NCAA Basketball Picks: Harvard Crimson -7½ over Fordham Rams

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, December 28, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

The Harvard Crimson out of the Ivy League are amazingly ranked 30th in the country on the Pomeroy Ratings and they should have little trouble with Fordham Saturday.

This could actually be a nice season for the brainy Ivy League and its best representative can have an easy time on the road Saturday when those Harvard Crimson (10-1, 2-1 away) pay a visit to the Fordham Rams (7-4, 5-1 home) at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx, NY at 4:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Harvard as a road favorite for this contest with the current line at -7½ with odds of -106.

It may seem strange to see an Ivy League team favored by this much on the road, but the Crimson entered this season with high expectations after beating the New Mexico Lobos in the NCAA Tournament in March before running into Arizona, and those expectations have come to fruition for the most part as Harvard is 10-1 with the only loss coming by eight point on the road in the elevation at Colorado.

Fordham may be surpassing expectations with its 7-4 start, with those wins matching the total for the Rams for all of last season when they finished 7-24, but they have not beaten much while with an SOS ranked only 298th according to the Pomeroy Ratings.

Speaking of Pomeroy, Harvard is in some rarified air for an Ivy school right now at an amazing 30th overall, and this is a team that has done basically everything well while outscoring the opposition by an average of +14.5 points. The Crimson are well balanced ranking 46th in the country in offensive efficiency and an even better 31st in defensive efficiency.

You also do not usually associate the Ivy League with toughness, but Harvard is 48th in the land in offensive rebounding percentage despite not having a regular starter taller than 6-foot-7, so they have made up for their lack of height with aggressiveness. The Crimson have also shut teams down defensively, allowing an effective field goal percentage of 44.9 percent.

And believe it or not, Harvard is not the only Ivy League team ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100, with the Princeton Tigers all the way up to 66th, so it is conceivable that the Ivy may get two teams into the Big Dance this season, especially if Harvard does not win the conference title.

Fordham meanwhile is the weakest link of an otherwise good Atlantic 10, so the Rams could have already sued up a large portion of their win quota this year during their soft non-conference schedule. Despite the seven wins, the Rams are ranked just 184th overall on Pomeroy, easily the lowest of any A-10 team, and they do not grade out well on either side of the ball.

That is because Fordham is 137th in offensive efficiency and a 245th in defensive efficiency, and we just do not see how the Rams can generate much offense vs. the stiff Harvard defense considering that the Rams are 252nd in effective field goal percentage at 47.2 percent. As if that were not bad enough, Fordham should have a difficult time keeping the aforementioned good Harvard offensive rebounders off the glass considering it is ranks 326th in defensive rebounding.

Harvard just looks too strong for Fordham in all the key areas here, so even with this game in the Bronx, look for Harvard to come away with the double-digit win on Saturday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Harvard -7½ (-106)

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