NCAA Tournament Betting: Will Dayton Fly to an Upset Win Against Arizona?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NCAA Tournament Betting: Will Dayton Fly to an Upset Win Against Arizona?

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

The second round of the NCAA Tournament tips off with an intriguing matchup between Dayton and Arizona. The Flyers come off an improbable win over Nevada, going on a 24-4 run over the final 7:36 of play to win 63-60. The Wildcats also showed their spurtability as they outscored Long Beach State 44-30 in the second half of play, coming out with a convincing 85-65 win. This should be a fun one between 2 of Bart Torvik's top-25 offenses.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Dayton vs. Arizona Betting Odds

Date and Time: Saturday, March 23rd, 12:45 p.m. ET

Spread: Arizona -9.5 (-110)

Total: 149.5


  • Arizona: -465
  • Dayton: +350

Dayton vs. Arizona Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.


  • numberFire Ranking: 30th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 42nd
  • KenPom Ranking: 30th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 70th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 21st
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 336th


  • numberFire Ranking: 3rd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 6th
  • KenPom Ranking: 5th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 10th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 9th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 16th

Dayton vs. Arizona Best Bet

Arizona -9.5 (-110)

Following a thrilling comeback win, Dayton has a tall task ahead. After dominating a half against Long Beach State, Arizona's odds to win the West region only decreased. FanDuel's Final Four odds have the Wildcats as the favorite to win the region (+210) with 1-seeded North Carolina carrying the second-shortest odds (+400).

The Flyers' biggest concern could be figuring out how to defend Arizona. KenPom's efficiency marks suggest Dayton's weakness has been defense (70th). However, the Flyers rank in the 86th percentile of opponent field goal percentage (FG%) and points per game (PPG) allowed. Dayton can clearly defend when it matters most, holding Nevada to four points for over seven minutes to end the game.

Having one of the nation's slowest paces (336th) gives the Flyers' defensive stats a huge boost. Defending the three has been an issue at times as Dayton sits in the bottom 21% in three-point shots allowed per game. The perimeter defense was decent in the first round, holding the Wolf Pack to 7 of 20 from deep (35.0%). The Wildcats take only 21.5 three-point shots per game (bottom 45%), but they have lethal efficiency at 37.1% (94th percentile).

If Arizona opts to let it fly on Saturday, this one could get ugly. U of A did exactly that in the first round, increasing their three-point volume to 35 attempts while draining 13 shots (37.1%).

The Wildcats also have a great chance of controlling the boards, which will only aids their chances of controlling the pace of play. Arizona will likely look to speed this game up and make it a track meet (hence the 16th-quickest pace). They are in the 96th percentile in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. The Flyers rank outside the top 150 in defensive rebounding percentage and in the bottom 30% in offensive rebounding percentage. Attempting to slow one of the nation's top rebounders -- Oumar Ballo -- could give Dayton nightmares.

As far as the eye test goes, the Flyers are fortunate to be alive after being lethargic for a large portion of their first-round contest. Meanwhile, the Wildcats perhaps proved their contender status with a dominant first-round showing. Give me Arizona to cover; their ability to rebound and the increase in three-point shots could lead to a comfortable win.

Dayton vs. Arizona Prop Bet

Pelle Larsson To Make 2+ Threes (+142)

We already touched on Arizona's potential advantage from three. Dayton ranks in the 75th percentile in two-point makes allowed per contest and ranks second nationally with only 26.6% of opponents' shots labeled as close twos by Bart Torvik.

DaRon Holmes II -- the reigning A10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year -- is the clear leading force for the Flyers. You name it, and Holmes can probably do it. From shooting three-pointers to rebounding to defending the painted area, Holmes does it all at a high level. Holmes is also the only player in the starting lineup that holds a notable Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating (DBPR) at EvanMiya (2.45).

Holmes led the A10 with a 31.1% usage rate. Dayton leans on their star center in pretty much every category, even defense. This once again proves that the Wildcats could get good looks from three with Holmes roaming in the painted area. The Flyers' perimeter defenders simply pale in comparison.

Pelle Larsson, who leads Arizona with a 43.9% three-point percentage, could have the prop to target. Due to his 6-foot-6 frame, Larsson will likely be guarded by Dayton's Koby Brea. The Flyers' guard has a 0.78 DBPR -- the second-worst mark in the starting lineup.

Additionally, Larsson has increased his three-point volume, launching 4.6 three-pointers per game compared to his season average of 2.9. The senior wing has been money from beyond the arc over his previous three showings, converting 8 of 14 attempts (57.1%). Larsson is averaging 2.7 three-point makes in the last three games.

Saturday's matchup against Dayton looks like yet another great opportunity for Larsson to get the green light from three.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.