College Basketball Odds, Picks for Yale vs. Princeton: Bet Bulldogs to Win Ivy League Title (Sunday, March 13)
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Yale vs. Princeton Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Sunday’s Ivy League title game will pit Princeton and Yale for the third time this year, acting as a rubber match after the teams split the regular season meetings. Each squad won by six points on the road, setting up a potential classic on Selection Sunday.
The bid coming from the Ivy League is a treasured commodity. For a one-bid league, the Ivy’s representative in the NCAA Tournament has been particularly feisty in the last decade.
Ivy League teams won at least one tournament game in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with losses by just a single possession in 2015 and 2019.
Both of the participants in this year’s final would be tough outs in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64, especially Princeton if it can finish off a great season.
Princeton vs. Yale’s Strengths
Based on what Yale does well, the matchup should set up nicely for Princeton on paper. Yale does most of its damage on the offensive end by getting into space and drawing contact. The Bulldogs led the Ivy League in free throw rate and percentage of points scored at the foul line.
Princeton is built to handle that attack. The Tigers led the Ivy League with the lowest free throw rate allowed. They are also due for some regression from their opponents’ free throws. Tiger opponents hit nearly 76% from the stripe this season, highest in the Ivy.
Yale also lives on the offensive glass, leading the conference in that statistic. Princeton has the size and motor to counteract the Bulldogs on the boards. Not only was Princeton the second best in the Ivy this year at cleaning the defensive glass, the Tigers rank in the top 30 nationally in that regard.
Yale’s Chances For an Upset
College basketball upsets are typically sparked by success from downtown. There’s no better way to even the playing field than catching some shooting luck on a hot night.
That’s not Yale’s game. The Bulldogs took the lowest rate of field goals from deep in the Ivy this season, and scored the lowest percentage of points on 3s, as well.
That’s not to say there aren’t other ways for Yale to win this game. The Bulldogs already beat the Tigers on the road in North Jersey. Yale did so shooting well from outside (46%), but on just 13 attempts. Instead the Bulldogs were relentless attacking the rim, scoring more than half their points inside the arc and shooting 18-of-23 from the free throw line.
Yale’s path to victory in terms of the 3-point shot would likely come on the other end of the floor.
The Bulldogs “allowed” the lowest 3-point percentage in Ivy League play this year, depending on how much that is luck versus defensive ability. Princeton, however, was the best outside shooting team in the conference and is top-10 nationally in 3-point percentage.
When Yale beat Princeton, the Tigers made 36% from long range on 33 attempts. That’s a viable percentage, but for this Princeton team constitutes a down night. The Tigers have shot better than 40% in nine of their last 15 games. Missing 19 3s in a 73-possession game will always hurt.
Yale vs. Princeton Betting Pick
If Princeton plays its best game, Yale would have a difficult time keeping up. The hot-shooting Tigers are lethal from long range, complementing the downhill driving game of Ivy League Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan.
Yale, however, has the best defense in the conference and a team full of veterans who have played in big games. The Bulldogs will certainly make Princeton play its best to earn the NCAA Tournament bid.
It is incredibly reductive to assume this game just comes down to how Princeton shoots the 3, but if there is one stat I could magically reveal before game time, it would be the Tigers’ 3-point percentage for the day.
In a noon ET tip in front of a raucous crowd, just 24 hours after Princeton played a war with Cornell, I’m willing to take a risk on Yale. I picked the Bulldogs before this tournament began, so I’ll stick with them, especially getting points.
Pick: Yale +3.5 (Play to +2.5)
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