One of the better college basketball games Thursday will take place in the Charleston Classic, with Dayton meeting LSU. Both NCAAB teams are 1-1 on the season. LSU’s loss was definitely more surprising, as it came as 19.5-point favorites against Nicholls. The Flyers lost at Northwestern 71-66 as 5-point underdogs. The teams have comparable shooting stats. But the Flyers have played the tougher schedule of the two teams. The Dayton vs LSU odds have the Flyers as 1-point favorites and the total moved overnight from 134 to 133.5.
Location: TD Arena, Charleston, S.C.
Line: Dayton -1
Flyers One of Top Teams in Atlantic 10
Dayton should be contending for the Atlantic 10 title this season. They have just one senior on the team, so the Dayton Flyers should be well-equipped for the future. When you play Dayton, you know you’re going to see a slow pace and tough defense. That’s what the Flyers do best.
The Flyers are shooting 47.1% from the field in the early going and 37% on 3-pointers. Dayton is holding teams to 39.8% from the field. But the Flyers have allowed 38.5% on 3-point shots in their two games. That’s something Dayton will get better at as the season goes forward. That’s too high of a percentage for a team as good on defense as the Flyers.
Dayton has been playing its starters quite a bit to start the season. Only seven college basketball players are averaging 10 or more minutes per game. DaRon Holmes is leading Dayton with 18 points per game. Koby Brea is the only other player averaging more than 10 points a game, as the Flyers are averaging 64.5 points.
But Dayton is allowing just 59 points per game. Part of that is due to playing one of the slowest-paced games in college basketball so far. But the Flyers also recruit players who can get the job done on both ends of the court.
LSU Looks to Bounce Back After Stunning Loss
The Tigers are taking a different approach to the early NCAAB season games. LSU has 10 players averaging more than 10 minutes per game and nobody is averaging more than 29 minutes. A bit of that has to do with the style of both teams, as the Tigers are going to push the pace. LSU ranks No. 21 in average possession length on offense.
The Tigers got off to a dismal start against Nicholls, trailing 28-9 just 10 minutes into the game. LSU fought its way back and took a 66-63 lead with under a minute to play. But a 3-pointer with .8 seconds remaining allowed the Colonels to pull the upset.
The Tigers are allowing teams to shoot 40% on 3-pointers, which was the difference in the game. Nicholls was 12 for 30 on 3-pointers. The Tigers were 3 for 19.
Who to Bet On?
The Dayton vs LSU odds of Flyers -1 is ln part due to an overreaction to the Tigers’ loss to Nicholls. But LSU shouldn’t be losing to a Southland Conference team, so it’s not entirely unwarranted. The Tigers aren’t going to have to worry about their March Madness results and will likely be home for the postseason, but they’re a better team than they showed against the Colonels.
Dayton is 0-1-1 against the NCAAB odds so far, while the Tigers are 1-1. But Dayton typically starts slow, going 5-11 ATS in November, while the Tigers are 10-5, so a definite edge to LSU there. That may not be enough to make LSU one of your college basketball picks for the day. But it does make it a little tougher to back Dayton in this spot.
The Dayton vs LSU odds of 133.5 on the total sounds about right. But it’s likely going to be easier for Dayton to get the Tigers to play their game than it is for LSU to force the Flyers to play up-tempo. Even if LSU pushes the ball, the Flyers can still play deliberate and slow the pace down.
This one is an early start on ESPN2, so there will be a bit more betting interest in the game. It’s a tough call, but taking the under 133.5 is likely the side to be on in this game.