Sunday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: How to Bet Rutgers vs. Northwestern, Columbia vs. Princeton
Photo by Benjamin Solomon /Getty Images. Pictured: A general view of fans at Rutgers Athletic Center
- Mike Randle focuses on the East Coast for his two favorite Sunday college basketball bets.
- Randle likes two favorites -- one big one and one short one -- on an otherwise light day of college hoops.
Randle’s Saturday College Basketball Best BetsSunday brings us two of the nation’s oldest programs trying to rebound from difficult losses.
First, we travel to Piscataway, N.J. to see if Rutgers can right the ship at home against Northwestern. Then, we go to New York City to learn if Princeton can keep pace with Yale atop the Ivy League with a win at Columbia.
Let’s examine the matchups.
Sunday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Odds as of Sunday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Rutgers vs. Northwestern
- Spread: Rutgers -11
- Over/Under: 130
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: BTN
Rutgers (16-7) returns home after tough Big Ten losses to Michigan, 69-63, at Madison Square Garden and, 56-51, at Maryland. The Scarlet Knights are 7-5 in conference play but a perfect 15-0 at home. They are the ninth-best team in the country against the spread (ATS) at 14-6-2, including covering eight of their last nine home games.
Northwestern (6-15) sits in last place in the Big Ten at a lowly 1-10 in conference play. The Wildcats have lost six games in a row, including all six conference road games. They are just 8-13 ATS and have failed to cover five of their past seven games.
Rutgers features one of the best defenses in the country, ranking sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom. Head coach Steve Pikiell’s team is also 15th-best in 2P% defense, allowing opponents to score at only a 43.2% rate inside the arc.
However, the biggest difference in this game will be on the boards, where the Scarlet Knights will hold a massive advantage. Rutgers ranks 60th in defensive rebounding efficiency and 45th in offensive rebounding prowess. Meanwhile, in conference play Northwestern ranks 12th in limiting opponents’ second-chance opportunities.
The Wildcats are even more inept on offense, ranking last in Big Ten play in each of the following categories:
- Adjusted offensive efficiency
- Offensive rebounding percentage
- 2P field goal percentage
Northwestern is also a young team, with an average of 1.22 years of experience (307th nationally). A tough road environment against a dominant home team will be a difficult task for a young team toward the end of the season.
Look for a big response from Rutgers after two close conference losses. It cannot afford a loss to Northwestern as it tries to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. Its strong defense combined with Northwestern’s anemic offense should translate into a comfortable cover.
THE PICK: Rutgers -11
Columbia vs. Princeton
- Spread: Princeton -3.5
- Over/Under: 138
- Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Columbia (6-15) is currently on a four-game losing streak, including a 76-67 home loss to Penn on Saturday. The Lions are 1-4 in the Ivy League and have lost 10 of the last 11 games against Princeton. Columbia is just 6-13-1 ATS, including just 2-4 at home.
Princeton (9-9) is just a half-game behind Yale for first place in the Ivy League. The Tigers suffered their first conference loss on Saturday, 73-62, at Cornell. They are 9-8 ATS but have covered five of their past six games against Division I opponents.
Columbia’s defense in the Ivy has been non-existent. The Lions are last in conference play in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage allowed, turnover percentage and 2P% allowed. They have also enjoyed some good fortune as their opponents are shooting only 66.3% from the free-throw line, 27th worst in the nation.
The Lions are very much a one-man gang on offense behind senior Mike Smith (20.6 ppg) who is very much a volume shooter with his 41.8% overall field goal percentage. Columbia generates 33.8% of its points from beyond the arc, which is 97th most in the country. However, it will not find many open 3P shots against a Princeton defense that is holding opponents to just 27.8% from 3P against Ivy League competition.
Princeton has been scalding hot from 3P, shooting 39.6% as a team while maintaining the 26th-best 2P offense in the country.
Junior center Richmond Aririguzoh (13.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and freshman Jaelin Llewellyn (14.1 ppg) lead a balanced scoring attack. Princeton features two long-range specialists in sophomore Ryan Schwieger (12.5 ppg, 38.5% 3P) and freshman Drew Friberg (8.3 ppg, 39.8% 3P).
Princeton is a better team on both ends of the court and will be highly motivated after the upset loss at Cornell. Columbia has shown no signs of being able to pull the upset in an underwhelming home-court environment.
THE PICK: Princeton -3.5