College basketball best bets for Friday, 3/3: It’s that Dayton time of year
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to March. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball fans, and that’s an understatement. Smaller conference tournaments are already underway, coinciding with the end of the regular season for most other teams. Fridays are never the biggest on the collegiate hardwood, but as mentioned above we have both conference-tournament competition and regular-season action on the schedule. Let’s take a look at my 2 college basketball best bets for Friday.
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Dayton -1 over St. Louis (-110)
It’s that time of year when Dayton starts entering the minds of college basketball fans. One reason, of course, is that it hosts the First Four of the NCAA Tournament. Another reason is that the team is known to make noise in March. Not too long ago the Flyers made the Big Dance 4 straight seasons under head coach Archie Miller, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2014. Results have not been as fruitful with Anthony Grant at the helm, but Dayton has designs for an NCAA Tournament berth late this month. The Flyers are 20-10 overall and 12-5 (good for second place) in the Atlantic 10 heading into Friday’s showdown against St. Louis.
In the previous meeting between these 2 teams on February 10 in Dayton, the Flyers rolled 70-56. They took care of business with ease even though star forward DaRon Holmes II scored only 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Holmes has since scored at least 20 points in 3 of 4 games, including 34 last weekend against George Mason. Dayton’s down-low duo of Holmes (18.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Toumani Camara (13.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg) is tough to contain. I expect the Billikens, who are 4-5 SU in their last 9 overall, to struggle once again with this matchup.
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Radford -2 over Winthrop (-110)
You might not know it, but conference tournament season is already here. Some of the smaller leagues are getting underway this week, among them the Big South. Quarterfinal competition on Friday at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina includes this battle between Radford and Winthrop. Radford comes in as the #3 seed in the conference at 12-6, while Winthrop (10-8) is #6.
I will happily give 2 points with the Highlanders after they swept the regular-season series with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points. They may not be playing their best ball at the moment, but that’s why the spread is so low. The value is on Radford, which is built for March thanks to impressive depth that features 9 different guys logging more than 10 minutes per game. Four different players have led the team in scoring over the past 5 contests. Look for the Highlanders to complete the sweep of the season series against the Eagles.
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