Yale Bulldogs vs. Cornell Big Red College Basketball Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Yale Bulldogs (8-13 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Cornell Big Red (18-3 SU, 13-3 ATS), 7:00 p.m. EST, Friday, February 5, 2010, Newman Arena at The Fieldhouse, Ithaca, N.Y.
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Yale +21/Cornell -21
Over/Under: 137.5

Cornell is nationally ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in 59 years. The Big Red are undefeated in Ivy League play and are eying a spot in the NCAA tournament. Their only losses this season have come to two top five teams – Kansas and Syracuse – and Seton Hall. And they nearly pulled off the upset on the road at Kansas. The one team in the Ivy League that really has a legitimate chance to contend with Cornell is Harvard, and the Big Red took care of Harvard in dominant fashion at home last Saturday, 86-50. Their next potential victim is Yale, and the two teams will face off at Newman Arena on Friday night.

Cornell has one all four of its Ivy games thus far by at least 21 points. At 13-3 ATS, the Big Red are one of the best ATS teams in college basketball this season. Yale has split with Brown, defeated Penn and lost to Princeton for a 2-2 conference record.

Yale is coming off a 58-45 home loss to Princeton, another team that has a chance to contend with Cornell for the conference title. The Bulldogs shot 35 percent from the field, while Princeton shot 51 percent from the field. Michael Sands led Yale with 14 points to go along with six rebounds, and Alex Zampier had 13 points, but was 4-for-11 from the field and had six turnovers.

In Cornell’s blowout win over Harvard, all five starters scored in double figures for the Big Red. Jeff Foote, a 7-foot center, led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds. Louis Dale had 13 points, five assists and no turnovers. Jon Jaques had 14 points, Chris Wroblewski had 13 points, and Ryan Wittman, who averages 17.5 points per game for the season, had 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting. The Big Red committed only eight turnovers and forced 25 turnovers. It’s tough to lose games with that much of a turnover differential. They shot 46 percent from the field and 12-for-27 on 3-pointers, while holding Harvard to 36 percent shooting from the field.

Cornell’s statistics in Ivy League play are absolutely outstanding. The Big Red are shooting 47 percent from the field and 42 percent on 3-pointers, while holding opponents to 30 percent shooting from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range. They are out-rebounding opponents by more than 10 boards per game and forcing almost 19 turnovers per game. Yale is getting out-rebounded in Ivy League play and has a negative turnover margin. The Bulldogs are holding opponents to only 27 percent on 3-pointers but they are only hitting 28 percent from beyond the arc themselves. They are shooting 43 percent from the field and their opponents are shooting 42 percent.

Yale is 5-0 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss and 7-1 ATS in its last eight Friday games. Cornell is 4-0 ATS in its last four games as a favorite, 4-0 ATS in its last four games following an ATS win, 4-0 ATS in its Ivy League games, and 6-0 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite. Yale is 0-5 ATS in its last five games at Cornell and 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall against Cornell. The home team is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these teams and the favorite is 11-4 ATS in the last 15. The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these teams.

Ryno’s Pick: Cornell is playing absolutely ridiculous basketball right now. Yale is not a bad team, but the Bulldogs would have to play out of their minds to even keep this game relatively close. Cornell is on a mission right now and it’s unlikely that the Bulldogs are going to get in its way. The only wall Yale can stay in this game is by not turning the ball over. The Bulldogs are only committing 12.5 turnovers per game in Ivy League play, but they really haven’t faced any teams in conference play with the same pressure defense that Cornell has. It’s tough to bet against Cornell right now, so don’t. If the Big Red can beat Harvard by 36, they can beat Yale by a similar amount. Take Cornell -21.