Line-forecasting can be a handy way of looking for mistaken handicaps in the odds and point spreads of a sportsbook. If a careful analysis leads to the recognizance that Team A is the real favorite, then obviously, any point spread that takes points from Team B is potentially priced badly.
Friday night’s crucial Ivy League contest between the Yale Bulldogs and the visiting Princeton Tigers would seem to be an evenly-matched pairing at first glance. Princeton is 12-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play, while Yale is 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the Ivy League. Neither school lost a basketball game in January.
Never mind all of that. Yale is a strong (-7) favorite at MyBookie. What is it about the Bulldogs that bookmakers like so much against the league-leading Tigers?
Numbers in New Haven
The impressive scoring depth of Yale could be turning heads in Las Vegas. Long-time head coach James Jones has built a 2018-19 squad on which 5 players are averaging double-digit points. Bench guards Azar Swain and Trey Phills are each averaging 7+ points and 3+ rebounds per outing.
Yale is big and strong for an Ivy League team. Blake Reynolds brings a multi-faceted game that includes power and outside shooting while 6’9″ junior forward Jordan Bruner is a menacing rebounder. Bruner’s classmate Miye Oni is the team’s leading scorer and a force on the glass in his own right despite playing guard.
Tigers Rebound from Embarrassment in Raleigh
Skepticism surrounding Princeton’s 4-0 conference record may tie back to how the squad’s impressive mid-season winning streak was prefaced. Prior to winning 7 games in a row (including a victory over ranked Arizona State of the Pac-12) the Tigers visited Duke and were gutted by Coach K’s ballers. Standout senior guard Myles Stephens scored 19 points, but he was all Princeton had as the Blue Devils rang up a 101-50 win.
The cagers from New Jersey bounced back quickly. Skillful senior guard Devin Cannady led the squad in points, rebounds, and assists in the dramatic 67-66 win over ASU.
While the Tigers may not be as physically imposing as Yale, the underdogs are pleased with the development of 6’9″ center Richmond Aririguzoh. The junior hometown product is averaging 25+ minutes per game and is a 76% free throw shooter with 96 total boards on the season.
Yale vs Princeton: Prediction and Best Bet
Handicappers are looking at physical mismatches and statistics, and meanwhile failing to recognize that Princeton’s winning streak won’t be easily snapped by a conference rival. Yale can power its way to a win at home, but it won’t be any picnic.
That makes Princeton and (+7) points the easy pick.
Photo from YouTube.