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Yale vs. Harvard

Princeton vs. Columbia

Ivy League Basketball Betting Analysis

2/11/11

The Ivy League race heats up tonight with several games having an impact on the big picture. One of the greatest rivalries in sports has always been Yale vs. Harvard. In football, it's known as "The Game". In hoops, well, it's not as big of a deal, but still very important to the two schools, and in cases like this year, extremely important in the big picture.

Yale is still very much alive in the race at 4-2. The two Ivy teams to beat Yale this year, Penn and Princeton, still have to come to Yale and play this year and judging by the way the first meetings went, both of those games are very winnable for Yale. A week ago Yale almost knocked off Princeton on the road and hung tough at Penn as well.

Harvard, along with Princeton, are the class of the Ivy League. Princeton is 5-0 and Harvard is 5-1 in league play, but both teams also own very good overall records with Princeton being 17-4 and Harvard weighing in at 16-4. Yale is just 11-9 overall. 

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Our score prediction model has Harvard winning by 13, 73-60. Harvard is favored by 12, however, this is another instance where we're going to go against our numbers. This is a huge game for the Bulldogs. As mentioned above, Yale still has the top Ivy League teams, including this Harvard team, at home in the coming weeks. A win here would position Yale for a potential title run down the stretch. We're not so sure they can pull off the upset here, but you can be sure they will do all they can to keep this score close and within reach as the final minutes approach.

With that in mind we'd look to play Yale +12 and would also give a close look to playing Yale in the first half at +6.5. Yale being in front at the half would be much less shocking than a straight up Yale win.

The other top team in the Ivy League, Princeton, is in action tonight at Columbia. Columbia is still hanging on at 3-3 overall in league play but tonight could be the beginning of the end. Columbia has lost 3 of it's last 4 games, one of those to 1-5 Brown. They appear to be outclassed in this matchup and the number is very reasonable with Princeton only favored by 2.5.

Our score prediction model has Princeton by 11 making this game one of the largest margins between our numbers and the official line on tonight's card. In this case we agree with our numbers and will go ahead and lay the small number with the superior team. Princeton may very well make some noise in the Big Dance this year. Lay it. Princeton -2.5

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