NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet George Washington +5 vs. Dayton In Atlantic 10 Clash

Willie Bee

Friday, January 15, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Friday night's light NCAA basketball odds board includes a crucial matchup in the Atlantic 10 Conference where the Dayton Flyers host the George Washington Colonials.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: George Washington +5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Once again, we're faced with a very short college basketball betting card on a Friday night. At least we're catching a bit of a break this week with a couple of national broadcasts pitting teams that could have some relevance at the Big Dance in a couple of months.

The George Washington Colonials and Dayton Flyers certainly have relevance in the Atlantic 10, tied with 3-1 conference records behind a pair of 4-0 St. Bonaventure and Virginia Commonwealth squads. The first of two telecasts on ESPN2, this one tips a little past 7 PM (ET) at the University of Dayton Arena, The Greek listing the game with the Flyers giving up 5 on the NCAA basketball odds and 136 for the total.

The usual result when these two schools get together on the hardwood is for the home fans to go home with smiles on their faces. George Washington holds the slight series edge with a 16-15 mark vs. Dayton, the Colonials winning 11 of 14 in DC while the Flyers have taken 12 of 16 in Ohio. The Colonials also won the lone neutral court matchup.

It's also been normal to see the Flyers get the best of the NCAA basketball odds regardless where the games are played. Last year's game in the nation's capital went to Gee-Dub, 65-64, in overtime, Dayton backers cashing on a +3½ point spread to give them winning tickets in the last six gatherings. The Flyers also have a 6-game win streak on their home floor, George Washington's last win in Dayton way back in February 2005.


Cavanaugh On Tear With 56 Points Last 2 Games
All three losses for George Washington (14-3 straight up, 8-6 against the spread) have come away from home, the real head-scratcher being a 65-62 setback at Saint Louis last week when the Colonials were 10 point favorites. Mike Lonergan's lads blew an 8-point lead in the final four minutes, turning the ball over 18 times to the Billikens and leaving 10 points on the free throw line.

That loss apparently jolted the Colonials who have won their last two, covering each victory at home against Duquesne and a few days ago at Massachusetts. Tyler Cavanaugh, who sat out last season after transferring from Wake Forest, went off in both games, scoring a career-best 30 on the Dukes to go with 10 boards and adding 26 against UMass to up the junior forward's average to a team-high 17.2 PPG.

The Colonials were without guard Joe McDonald for Tuesday's clash at Massachusetts because of an eye injury suffered against Duquesne. The senior is fifth on the team in scoring (7.9 ppg) and second in assists (2.3 apg), and is questionable for Friday's game.


Flyers Might Be Without Leading Scorer
If Dayton (13-3 SU, 7-8 ATS) is going to extend its home dominance over the Colonials to seven straight matchups, the Flyers are probably going to have to do it without leading scorer Charles Cooke. The junior guard and James Madison transfer is questionable with an strained oblique, and had scored 21 in three of five games before sitting out Tuesday vs. Davidson.

The Flyers didn't need Cooke against the Wildcats, using a 19-1 run in the second half to offset Davidson's Jake Gibbs' 31 and rally for the 80-74 victory. Dayton backers, however, would've preferred Cooke in the lineup over his replacement, Darrell Davis, since the Flyers fell a bucket short of covering an 8 point spread.

Head coach Archie Miller is going to have to find someone to stick to the Colonials' Cavanaugh, most likely Dyshawn Pierre to begin with. If that doesn't stop George Washington's big man, Miller may have to turn to a couple of freshman off his bench, Steve McElvene and Ryan Mikesell. My free NCAA basketball pick will be to go against the ATS trends in the series and take the Colonials plus the points.

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