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Ivy League Basketball

Friday Night Free Picks

2/17/12

Well, Friday night is Ivy Night in college hoops. Some handicappers don't even handicap the Ivy's but we find it to be among the best hoops being played anywhere in the nation. No, not the best players. No, not the best teams, (although Harvard and Penn can play anyone). But it's college hoops at it's purest. Or, another way to look at it is, it's fair!

Let's take a quick look at tonight's Ivy League games.

Yale at Dartmouth - Yale is a -5.5 point road favorite here with a total of 122. We mentioned heading into last week that we would start to learn a lot about this Yale team as the majority of their remaining games would be on the road. Well, last week saw them win one, and lose one, both 1 point decisions. Tonight they play a Dartmouth team that is 0-8 in conference play and just 4-20 on the year (Yale 6-2, 16-6). A mismatch, right?

Well, maybe not. Dartmouth came within 3 of Penn, at Penn last Saturday night. Our model picks up on this, by predicting this to be a 1 point game when using data from only the last 7 games. Even using year to date data the edge still goes to Dartmouth with a predicted 4 point Yale win. So, we'll continue to learn about these Yale Bulldogs tonight. Dartmouth +5.5

Another game where the model shows an edge to one side would be Columbia at Princeton. Both are likely out of the race, although technically still alive. But they appear to be evenly matched. Our model says Princeton by 4 using season to date data and by 3 using the last 7 games only. With Princeton favored by -6.5, we'd take the points if we gad to make a play on that game.

Lastly, Cornell visits Penn for a HUGE game. Both have 5 wins in conference play and sit behind Yale and Harvard and obviously need this game to keep pace rather than fall even  further back. The edge goes to Penn, but barely when compared to the -6.5 betting line. We'd expect this one to come down to the wire and would want no part of it other than as a fan!

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