Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#851 Columbia 128.5 vs.
#852 Dartmouth -5.5
Friday, February 14, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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Columbia and Dartmouth will each be looking to snap out of long losing streaks when they meet on Friday night at Edward Leede Arena. The Lions are 6-16 and are riding a five-game losing skid. Dartmouth dropped to 7-14 and extended its losing streak to nine games on Saturday.

Lions on five-game skid

Columbia has not picked up a win since beating Mount St. Vincent and Cornell in consecutive games in mid-January. The Lions have lost their last five games, falling to Cornell, Yale, Brown, Penn and Princeton. The most recent three setbacks have all come by single digits. Columbia shot 52.5 percent from the floor in its 81-74 loss to Princeton on Sunday. The Lions were just 1 of 9 from beyond the arc, though, and they allowed the Tigers to shoot 54.7 percent from the field. Princeton made 17 of 18 from the charity stripe and dished out 15 assists.

Senior guard Mike Smith leads Columbia with 21.0 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. He is one of the best distributors in the conference, dishing out 4.7 assists per contest. Smith leads the team in made 3-pointers, knocking down 46 of 122 attempts from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Jack Forrest is scoring 10.0 points per game, despite coming off the bench in all but five games this season. He is shooting nearly 40 percent from downtown, making 32 of 81 from beyond the 3-point line. Junior forward Randy Brumant is the Lions’ leading rebounder, pulling down 5.8 boards per game. Sophomore forward Ike Nweke is adding 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.

Dartmouth winless in conference play

Dartmouth won five of its first six games this season. It has been all downhill since then, as the Big Green have only won twice in the last 15 contests. They are currently riding a nine-game losing skid, falling to Bryant, New Hampshire, Vermont, Harvard (twice), Princeton, Penn, Brown and Yale. Dartmouth dropped to 0-6 in Ivy League play with Saturday’s loss to Yale. The Bulldogs shot 50.0 percent from the floor and made 10 of 24 from beyond the arc. Dartmouth was out-rebounded by nine boards and turned it over five more times than Yale. The Big Green also committed 10 more fouls.

Junior forward Chris Knight is scoring 13.0 points per game and is grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game. He is not a threat from the perimeter, making just 1 of 15 from beyond the arc. Junior wing Aaryn Rai is scoring 10.3 points per game and is pulling down a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard James Foye is scoring 9.5 points per game and is dishing out 2.0 assists per outing. He is the best 3-point shooter on the team, drilling 44.9 percent of his 98 attempts from distance. Sophomore guard Taurus Samuels is adding 9.3 points per game. Foye and Samuels are each dishing out 2.0 assists per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The good news for both head coaches in this game is that someone’s losing skid has to come to an end. I think Dartmouth is going to get the job done and finally grab a win. The Big Green are much better on the defensive end and have covered the spread in four of their last five home games against Columbia. The Lions have been atrocious on the road, losing all 12 of their road games this season. It’s tough to predict what will happen when two terrible teams square off, but I will side with the team that is at home and is better on the defensive end of the court.

Prediction: Dartmouth -5.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am going to take the under in this one. Dartmouth plays an extremely slow pace, coming in at No. 294 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings. The Big Green are much better on defense than they are on offense. They are currently No. 106 in adjusted defensive, while their offense is all the way at No. 319. Columbia’s offense is not much better, ranking No. 299 in KenPom’s metrics. I expect Dartmouth to place an emphasis on the defensive end of the court in order to pick up the win in this game.

Prediction: Under 128.5
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.