The UNLV Rebels take on the Dayton Flyers. Check out our college basketball odds series for our UNLV Dayton prediction and pick. Find how to watch UNLV Dayton.
The Dayton Flyers have had to adjust on the fly this season. They lost star guard Malachi Smith at the start of their season. Smith was going to be a floor leader and an important crunch-time scorer for Dayton, so it was easy to think the Flyers might crumble without him. While they haven't played an extremely tough schedule, they haven't played a ton of cupcakes, either. Dayton has beaten Rick Pitino and St. John's. It has beaten SMU. It has beaten LSU.
Dayton's only two losses are to Houston, a top-10 team, and to a Northwestern team which has defeated Purdue already this season and is likely to return to the NCAA Tournament. Dayton, at 6-2 through eight games, can make the argument that it has done much better than expected once the Malachi Smith injury became apparent. This team could have evaporated and lost all faith in itself, but instead it has competed well for head coach Anthony Grant.
UNLV is 3-3 through six games. Head coach Kevin Kruger — son of longtime college basketball coach Lon Kruger, a genuine legend in the sport — is not finding solutions the way his dad did. Lon Kruger took UNLV to the Sweet 16 in the 2007 season. UNLV hoped Kevin could follow in his father's footsteps, but that certainly isn't happening right now. UNLV is muddling along in stagnation with a .500 record. The team and the program seem to be going nowhere, stuck in a rut with no real way out. A win on the road in Dayton would be a significant statement for this team to make and a powerful indication that it might still have hope for the remainder of this campaign.
Here are the UNLV-Dayton College Basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: UNLV-Dayton Odds
UNLV Rebels: +7.5 (-102)
Dayton Flyers: -7.5 (-120)
Over: 134.5 (-110)
Under: 134.5 (-110)
How To Watch UNLV vs Dayton
Time: 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT
TV: CBS Sports Network
Stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why UNLV Could Cover the Spread
The Rebels know that Dayton is without Malachi Smith. To be honest, the Flyers have handled this injury absence a lot better than most people thought they would, but as the season goes along, teams will gather more film on the Flyers and will be able to exploit them. UNLV knows that it urgently needs a big win to change the course of its season and increase belief in its locker room. Kevin Kruger is a coach who — if he isn't already on the hot seat — is close to getting there if he doesn't deliver big results very soon. UNLV will play with the urgency and desperation which often carry struggling teams to season-changing performances. Even if UNLV doesn't win the game straight up, it can cover merely by losing by only seven points. That seems more than reasonable as a scenario for this game.
Why Dayton Could Cover the Spread
The Flyers have made the kinds of adjustments UNLV has not, even though Dayton is the team missing a star player. Dayton has had more reasons than UNLV to struggle this season, but it's the Rebels who have faltered while Dayton has won all six of the games it was supposed to win. Dayton was not favored against Northwestern or Houston but has won every game in which it was favored this season. Playing at home in front of one of college basketball's most consistently enthusiastic crowds, Dayton should be able to win this game by 10 or more.
Final UNLV-Dayton Prediction & Pick
The UNLV Rebels inspire zero confidence going on the road. Take Dayton.
Final UNLV-Dayton Prediction & Pick: Dayton -7.5