NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Betting Picks: Boston U vs Yale Best Bets

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Betting Picks: Boston U vs Yale Best Bets article feature image

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – FEBRUARY 22: Matt Brandau #41 of the Yale Bulldogs controls the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Panzer Stadium on February 22, 2020 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Yale defeated Penn State 12-10. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

We have another marquee college lacrosse matchup tonight as Yale hosts Boston University. I have two best bets for this game — as well as an early bet to make ahead of this weekend's games.

No. 9 Yale vs. No. 15 Boston University

Yale (-3) Odds-360
Boston U (+3) Odds+260
TimeTuesday · 4 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Yale is as high as a 3-point favorite at home against the surging Boston University Terries. Boston has outright upset potential, but its struggles at faceoff give me pause when considering the Terriers against the spread against a Bulldogs offense with the best adjusted faceoff percentage in the nation, according to Lacrosse Reference

Instead, I’m targeting the total and a player prop in this game.

This total is as high as 27, undoubtedly due to Yale’s high-powered offense. Yale has surpassed this in six of nine games this season, but this number underestimates how good Boston’s defense has been. Only one of the Terriers’ 10 games this season has surpassed 27 goals — their 22-6 drubbing of Holy Cross last week.

Yale's offense has had a possession advantage in every game this season and is averaging 10.1 more possessions than their opponents. Boston’s faceoff unit ranks 54th in adjusted faceoff percentage during competitive situations, so I expect Yale to have the ball a disproportionate amount of time tonight. Yet, that won’t necessarily equate to a lot of scoring.

The Terriers defense ranks fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency and recently held two other top-15 offenses (Duke and Army) to 11 or fewer goals. Boston is also elite at forcing low-percentage shots and ranks sixth in opposing shots on goal percentage with just 40% of opposing shots allowed on cage. The Boston defense will see a lot of possessions, but I expect it to keep Yale under 13 goals. Boston has been fairly efficient on offense, but I expect it to slow the tempo in order to limit Yale’s faceoff advantage.

Bet this game to stay Under 27 goals.

I’m also targeting Matt Brandau’s points prop of 5.5. Yale’s leading scorer has stayed under this mark in four of nine games this season and many of his big performances have come against bottom-tier defenses.

Three of the four games in which Brandau stayed under 5.5 points were against teams with an adjusted defensive efficiency during competitive situations that ranked in the top 15. Penn and Penn State rank third and fifth, and Boston is sandwiched between them. Furthermore, the Terriers defense has allowed just one player to score more than five points against them through 10 games — Brown's Aidan McLane, who had six goals on 17 shots in a 16-10 loss to Boston.

This is a great spot to bet Brandau to stay under his points prop of 5.5 at +135 on DraftKings.

Picks: Under 27, Matt Brandau Under 5.5 Points

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Lookahead Bet: No. 14 Penn vs. No. 16 Harvard

Penn (-1.5) Odds-166
Harvard (+1.5) Odds+130
TimeSaturday · 1 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

I’m also already eyeing a total in a game between two Ivy League teams. Penn’s stout defense faces Harvard’s high-powered offense. Penn has already played Cornell and Yale, who rank third and sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to Lacrosse Reference. Penn held both offenses to 12 or fewer goals.

They’ll now take on a Harvard team that ranks fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency, but has faced just two defenses ranking in the top 10 (Princeton and Virginia) and failed to score more than 11 goals against either of them. The Quakers defense ranks better than both of those defenses during competitive situations as its third in defensive efficiency.

Furthermore, all but one of Penn’s 11 games this season have stayed under 24 goals. The only game to go over was a 14-12 win over Duke.

Penn’s defense isn’t the only part of this under equation. Harvard’s defense has also played fairly well this season and held offenses far better than Penn to lower outputs. Harvard ranks 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency and faces a Quakers offense that ranks just 39th in offensive efficiency and plays at the fifth-slowest pace.

Bet this game to stay Under 24 at -115 on DraftKings. And bet it now before the total moves.

Pick: Under 24

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