Dayton Flyers (3-3) vs. Belmont Bruins (5-2)
November 28, 2021 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: Belmont Bruins -3.5 / Dayton Flyers +3.5 ; Over/Under: +143.5
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The Dayton Flyers & Belmont Bruins will square off at HP Field House this Sunday afternoon in the Championship Game of the ESPN Events Invitational.
The Dayton Flyers won their 2nd straight game and improved to 3-3 on the season after upsetting the 4th ranked Kansas Jayhawks, 74-73, on Friday. Dayton was able to fight back from a 45-35 halftime deficit after an outstanding effort defensively in the 2nd half and was able to pull off the victory after the Flyers Mustapha Amzil hit a game-winning jumper as time expired. Dayton shot 52.7% from the field & 29.4% from beyond the arc while allowing Kansas to shoot 50.0% from the field & 21.1% from beyond the arc. Dayton lost the turnover battle by a 20-7 margin, however, outrebounded the Jayhawks by a 32-24 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Flyers was Malachi Smith who had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, & 2 steals.
On the season, Dayton is averaging 68.7 ppg on 47.4% shooting from the field. The Flyers are averaging 5.7 three-pointers per game on 29.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Dayton has been led by Elijah Weaver (10.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.7 apg), Toumani Camara (10.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.2 spg), Daron Holmes II (10.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.5 bpg), & Malachi Smith (8.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.0 spg).
Defensively, Dayton is allowing their opponents to average 68.5 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Flyers have a rebound margin of 5.5 and a turnover margin of -4.5.
The Belmont Bruins won their 2nd straight game and improved to 5-2 on the season after defeating the Iona Gales, 72-65, this past Friday. Belmont was outstanding on the defensive end against Iona and was able to hold off the Gaels for the victory after taking a 65-60 lead with 3:55 left in regulation. Belmont shot 41.4% from the field & 31.8% from beyond the arc while holding Iona to 35.7% shooting from the field & 23.1% from beyond the arc. Belmont was outrebounded by Iona by a 50-29 margin, however, won the turnover battle by a 13-5 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Bruins was Ben Sheppard who had 25 points & 6 rebounds.
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On the season, Belmont is averaging 78.9 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field. The Bruins are averaging 8.9 three-pointers per game on 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Belmont has been led by Nick Muszynski (17.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.0 bpg), Ben Sheppard (16.6 ppg, 3.36 rpg, 1.7 apg), Will Richard (11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.7 apg), & Grayson Murphy (8.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.9 spg).
Defensively, Belmont is allowing their opponents to average 74.1 ppg on 43.4% shooting from the field. The Bruins have a rebound margin of -0.7 and a turnover margin of 1.7.
The Flyers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games, however, are just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Bruins are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, however, are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
Dayton is coming off a shocking upset against Kansas, however, I’m still not sold on this team as the Flyers still lost to UMass Lowell & Lipscomb earlier this season and commits way too many turnovers as they rank 319th in turnover margin. Belmont isn’t going to sneak up on anyone as they are consistently one of the best mid-major programs in the country and they should be once again dangerous behind an offense that currently ranks 73rd in scoring offense & 77th in FG%. I think the public is going to jump all over Dayton getting points in this one, however, I think Dayton is going to have trouble slowing down the Belmont offense and that the Bruins pull away late for a 5-7 point victory to cover this spread. Good Luck!