College Lacrosse Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for NCAA Tournament Opening Round Sunday
EAST HARTFORD, CT – MAY 19: Penn State Nittany Lions Jack Traynor (33) in action during the NCAA Division 1 quarterfinal game between Loyola Greyhounds and Penn State Nittany Lions on May 19, 2019, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament continues Sunday with four more opening round matchups, and I’ve got my sights set on two specific games. Let’s take a look at which total and side I’m betting Sunday evening.
If you’re an avid bettor who’s new to lacrosse or a lacrosse fan who’s new to betting, check outmy guide on how to bet on lacrosse for some tips to use when placing a lacrosse bet.
Duke (-6.5) vs. Delaware
|Time||Sunday, 5 p.m. ET|
Odds via bet365
The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils host the Delaware Blue Hens and Duke enters as a 6.5-point favorite.
The Blue Hens secured their matchup with Duke thanks to a 25-10 victory over Marist in the play-in game. Delaware will have a much harder time against Duke, but their offense should still be able to find the back of the net against the Blue Devils. Delaware is the third-most efficient offense in the country according to Lacrosse Reference, scoring on 35.5% of their possessions. They have also scored 10 or more goals in every game this season.
Meanwhile, Duke is the fifth-most efficient offense in the nation, scoring on 34.2% of its possessions. Duke hasn’t scored less than 12 goals in any of its games and has seen seven of its 15 games go over the 26.5 mark. These teams are middle of the road in pace, but I think they’ll both play fast and test their opponent’s transition defense.
Expect plenty of scoring between these teams and bet this total to go over 26.5 (-120 on bet365.)
Pick: Over 26.5
Penn State (-1.5) vs. Princeton
|Penn State Odds||-120|
|Time||Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
The final game on Sunday night is a matchup between Penn State and Princeton in Happy Valley, in which the Nittany Lions are 1.5-point favorites.
Princeton snuck into the tournament with an impressive run in the Ivy League tournament, knocking off Penn and Yale to secure an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Penn State was upset by Michigan in the Big Ten Semifinals and needed at-large bid to make the tourney.
While Princeton could be a sneaky underdog in this tournament, I think Penn State is a bad first round draw for the Tigers. Penn State defeated all three of its Ivy League opponents (Yale, Penn and Cornell) during the regular season and its defense has been impressive all season. Penn State’s defense ranks fourth in defensive efficiency and is allowing goals on just 22.9% of defensive possessions. The offense can also hang with anybody as it’s shooting a 14th-best 33% and trending upward in recent weeks.
While this Princeton offense is actually more efficient than Penn State, I think it’ll struggle against this Nittany Lion defense after facing an extremely weak Yale defense last week. Penn State will also have a slight advantage at the faceoff, which, combined with its offense, should allow it to build a lead. Bet Penn State to win and cover the 1.5-point spread (+120 on DraftKings.)
Pick: Penn State -1.5
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