Columbia the NCAA Basketball Pick in Friday Ivy Action

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, February 20, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 3:12 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.

 

The small road favorite could have a bigger edge than the tiny line would indicate in Friday night Ivy League action when those Columbia Lions (11-11, 2-5 away) pay a visit to the Brown Bears (11-14, 7-4 home) at the Pizzitola Sports Center in Providence, RI at 8:00 ET in a game available on MASN.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Columbia as a small favorite for this contest with the current line at -1 with odds of -118.


Columbia Looks to Bounce Back for Lost Weekend
Columbia is playing .500 basketball this season at 11-11 and is now a disappointing 3-5 in Ivy League play after losing both conference games last weekend. However, the Lions actually played very well in a 72-68 road loss to the best team in the Ivy in Harvard last Friday, and that loss could have had a lingering effect in their loss at Dartmouth the next night on Saturday. Now with a week off, look for the Lions to once again be fully focused for this game.

And if that is the case, it is hard to argue that Columbia is not the superior team in this contest when both teams play at their best. Brown is 11-14 overall and just 2-6 in the conference although it was the winning NCAA Basketball pick in its last game at Penn for that second Ivy win on Saturday. That was vs. a Penn team ranked 299th on the Pomeroy Ratings though while the Bears are now facing a Columbia team ranked 170th, well ahead of Brown at number 235.


Better on Both Ends of the Court?
Columbia is quite solid offensively, ranking what is a commendable 126th for an Ivy League team in the country in offensive efficiency and a very good 54th in effective field goal percentage at 52.3 percent. Moreover the Lions can shoot from all points on the floor, ranking 72nd in three-point shooting at 36.7 percent, a rate that climbs all the way to a blazing 42.2 percent vs. Ivy League opponents, as well as ranking 87th in two-point shooting at 49.9 percent.

The Lions may not grade out as well on a national scale defensively, but they are still allowing only 60.2 points per game overall and they are second inside the Ivy in two-point defense at 42.6 percent vs. the conference. The weakness for Columbia has been three-point defense, but Brown does not shoot three-pointers well so the Lions seem well-quipped to defend an Ivy team that does most of its scoring from inside the arc.


Yet to Beat a Team Ranked as High as Columbia on Pomeroy
The Bears are ranked 265th in offensive efficiency and 280th in effective filed goal percentage at just 46.3 percent, a figure that plummets further to 43.7 percent during Ivy play. And to compound matters, they have also been turnover machines losing the ball on 22.0 percent of their possessions to rank 324th in the country. Comparatively the national average in offensive turnover percentage is 19.4 percent.

Also note that Brown is 311th nationally in three-point shooting at 30.3 percent and dead last inside the Ivy at a pathetic 27.7 percent, so the Bears seem incapable of taking advantage of Columbia’s defensive weakness. And Brown has not exactly been stout defensively this season either while surrendering 68.6 points per game and applying no pressure, ranking 303rd in defensive turnover percentage at a mere 16.9 percent.

It is also worth pointing out that Brown has continuously fallen short vs. the better opponents its has faced and that it has yet to beat a team this season ranked as high as the 170th that Columbia ranks on Pomeroy coming into this game.


First Meeting was a Blowout
Finally, Columbia won in a rout the first time these teams met this year 86-65 back in New York as the Lions shot 50.9 percent overall and 45.2 percent (14-for-31) from three-point land while the Bears shot just 40.8 percent, and Columbia also won the turnover battle committing only seven of them vs. 12 for Brown.

Although Brown is now home for this contest, Columbia still figures to have those same edges again in this game based on the year-to-date performances of these teams, so look for the Lions to complete a season sweep in Providence on Friday.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Columbia -1 (-118)

comment here