NCAAB Odds, Pick for Harvard vs Indiana

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Harvard vs Indiana article feature image
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Pictured: Malik Reneau (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Harvard vs Indiana Odds

Sunday, Nov. 26
4:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Harvard Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+6.5
-105
140.5
-110o / -110u
+240
Indiana Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-6.5
-115
140.5
-110o / -110u
-300
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Harvard vs. Indiana is set to take place in Indianapolis and will have a decidedly Hoosier feel to it, though this is no “gimme” game for Indiana.

Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers are 0-5 against the closing number, failing to cover by an average of 8.2 points per contest. As a result, they have dropped 30 spots in KenPom, from 49th to 79th.

Harvard, meanwhile, has been a force early in the year. The Crimson have gone 4-1 ATS en route to a 96-spot jump via KenPom’s rankings. Does that give Harvard the edge here? Let's look at my Harvard vs. Indiana prediction.


Harvard Crimson

The Crimson’s rise has been fueled by freshman point guard Malik Mack, a bolt of lightning who can both score and distribute. Through six games, he is racking up 20.2 points per game and has a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Mack has helped the Crimson’s other monster, sophomore forward Chisom Okpara, emerge. Okpara uses his physical 6-foot-8 frame to carve out room near the bucket, but he can also knock down an occasional 3 when foes play him to drive.

Most of Tommy Amaker’s supporting cast — Chandler Pigge, Justice Ajogbor, Louis Lesmond, Thomas Batties — was highly recruited. The Crimson’s talent level is as high as any in the Ivy.

Some slight red flags exist in Harvard’s shooting numbers. Per Shot Quality, Harvard’s 3-point and midrange shooting percentages are slated to regress by 7.1% and 12.3%. Defensively, the Crimson’s opponents should be expected to improve.

A key detail for this matchup: Amaker’s Harvard teams have been sensational as underdogs. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Crimson are 38-16 against the spread when getting points, covering by an average of 3.9 points per game.

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Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana’s struggles have been fairly well-documented, but I'll quickly summarize.

This team can't shoot. Indiana ranks 350th nationally in 3-point attempt rate and 3-point percentage. The Hoosiers get just 12.5% of their points via the long ball, 361st in the country (KenPom).

No player has made more than five total 3's through five games. That allows defenses to camp out in the paint and take away driving lanes.

The strength of this squad lies in the paint, where Malik Reneau and Kel’el Ware are immensely talented. Along with powerful point guard Xavier Johnson, the Hoosiers excel at creating contact, ranking first in the country in free-throw rate.

Confusingly, a team with so much size has been awful on the glass. Wright State outrebounded the Hoosiers, and Army and Florida Gulf Coast essentially played them to a draw in the rebounding department. Harvard is no ace on the boards, but the Crimson have legitimate size and physicality.


Harvard vs. Indiana

Betting Pick & Prediction

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How bad is Indiana? That ultimately should decide how you bet this matchup. You could make a reasonable argument that Harvard has been the more impressive team this year. At BartTorvik.com, if you filter out all preseason rating influence, Harvard ranks 63rd and Indiana is 132nd.

This spread is significantly lower than it would have been at the beginning of the season. Still, it might not be low enough given the early season performances of these teams.

That, combined with Harvard’s tremendous track record as an underdog during Amaker’s tenure, makes Harvard worth a wager. Indiana must prove it can take care of business before I trust it. If +7 pops up, I'll bet a full unit. If not, I'll bet either 0.5 or 0.75 units down to +5.

Pick: Harvard +6 (Play to +5)

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