Saturday College Basketball Best Bets: Value With Senior-Laden Spiders

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 12, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

There are 20-plus games on Saturday’s NCAA basketball slate, including Dayton against Richmond in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals. Let’s dig into my college basketball best bets for this contest.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

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Dayton Flyers vs. Richmond Spiders

These programs squared off once during the regular season, and the Flyers won a two-point nail-biter in Richmond, Va. Nevertheless, ShotQuality notes that the Spiders should’ve notched a four-point victory of their own, missing point-blank shots at the rim and wide-open triples.

So is there enough betting value with Richmond in the rematch? Keep in mind, it’s playing for one last run — with five of its six core rotation pieces being seniors.

  • All of Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets

Spiders’ Offense Set Up For Revenge

After needing a second-half comeback to knock off Rhode Island in the first round of the A-10 tournament, Richmond manufactured 1.14 points per possession (PPP) versus VCU’s pressure defense in the quarterfinals. It was arguably the Spiders’ top offensive showing this season.

Despite tallying just 0.82 PPP in their previous meeting with the Flyers, Chris Mooney’s Princeton offense should expose their poor off-ball coverage this time around. The scheme revolves around motion and ball screens — centered around 6-foot-7 wing Tyler Burton (16.6 ppg).

With Burton in foul trouble for much of the first half of that game, he struggled to find a rhythm down the stretch. But Anthony Grant’s inexperienced crew doesn’t possess a defensive pest — and setup as a whole — to hinder his constant movement.

Plus, Dayton surrenders the A-10’s fourth-highest 3-point scoring rate. Richmond doesn’t rely on shots around the arc, yet it’ll cash in if Burton’s success off the dribble frees up opportunities for Jacob Gilyard & Co.

Flyers’ Shooting Due For Regression

Not only did Dayton survive a scare against UMass on Friday, but it’s perimeter efficiency dipped as well, going 4-of-16 from deep. Grant’s bunch owns the highest 3-point clip in conference play (41.5%), which isn’t sustainable, and additional negative shooting variance could be en route.

Moreover, Richmond rarely allows open 3s, as Mooney has shifted away from his matchup zone philosophy in recent seasons. If the Flyers’ shots aren’t falling early, their underclassmen-filled lineup could undergo some jitters in a do-or-die setting.

Dayton – Richmond Conclusion

Let’s back the Spiders to at least stay within a possession. Considering they closed as two-point home favorites against the Flyers on March 1, there’s value in this number.

They’re live to win this tourney — and earn an auto-bid in the process — when their veteran-led offense is clicking.

Best Available Line: Richmond
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets:

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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