billikens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The underdog has dominated this series, covering the spread in 25 of the last 34 meetings. Saint Louis has covered the spread in five of the last seven meetings between these two teams. Saint Louis has struggled offensively and they will be playing their second game in as many days in this spot, so fatigue could be a factor. Dayton ranks as the top offensive team in the conference, so I’ll take the Flyers to cover the spread in this A10 battle on Friday night.
Prediction: Pick: Dayton Flyers
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 3-1-1 in the previous five meetings in this series. Dayton has gone over the projected total in five of their last seven neutral site games and the over is 21-9-2 in Flyers. Saint Louis has gone over the projected total in five straight neutral site games and the over is 4-1-1 in their last six A10 contests. Take this matchup to go over the projected total on Friday evening.