Brown ATS is the NCAA Basketball Pick in Ivy League Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, February 13, 2015 3:25 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.

 



There looks to be good underdog value in the Ivy League Friday night when those Brown Bears (10-13, 2-8 away) pay a visit to the Princeton Tigers (10-11, 8-2 home) at Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, NJ at 8:00 ET in a game available on MASN.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Brown as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -110.


”Princeton Offense” is One Game Below .500
It is rare that an offense is so unique that it becomes an adjective for other teams that run deliberate, methodical styles like the “Princeton offense,” but the end result for the Tigers this season has been just a 10-11 overall mark. They are 3-2 in Ivy League play following a weekend split that began promisingly enough with a 74-62 upset win at Columbia last Friday, but then came a 68-60 loss at Cornell Saturday.

It took a while for Brown to notch it first Ivy League win as it was the losing NCAA Basketball pick in its first five conference games before finally breaking into the win column 67-64 back home in Providence vs. Dartmouth last Saturday. The Bears held the Big Green to 38.3 percent shooting in that initial Ivy victory and that defense should be a key factor in covering this rather big number tonight.


Weak Defense and No Second Chances
Princeton actually enters this night in third place in the Ivy League behind Harvard and Yale, who are tied for first at 5-1. The Pomeroy Ratings suggest that there is actually a big drop-off between those top two teams and the Tigers though as Harvard is ranked 66th overall on Pomeroy, Yale is ranked 88th and then it is a long way down to Princeton in 181st.

The issue for the Tigers has been the defense. Princeton is only 234th in the country in defensive efficiency, no thanks to ranking 230th in effective field goal percentage allowed at 50.2 percent while ranking 316th in three-point defense at an extremely generous 38.0 percent.

Now the offense has been much better as the Tigers are 40th in effective field goal percentage at 52.9 percent, thanks to making 38.1 percent of their three-point attempts and 49.2 percent of their two-pointers. The issue offensively however is that Princeton has to hit a high percentage because it hardly ever gets any second opportunities, in fact ranking 350th out of 351 Division I teams in offensive rebounding percentage at a mere 19.4 percent vs. a national average of 31.1!

Thus the Tigers would be in trouble if they do not hit their initial shots at their usual good rate.


Five-Game Losing Streak Snapped
Now while Brown is still 1-5 in conference, that last two games are certainly encouraging. That is because before getting that first win Saturday, the Bears took those conference kingpins form Harvard to overtime last Friday before succumbing by just a 76-74 score. Also the Dartmouth team that Brown beat on Saturday is ranked 169th on Pomeroy, and although that was at home, it was still over a team ranked 12 spots higher than Princeton.

And perhaps most importantly Brown appears to have the defense to at least contain the Princeton offense, which is critical given the Tigers expected lack of second chances. Brown is 120th in the country in effective field goal percentage allowed, but still safely above average at 47.8 percent against a national norm of 48.9 percent. The Bears allow just a 46.0 percent success rate on two-point attempts and 34.7 percent on three-pointers.

Brown stayed close enough in both meetings with Princeton last season to cover this number despite losing both times outright, falling just 69-64 here in New Jersey and 69-65 back home., and remember that Brown won outright 80-67 in the previous meeting two seasons ago.


Tigers Overvalued at Home?
Whether is it because of reputation of some other reason, Princeton has been consistently overvalued in New Jersey as of late as the Tigers are a dismal 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games.

And that appears to be the case again here, so take the points with the Brown Bears when they visit the Tigers on Friday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Brown +8 (-110)