NCAA Lacrosse Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Penn State vs. Johns Hopkins, More

NCAA Lacrosse Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Penn State vs. Johns Hopkins, More article feature image

Rich Barnes/Getty Images. Pictured: Johns Hopkins Blue Jays.

  • College Lacrosse has a number of matchups on the schedule for Saturday and there is value across the board three teams in particular.
  • Hutton Jackson previews how to bet Saturday's NCAA Lacrosse slate, including picks for Penn State vs. Johns Hopkins.

NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse Week 9 continues with a loaded Saturday slate. After betting a total on Friday night, I’m looking to back three sides on Saturday. Let’s take a look at which teams I like in games featuring Ivy League, Atlantic Sun and Big Ten opponents.

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.

Penn (-1.5) vs. Brown

Brown Odds+160
Penn Odds-200
TimeSaturday, 12 p.m. ET

Odds via FanDuel.

We start with an Ivy League matchup where 1.5-point favorite Penn hosts Brown. Ivy League matchups have been hard to handicap the past two seasons, with the league seeing arguably the most parity of any conference in college lacrosse last season. That has generally continued into this season with Cornell being the lone Ivy League team that has set themselves a part from the pack.

Penn may have the slightly better record than Brown, but they’ve yet to secure a dominant win this season. They’re 2-6 against the spread and 0-5 against the spread as a favorite. All four of their wins have been by a margin of two goals or less and an average of just 1.25 goals. Their underlying metrics don’t do them any more favors either.

Penn may have one of the best players in the country in midfielder Sam Handley, but their offense ranks middle of the pack in offensive efficiency at 28.8% (33rd in the nation) and turns the ball over on 30.1% of possessions according to Lacrosse Reference. Their defense is even more concerning, ranking 51st in defensive efficiency by allowing goals on 29.4% of opponents’ possessions and they’ve been dominated in the possession battle, ranking 73rd of 75 teams in time of possession.

On the flip side, Brown weathered a mid-season storm when seven of their players were suspended for three games by the university for a noise violation. Since returning to the lineup, Brown pulled off an upset over Villanova and played Princeton tight before succumbing to a six-goal run in the third quarter that put a comeback out of reach. The Brown offense has scored on 30.1% of their possessions when all their starters are in the lineup compared to just 23.4% of possessions during the three-game span without their suspended starters.

The Bears also have a massive advantage at the faceoff stripe in the form of Matt Gunty, who’s won 63% of faceoffs this season (8th in the nation) and should feast against Penn’s Chris Arceri who’s managed to win just 46% of faceoffs this season (58th in the nation.)

It’s evident that I love this spot for Brown for a variety of factors, but the icing on top is the fact that FanDuel is pricing them on the moneyline at +160 when other sportsbooks have them as short as +125. The +160 price equates to a 38.46% chance of winning and I think Brown’s chance at knocking off Penn is much closer to a coin flip. I recommend betting Brown to win outright at +160, but if you want a little more insurance, Brown +1.5 is +108 on FanDuel as well.

Utah (-4) vs. Robert Morris

Robert Morris Odds+370
Utah Odds-500
TimeSaturday, 12 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

We head to the Atlantic Sun conference for a matchup between four-point favorite Utah and Robert Morris. Robert Morris is on a two-game losing skid after dropping games to Detroit Mercy and Mercer, while Utah has won their last four games and improved to an impressive 8-1 against the spread.

The Utes have been covering machines with their only ATS loss coming in their opening game against Denver. They’ve covered all five games as a favorite and defeated all four of their Atlantic Sun opponents by an average margin of 7.5 goals per game. Utah also ranks 10th in offensive efficiency this season and Cole Brams has done well at the faceoff stripe, winning 54.1% of faceoffs against much tougher opponents than his Robert Morris counterparts.

Meanwhile, Robert Morris is 3-5-1 against the spread, covering just once as an underdog in an opening season loss to Bucknell in which they pulled off a win despite just taking 18 shots on goal the entire game. The advanced metrics don’t do them any more favors, with Robert Morris scoring on just 26.5% of possessions and turning the ball over on 33.2% of possessions (10th worst in the nation.)

Utah beat up on Robert Morris 18-8 last season, and I expect a similar outcome in this year’s matchup. The Utes should be able to build a substantial lead and easily cover the -4 (-110 on DraftKings.)

Pick: Utah -4

Penn State (-1.5) vs. Johns Hopkins

Penn State Odds-135
Johns Hopkins Odds+105
TimeSaturday, 7 p.m. ET
TVBig Ten Network

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

We wrap up Saturday with a Big Ten matchup between Penn State and Johns Hopkins. John Hopkins heads to State College as a short moneyline underdog at +105 on DraftKings. We backed the Nittany Lions last week in their dominant 17-9 win over Ohio State last week, but we’ll be fading them this weekend. While I don’t think the Blue Jays should be overwhelming favorites, I do think this line should be reversed.

Arguably no team has had a tougher stretch of games than Johns Hopkins, and yet they’re currently 9-3 riding a five-game win streak with wins over Syracuse, Navy, Delaware, Michigan and Rutgers. They’ll face another tough opponent in Penn State, but I still don’t think the market has caught up to how impressive this Blue Jays team has been. Hopkins’ leading faceoff man Tyler Dunn has been influential in the Blue Jays’ ability to stifle opposing team’s runs and close out games. I think he’ll play a big part in this matchup and once again help control the possession battle for a Hopkins team that ranks 6th in time of possession.

Penn State has had a handful of impressive wins as well and boast the nation’s 7th-most efficient defense, but Hopkins has still managed to put up points against similarly stout defenses like Rutgers (13th in defensive efficiency) and Delaware (6ht in defensive efficiency.) The Nittany Lions’ turnover rate (29.2% this season) has also been concerningly high in their past three games, including their big win over Ohio State.

I think Hopkins will control the possession battle and pace (they rank 66th in pace this season), take advantage of Penn State’s mistakes, and come out of Happy Valley with a win. Bet Johns Hopkins to win outright at +105 on DraftKings.

Pick: Johns Hopkins ML

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