Billikens and Flyers Both A-10 Contenders
The Saint Louis Billikens will host the Dayton Flyers on Friday evening in a matchup of two of the Atlantic 10’s best teams. The 11th-ranked Flyers are looking for their seventh straight victory.
Dayton is a 7.0-point favorite in this game, with the over/under set at 138.5. Game time is set 7 p.m. ET. and you can watch it on ESPN2
Forward Obi Toppin is a national player of the year contender and proved his mettle in their last game. He racked up 24 points and nine rebounds with a sprained left ankle in the Flyers’ 79-65 victory over VCU on Tuesday.
Surprising Spirit of Saint Louis
Saint Louis is one of the more surprising teams this season, starting the campaign at 14-3 overall with a 3-1 record in the Atlantic 10. The Billikens pulled off an impressive win on the road last weekend, knocking off Richmond 74-58.
Saint Louis held the Spiders to just 10-of-28 from the floor in the second half, including 2-of-13 from behind the arc, and turned Richmond over nine times en route to outscoring them by 16 after being tied at 31 at the break.
Travis Ford leads yet another solid defensive team into conference play as the Billikens currently rank 52nd in adjusted defensive efficiency while holding opponents to under 40 percent from the field to date. Their .397 field-goal percentage against ranks 33rd in the nation currently.
As a team, the Billikens also rank in the top 50 in total steals and blocks, top two in each category in the Atlantic 10.
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Flyers Look to Shut Down Billikens
The Flyers continue to be the darling mid-major of the 2019-20 season. Anthony Grant, now in his third season, has shown marked improvement each year since arriving and looks to be a second-weekend team come NCAA Tournament time at the very least.
Dayton is now 15-2 on the season and undefeated through four games in the Atlantic 10, including a thrashing of VCU on Tuesday night.
Dayton boasts one of the best individual talents in the nation in forward Obi Toppen, but this is not a one-man show. The Flyers sport a quintet of double-digit scorers in total, along with Toppen, in guard Jalen Crutcher (13.3 points, 5.2 assists), Trey Landers (11.1 points, 5.9 rebounds), Ibi Watson (11.5 points, 49 percent on threes) and Ryan Mikesell (10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds).
Crutcher is an elite level talent for the Atlantic 10 and would have a shot at the conference player of the year if not for his teammate Toppen. Watson is a former player at Michigan, so he has high-major pedigree as well.
Like Dayton, Saint Louis has shown marked improvement since replacing Jim Crews with Ford. The Billikens made the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2014 and appear to be in line for another berth this season if they can remain consistent during conference play.
The Billikens are led by juniors Jordan Goodwin (16.1 points, 10.5 rebounds) and Hasahn French (12.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks) on the season. Junior guard Javonte Perkins is their instant offense off the bench, averaging 10.9 points per game.
This, That and a College Basketball Dart Throw
Looking at the matchup specifically, the Billikens should be able to exploit the Flyers on the offensive glass. Dayton ranks 95th in the nation in keeping opponents off the offensive glass, while also not being a great offensive rebounding team themselves.
Saint Louis is currently a top 20 team in the nation in offensive rebounds and a top 40 team in the nation in total rebounding.
Of course, Dayton is also the best team in the nation in effective field percentage on offense as well as the best two-point shooting team in the nation.
You can bet this game at Vietbet.com using Bitcoin, where all US players are accepted. The Billikens are 10-1 straight up at home this season and 9-7 ATS overall but just 4-6 against the spread in the friendly confines and 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
Meanwhile, Dayton is 10-6-1 ATS and has gone over in 11 of its 17 games on the season, including five of its seven road-neutral site games.
The Dart Throw: Dayton 73, Saint Louis 61