NCAA Lacrosse Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Rutgers vs. Cornell & Princeton vs. Maryland in Final Four
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 19: Logan Wisnauskas #1 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates with teammates during the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Audi Field on March 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
- A national champion will soon be crowned as the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four has arrived.
- Hutton Jackson breaks down the matchups between Maryland vs. Princeton and Cornell vs. Rutgers.
- Read on for his analysis and best bets.
The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final Four is upon us as the four remaining teams look to earn a chance at a national championship! While each team is just two wins away from a title, all eyes are on the undefeated Terrapins to win it all.
DraftKings’ futures odds paint a picture of how heavily favored Maryland is to hoist the program’s fourth NCAA championship. Maryland opened the 18-team tournament with -150 odds to win it all and is now listed at -650 to win the title. Rutgers sits behind them at +1000 and is followed by Cornell and Princeton at +1400.
Despite Maryland being the overwhelming favorite to win on Memorial Day, there are plenty of angles to bet this weekend. Let’s dive in!
If you’re an avid bettor who’s new to lacrosse or a lacrosse fan who’s new to betting, check out my guide on how to bet on lacrosse for some tips to use when placing a lacrosse bet.
Rutgers (-1.5) vs. Cornell
|Time||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET|
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
The first game of the day will likely be the more competitive of the two, with Rutgers sitting as 1.5-point favorites against the Cornell Big Red. Cornell took care of business against Ohio State in the opening round before squeaking out a 10-8 victory against Delaware to advance to the Final Four. Likewise, Rutgers trounced Harvard before escaping with an 11-9 win over Penn last weekend. Cornell has played up and down to its opponents all season, despite boasting an impressive 13-4 record.
Rutgers boasts an equally impressive 14-3 record and its only three losses of the season, ironically, came against fellow Final Four teams as Rutgers lost twice to Maryland and once to Princeton. In a season that saw seven Ivy League teams make the tournament, only two remain — and Rutgers knocked out two of them.
While both teams have similar records and have had similar paths to the Final Four, Rutgers is overall a better team. The Scarlet Knights are 10th in offensive efficiency and the Big Red are 25th, according to Lacrosse Reference. On the other side, the Rutgers defense leads the nation in caused turnovers with 13.22 per game and ranks 14th in defensive efficiency. Despite the presence of standout defender Gavin Adler, Cornell ranks just 35th in defensive efficiency. Finally, Rutgers is excellent at avoiding mistakes and boasts the lowest turnover percentage in the nation at 25.9%.
Ethan Rall and the Rutgers defense will give Cornell some fits and he’ll have the Scarlet Knights’ standout netminder Colin Kirst to back him up against a Big Red offense led by John Piatelli and another member of the Kirst family, CJ. While Cornell’s defense will test Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights offense, which features five players with 30 or more goals, has too many weapons.
Additionally, both teams play at a relatively slow pace compared to the rest of the nation, with Rutgers ranking 29th and Cornell ranking 58th out of 73 teams. While I tend to like under 24.5 as well, Rutgers’ 10th-ranked offensive efficiency and ability to capitalize on opponents mistakes in transition makes that just a lean for me.
Pick: Rutgers -1.5 (I would play this to -2.5)
Maryland (-6.5) vs. Princeton
|Time||Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET|
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Princeton Tigers have the great honor of facing the best college lacrosse team in more than a decade. The 16-0 Terps haven’t even advanced to the championship, yet there is already talk of this team being one of the best of all time. And I’d have to agree.
The 2022 Maryland Terrapins are the best team we’ve seen since the 2006 Virginia Cavaliers, who also went undefeated in their championship run. From a betting perspective, Maryland has covered spreads like it’s their job. While 6.5 would be a lot of goals to lay with any other team, it hasn’t been an issue for the Terps, who have won by seven goals or more in 10 of their past 11 games. This season, Maryland is 14-2 against the spread and has an average score differential of 9.31 goals per game. That’s right, the Terps are winning games by an average of more than nine goals!
Now, these two teams did face each other earlier this season and the result was a 15-10 victory by the Terps. Maryland only managed to win by five goals in that game, but I think the Terrapins have looked even more impressive as the season has progressed and the numbers suggest it was a below-average performance for the most efficient offense in the country.
The Terps’ five-goal win featured the team’s second-lowest offense efficiency percentage of the season at 34.9%, according to Lacrosse Reference. Furthermore, this Terps team managed to take a whopping 50 shots against Princeton in their first meeting. In Maryland’s other three games where they had 50 or more shots, it won by 11, nine and eight goals, respectively. If you pair a similar shot output with their average efficiency of 41.2 percent, you’re bound to get a much better showing from this offense, especially if Luke Wierman goes 69% at the faceoff stripe again.
So all this leads me to backing Maryland -6.5 against Princeton. If laying -6.5 at a juiced -140 is too tough a pill to swallow, you could hope for Princeton to come out and score a few early and try to get Maryland at either a better price or a better number on the live spread. It may take a couple of goals to see any real shift, but it would be worth it if the sportsbooks give us -5.5 or better on a team that should win this game handedly.
Pick: Maryland -6.5