Princeton vs. Yale, 02/17/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#862 Yale University Bulldogs
vs.
#861 Princeton University Tigers

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Princeton vs. Yale

NCAA Basketball:  Friday February 17th, 8:00 pm EST

Line:  N/A

Princeton heads to Yale to take on the Bulldogs in an old school Ivy League rivalry game.  The Tigers have won 11 in a row and are playing heads and shoulders above any other conference foe.  They are 8-0 in conference and 15-6 overall.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are in second place at 6-2 (14-7 overall) and had a five game winning streak snapped in a loss to Harvard on Saturday.  They blew a five point halftime lead and lost 75-67.  Princeton beat Yale 66-58 earlier this year at home, and now play on the road at Yale.

The Ivy League is pretty odd right now, for the fact that no one in conference has an odd record.  Princeton sits atop the standings at 8-0.  Two games back are Harvard and Yale at 6-2.  In fourth place is Columbia at 4-4.  And the final four teams in the standings, Brown, Penn, Cornell, and Dartmouth are all 2-6.  No odd numbers to be found.  Random.

Princeton keeps winning

It may not be easy every time they play, but the Tigers keep winning and they are now 8-0 in conference and have a two game lead over Harvard and Yale.  Their latest win was a two point win, 61-59, at  home versus Columbia on Saturday night.  They took a 15 point halftime lead, but then played very lackadaisical throughout the second half and barely held on for the two point win.  Steven Cook made five three-pointers and had 19 points to lead the Tigers.

This continues a series of close wins for Princeton.  They have only blown one team out over their last six games, and five of the six were decided by nine or less points.  Three of the wins were decided by five points or less, with a win by one and a win by two points.

Yale falls into a tie for second

Yale had been all alone in first place until their loss to Harvard on Saturday.  The Bulldogs were at home and built a five point halftime lead.  It’s a game they could have and should have won.  Unfortunately for them, Harvard outscored them 44-31 in the second half and pulled away late for a 75-67 win.  Bryce Aiken scored a career high 27 points for the Crimson.

Yale now will try to avenge an eight point loss to first place Princeton earlier this year.  The Bulldogs were down by two at half of that game, but the Crimson pulled away late in another close game.  Yale could be 8-0 in conference if they had played better second halves in their lone two losses.

The Princeton Tigers are:

  • 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.
  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Ivy League.
  • 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

The Yale Bulldogs are:

  • 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • 42-18-2 ATS in their last 62 Friday games.
  • 36-16 ATS in their last 52 games following a ATS loss.

Princeton is due for a loss.  Sure, they are undefeated in conference but they have narrowly escaped in many games.  Meanwhile, until their last game Yale had been playing better.  I actually think the loss to Harvard works in their favor and they come out fired up at home on Friday.   I like Yale to win easily.

Pick: Yale

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.