NCAA Basketball Pick on La Salle to Cover ATS at Dayton

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2:41 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 2:41 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.

 

Expect a more competitive game in the Atlantic 10 Conference Wednesday than the seemingly inflated point spread would indicate when the La Salle Explorers (9-7, 4-1 away) pay a visit to the Dayton Flyers (13-2, 8-0 home) at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, OH at 7:00 ET in a game available locally on WHIO in Dayton.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has La Salle as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -114.


Advanced All the Way to Elite Eight
Dayton received some national recognition last season as in a year where six teams from the Atlantic 10 made the NCAA Tournament, the Flyers made the most of the opportunity by defeating Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford to get all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to Florida! And they have parlayed that success to a 13-2 start this season for Coach Archie Miller, including a perfect 3-0 Atlantic 10 mark so far.

La Salle knows all about surprising NCAA Tournament runs as the Explorers were the Atlantic 10 school that turned heads two seasons ago reaching the Sweet 16 before running in a bulldozer called Wichita State. Unlike Dayton (so far), La Salle regressed badly in its follow-up season last year though finishing under .500 at 15-16.

The Explorers started 0-2 in the Atlantic 10 this year but they just got a major confidence boost by being the winning NCAA Basketball pick vs. a good George Washington team rather handily 63-50 on Saturday, the same George Washington squad that handed Wichita State one of its two losses earlier this season on a neutral court.


Size to Help Keep La Salle Close
It must be pointed out that while La Salle went a nondescript 8-5 during non-conference play, four of those five losses were to teams ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100 including a loss to a Virginia team now ranked first overall on those Pomeroy Ratings and another to Villanova ranked fourth! Yes that tough slate did not help much in the opening conference losses to George Mason and Massachusetts, but then beating 58th ranked GW convincingly was very impressive.

And besides having that nice momentum heading into what should be a difficult challenge here in Dayton where the Flyers are 8-0, the Explorers have the size to cause some problems in the 6-foot-11 Steve Zack and the 6-foot-8 Jerrell Wright. Zach is the team’s leading rebounder with 8.6 per game while also chipping in with 8.9 points while Wright’s 11.2 points are second on the team behind Jordan Price (17.3), with Wright adding 7.0 rebounds and shooting 48.9 percent.


Ranked 31st on Pomeroy
The great start for Dayton has the Flyers all the way up to 31st overall on Pomeroy right now, making them the second highest ranked Atlantic 10 team behind only 13th ranked VCU. The Flyers have won six straight games overall since losing on the road at Arkansas in non-conference play, with their only other loss this season coming earlier to the defending national champions from Connecticut.

Still, for all of Dayton’s success, it has still faced a questionable schedule that ranks 172nd in SOS overall, which pales when compared to a 46th ranked SOS for La Salle, and the two Dayton losses came vs. the two highest ranked Pomeroy teams it faced while nine of its 13 wins have come to teams ranked 125th or worse including all three conference wins vs. 230th ranked Duquesne, 131st ranked St. Bonaventure and 259th ranked Fordham.

And teams with size like Ls Salle are precisely the type of team that gives Dayton trouble as the Flyers are no starter taller than 6-foot-6 and consequently rank 319th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Thus this is a team that needs to hit a high percentage of its shots to win, which it has so far ranking 32nd on the land in effective field goal percentage at 53.5 percent. Still, it remains to be seen if that Dayton shooting can continue vs. better competition.


Free Throw Edge to La Salle
Finally, for a team has shot so well from the field, it is rather surprising that Dayton is only 222nd in the country in free throw shooting at just 67.1 percent. That is a characteristic you never want to see in a decided favorite as it may prevent the Flyers from extending a late lead.

With all of this in mind, we recommend taking the fairly generous points with La Salle when it pays a visit to Dayton in Atlantic 10 Conference play on Wednesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: La Salle +8 (-114)

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