The college basketball betting action is heating up as we’re heading into the second half of the season, so here’s the best betting pick for Friday, February 5, when the Dayton Flyers host the George Mason Patriots at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
These two schools already met once this season, and the Flyers beat the Patriots 74-65 as 5-point home favorites. This time, Dayton opened as a 7-point fave with a total of 131.5 points on BetRivers Sportsbook.
The Patriots wrap up a three-game road trip
The George Mason Patriots (8-7; 4-5 Conf.) had to cancel a couple of games over the last ten days, so Friday’s clash against Dayton will be their third straight outing away from home. In the previous two, the Patriots beat Saint Joseph’s 71-62 and lost at St. Bonaventure 84-67 last Saturday.
George Mason had a tough day at Reilly Center in Saint Bonaventure, allowing the Bonnies to make 61.4% of their field goals and trailing by as many as 21 points. Junior guard Jordan Miller led the way for the Patriots with 19 points and five rebounds, while freshman guard Tyler Kolek added 17 points and four assists.
Miller (15.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and Kolek (11.0 PPG, 2.3 APG) are key players for George Mason this season. The Patriots score 100.4 points per 100 possessions (197th in the country) and surrender 99.0 in a return (120th). They are No. 171 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings and No. 148 in the KenPom rankings.
The Flyers aim for their fourth straight home win
The Dayton Flyers (10-5; 6-4 Conf.) are coming off a 69-64 defeat at Duquesne as 1-point road underdogs. Following that loss, the Flyers are tied with Richmond for the fifth spot in the Atlantic 10 Conference, two games behind the leader St. Bonaventure and 1.5 games ahead of their next rival.
Dayton trailed for all 40 minutes against the Dukes, shooting just 41.7% from the field and a terrible 8-for-35 from beyond the arc (22.9%). Senior guard Jalen Crutcher went off for 28 points and six assists but had little help from his teammates.
Crutcher leads the way for the Flyers this term, tallying 19.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game, while senior guard Ibi Watson averages 15.2 points and 3.7 rebounds a night. Dayton is No. 91 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 82 in the KenPom rankings. The Flyers score 107.2 points per 100 possessions (82nd) and allow 96.7 in a return (86th).
- 3-6 ATS in the last nine games against Dayton
- 4-12 ATS in the last 16 games played on Friday
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games at home
- 5-2 in the last seven games overall
The previous duel between George Mason and Dayton was a proper rollercoaster. The Flyers had an 18-point first-half lead, but they allowed the Patriots to turn things over and grab a five-point lead midway through the second half. Still, Dayton’s defense was a key factor down the stretch, so the Flyers managed to win and cover along the way.
I expect to see more of the same in this game. Dayton is a better team on both sides of the floor and should have no problems outlasting the Patriots by seven or more points. The visitors will struggle to keep the pace down the stretch.
Pick: Take Dayton -7.0 at -110
Despite the fact that both George Mason and Dayton prefer to play at a very slow pace, I think the line is set too low, so I’m backing the over. We saw 139 points in total in the previous clash between these two schools, as Dayton shot 54.0% from the field and 48.0% from downtown, while George Mason made 46.2% of its field goals and 43.5% of its 3-pointers.
The Flyers’ offense looks good and ranks 40th in the country if field goal percentage (47.4%). Their defense is far away from an elite level, so the Patriots shouldn’t struggle offensively as usual. The over is 6-1 in George Mason’s last seven road games, and it is 7-2 in the previous nine meetings between the Patriots and Flyers.
Pick: Go over 131.5 points at -110