NCAA Basketball Picks: Columbia To Take Yale Down To The Wire

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, February 5, 2016 5:28 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 5:28 PM GMT

Ivi League NCAA basketball action presents us with the battle between Columbia and Yale. Don't miss this betting preview and get the edge with our NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Columbia +320
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Columbia vs. Yale (-7) 5:00 ET FS1
With a 3-0 SU ATS night on your Thursday night NCAA Basketball videos (all games covered by at least 9 points), our SBR video record is now 27-9 ATS on the trot! Last Friday night, yours truly, the Prince of the Ivies, confidently gave you Columbia in their wire-to-wire romp over Dartmouth by a score of (77-60). Tonight, we are right back on the Lions, as they travel to New Haven for a 1st place showdown with the Eli of Yale. Both teams are 4-0 SU in Brain Chain play. Last year, these teams split a pair of meetings with the Lions winning outright on this court (56-50). The matchup has caught the attention of Fox Sports, who is televising the contest at 5:00 ET. In short, this is a BIG DEAL in early season Ivy action!

 

Game Overview
Under 17th year HC James Jones, the Eli were expected to contend for Ivy Honors with a veteran Princeton team and recent perennial champion, Harvard. It was no surprise when they romped over traveling partner Brown (twice) and defeated rebuilding Penn by 23 last Friday night. Yale staked their claim to the top of the league with a (79-75) victory over Princeton last Saturday night on this very court, the John J. Lee Amphitheatre. Now, they look to take a step further in defeating underrated Columbia. Yale is led by Justin Sears, who many believe to be a “player of the year” candidate in the Brain Chain. Sears averages 15/7. He is ably supported by Makai Mason, averaging 16 PPG and a trio of scorers in Montague, Victor and Downing, all averaging between 6 and 9 PPG. The Eli are among the highest scoring teams in the league, averaging 75 PPG on 47% shooting. This year, their improvement has come with a +11.2 rebound margin, courtesy of the interior dominance on the boards of Sears, Sherrod and Victor. 

 

Betting Analysis
As I wrote last week, this is a Columbia team, who I believe is not going to go away this Ivy season. If they are to ascend to the top of the loop, they will need to do so in games like today, on the road against respected big-name programs like Harvard, Princeton and this Yale team. But, the Lions at 15-6 SU with a 6-game winning streak already have more victories than their 13-win season of last. A huge come from behind win last Saturday night at Harvard means they are already 3-0 SU ATS on the Ivy road. In preseason road play, there was a win at Manhattan, Bucknell and a narrow 3 point loss at Northwestern. You win in the Ivy League with seniors and great guard play. For the Lions, they have as many as 6 returning starters, as a pair of injured players from last year, join 4 other returning starters in the lineup. The team leader is German import, Maodo Lo, a 16 PPG. He is joined in the backcourt by fellow senior, Grant Mullins (injured much of last year) and emerging soft guard, Kyle Castlin. The offense is balanced with the return of senior, Rosenberg, who missed last season with a broken foot, while Petrasek, who had mono much of last year, has made a great impact with 12/6. Coached by 6th year mentor, Kyle Smith (former St. Mary’s Asst.), these Lions are among the top 3 point shooters in the league, knocking down 10 triples per game at 38%. With a positive net rebound margin, assist/TO ratio and net TO margin, I believe they are the most complete team in the league. They will prove so tonight by doing no worse than taking this game to the final gun.

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on Columbia tonight.

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