Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#855 Harvard -7.5 vs.
#856 Columbia 138.5
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Scott Reichel

This article covers a past game!

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This Friday, there is an NCAAB matchup between the Harvard Crimson and the Columbia Lions. This meeting will take place at the Levien Gymnasium and it will occur at approximately 7:00 PM.

Harvard Looks To Extend Winning Streak

The Harvard Crimson has looked like a pretty good college basketball team so far this season. The Crimson have won 18 of their first 25 games and they enter this game on a high note after defeating Penn at home by four points in their last game. In that game, Harvard's defense was amazing as it only allowed 65 points while only allowing six free throw attempts. In addition, Harvard enters this game in great form as it has won each of its last four games. Now, Harvard will be looking to extend this winning streak with another conference game on Friday. Luckily, Harvard is 7-4 in road games this season so it has looked pretty sharp in hostile environments up to this point.

Leading the Crimson offensively is sophomore guard Noah Kirkwood who has been pretty good this season as he is currently averaging 12.5 points per game along with 3.8 rebounds. However, he is also averaging 2.7 turnovers per game so he will need to make less mistakes in the future.

Harvard's most underrated player is senior forwardChris Lewis who has been good this season as he is currently averaging 11.6 points along with a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. In addition, he is shooting 59.2% from the floor as he has been extremely efficient offensively up to this point.

Columbia Looks To Snap Losing Streak

The Columbia Lions have looked like a very underwhelming college basketball team so far this season. The Lions have lost 20 of their first 26 games and they enter this game on a low note after losing to Yale at home by 18 points. In that game, Columbia's defense was awful as it gave up 83 points while allowing the opposition to shoot 48.4% from the floor. To make matters worse, the Lions have lost each of their last nine games so they have been playing some terrible hockey lately. Now, Columbia will be looking to snap this losing streak with a conference home game up next.

Leading the Lions offensively is senior guardMike Smith who has been great this season as he is averaging a team-high 22.2 points per game along with a team-high 4.5 assists. However, he is also averaging a team-high 3.1 turnovers per game so he will need to make less mistakes in the future.

Columbia's most underrated player is senior guard Jake Killingsworth who has been decent so far this season as he is averaging 7.7 points per game along with a team-high 5.4 rebounds. However, he is also shooting just 36.7% from the floor so he has been pretty inefficient up to this point.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though Columbia is at home for this game, it is in the midst of a massive losing streak so I cannot trust the Lions in this spot. Columbia has lost each of its last nine games while Harvard has won each of its last four games so I think that these two teams are headed in opposite directions. Plus, Columbia is allowing roughly five more points per game so it should struggle to get enough stops in order to cover this number. As a result, I think that there is a lot of value with the road team in this spot.

Prediction: Harvard -7.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both of these teams have been very underrated defensively so I think that this total is a bit too high. Harvard is allowing just 66.7 points per game while Columbia is allowing 71.6 points per game so I think that this game should be more low-scoring than what oddsmakers anticipate. Plus, Harvard played at a relatively slow pace as it ranks 162nd in the nation in adjusted offensive tempo according to Kenpom Rankings so I think that this game should be played primarily in the halfcourt which will result in less points. As a result, I think that there is some value with the under.

Prediction: Under 141

Half-Time Side Pick

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Harvard managed to win the first meeting between these two teams so I think that the Crimson should be able to get out to a fast start within the first 20 minutes of this game. Columbia has lost nine of its first ten conference games while Harvard has a winning record in conference play so I think that there is a serious talent disparity present in this matchup. Plus, Harvard is averaging roughly seven more points per game so it should be able to score enough points in order to cover this first half spread. As a result, I think that there is some value on the road team.

Prediction: Harvard 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.