Ivy League Monday! However, Bet Against Yale & Cornell

Jay Pryce

Monday, November 27, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 2:20 PM UTC

Betting against a pair of Ivy League programs present the best value in our top college basketball picks Monday. Check out our predictions for Cornell at Duquesne and Yale at Delaware here.

Cornell at Duquesne (-5)

Cornell has not put together a winning season since 2009, stooping to a program-low 8 victories last season. In this span, it is just 14-48 SU and 16-21-1 ATS on the road against non-conference opponents. Expect more away troubles against a rebuilt Duquesne squad.

Big Red is dependent on one player: Matt Morgan. The junior guard is a first-team Ivy League candidate, leading the conference in scoring the last two seasons. Morgan is posting a team high 22.4 points in 33.6 minutes per game to begin the year. Slowing down Morgan almost guarantees victory for Duquesne and its backers on the point spread. When Morgan is held to 20 points or less in a game, Cornell is 10-25 SU and 7-19-1 ATS.

Look for Duquesne to improve on its 10-win season from last year. The school brought in Keith Dambrot from Akron to lead the program. Dambrot, three-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, averaged 23.5 wins per season in 13 years with the Zips.

The Dukes' personnel is wildly different from last season. They see just two starters return, both guards: sophomore Mike Lewis II and junior Tarin Smith. Dambrot added five newcomers to the squad, all 6-foot-8 or taller. Five other incoming transfers have to sit out a year. Here's coach discussing his turnover of the team:

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Thank you for spending the past hour with us as we unveiled our signees. Hear from @CoachDambrot on how he built this class #BuildBig #GoDukes pic.twitter.com/h8ZohakE8p

— Duquesne Basketball (@DuqMBB) November 13, 2017

Production in the backcourt is booming for Dambrot. Duquesne has had three different 20-point scorers in its first trio of games, including Lewis, Smith and Rene Castro-Caneddy. Castro-Cannedy, a Butler transfer and fellow guard, leads the team with 18.0 points per game.

Cornell was one of 17 teams last season with more road than home wins. One (Lafayette) was off the board, while the others came against the Ivy’s bottom feeders. In the last two seasons, it is 1-11 SU and 3-8-1 ATS on the road in non-conference games, losing all but one by double digits. Expect similar results tonight against a superior team from a superior conference. Lay the 5 points with Duquesne.

Free NCAAB Pick: Duquesne -5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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Yale (-3) at Delaware

Yale has taken the last three against Delaware, including an 81-63 romp at John J. Amphitheater as a 10-point favorite in 2016. The series shifts to Bob Carpenter Center, the Blue Hens catching just 2.5 and looking much improved over their 13-win season last year -- one in which they fielded just nine scholarship players. They haven’t finished with a .500 record or better since 2013. CAA poll members voted Delaware to finish seventh in the conference, two places better than last season.

Scoring proved the toughest assignment for the Blue Hens in their last campaign, averaging 64.8 points per game. The figure ranked last in the CAA. Their scoring 73.5 per tilt thus far, led by Preseason All-Conference Second-Team guard Ryan Daly (15.8 ppg). The sophomore is one of four backcourt members (Kevin Anderson, Anthony Mosley, and Darian Bryant) comprising second-year head coach Martin Ingelsby’s starting five. The former Notre Dame assistant and Mike Brey protégé is offense-first, emphasizing efficiency, ball spacing, and passing with the unit, and at controlled pacing.

Yale is one of the three favorites (Harvard, Princeton) vying for the Ivy League crown, but that was with Makai Mason expected to be leading the team. The 6-foot-1 guard, who helped the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 54 years two seasons ago, missed all of last year with a left foot injury. Two days before this year’s season opener at Creighton, Mason, voted Preseason Player of the Year, hurt it again, this time diagnosed with a stress fracture.

Long-time head coach James Jones still has Miye Oni at his disposal. The 6-foot-7 guard, who leads the team with 15.8 points per game, is attracting NBA interest due to his size, length, and shooting abilities.

The Blue Hens are leading the CAA with a 49.5 field-goal percentage, but last in all of college basketball from the behind the arc (28.0). Expect the latter rate to turn around sooner rather than later.

Delaware is 16-32 SU all-time vs the Ivy League, but 3-1 at home in the last 10 years. Expect another strong defense of its hardwood in this one. Yale is just 8-10 SU on the road since the start of last season, winless versus teams with a 2.5-point differential or greater. The Blue Hens cut the Bulldogs lead to within 6 points midway through the second half last year with a more inexperienced and weaker team. Free throw shooting crushed Delaware late, sinking just 4 of 12 from the charity stripe.

Look for the Blue Hens to have the little things go their way at home, and push for an upset win. Take the points with the improving CAA program. Shop around. Some top-rated online sportsbooks are dangling +3.5 points on the college basketball oddsboard as of Monday morning and the line will likely continue to adjust in Yale’s favor.

Free NCAAB Pick: Delaware +3.5Best Line Offered: BetDSI

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