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Author: [College Basketball] Topic: Ivy League Friday/Saturday, Week 2
Dmon826 send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
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#1
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:20:52 PM
Hi again, friends.  We had a great discussion last weekend about the weekend's Ivy League games, and it ended up being very profitable for most people.  So here's this week's thread, where I hope we can have another strong discussion and find those winners again.

I know it's not Friday, or even Thursday (yet).  But since I have no plays tomorrow, I figured I'd get this thread started early in case anyone wants to talk Ivy League ball during the day tomorrow.

Here is this weekend's slate:

Friday's Games:
Princeton @ Harvard
Penn @ Dartmouth
Yale @ Cornell
Brown @ Columbia

Saturday's Games:
Penn @ Harvard
Princeton @ Dartmouth
Brown @ Cornell
Yale @ Columbia

I'll post my thoughts on the weekend once I've had a chance to pull them together and find the time for some writeups.  Please feel free to chime in with any thoughts/questions of your own.  Let the fun begin.  GLTA.
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#2
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:34:15 PM
dartmouth anything less then 5 even though brown burned on sat penn is right there with marist as unbettable unless ur the other team

my guess for fridays sides would be
harvard -9
dartmouth -4
cornell -22
columbia -3

love this thread thanks for the info

princeton starting to play excellent bb have to look at them if there are dd dogs
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#3
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:39:50 PM
Will be looing forward to your reads and thoughts on these games. I made some good coin on your picks last weekend! I know very little on the Ivy league, but after reading your posts, it makes me think I have  a pretty good feel! 
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#4
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:41:10 PM
Looking forward to your write-ups DMon. Keep up the great work.
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#5
Posted: 2/3/2010 11:48:38 PM
Hmm interesting idea to play guess-the-lines.  If I had to project this weekend's lines, here's what I would predict:

Princeton @ Harvard -8
Penn @ Dartmouth -2.5
Yale @ Cornell -22
Brown @ Columbia -6.5

Penn @ Harvard -17.5
Princeton @ Dartmouth +8
Brown @ Cornell -23.5
Yale @ Columbia -3

Keep in mind that I'm not predicting what I think will happen.  I'm only trying to guess what the opening numbers will be.
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#6
Posted: 2/4/2010 12:09:32 AM
By the way, I believe the UNDER was 8-0 in the eight Ivy games last weekend, and most of them weren't even close.  I'm very curious to see what kind of adjustment Vegas makes this week, as those unders were more a byproduct of style of play and pace than simply just off shooting nights.  It'll be interesting to see.
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#7
Posted: 2/4/2010 12:47:13 AM
yeah i actually bet brown and princeton under my numbers had it about 6 points lower

lets face it there is one real team one pretty good team and the league is either below average or way below average
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#8
Posted: 2/4/2010 9:02:10 PM
Alright, just got in.  Time to get to work.
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#9
Posted: 2/4/2010 9:04:03 PM
Opening lines for tomorrow:

Princeton @ Harvard -9 (120)
Penn @ Dartmouth -2.5 (119.5)
Yale @ Cornell -21.5 (137.5)
Brown @ Columbia -4 (128.5)
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#10
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:09:59 PM
Alright, let's take this one game at a time, starting with Princeton-Harvard:

This is obviously the best game of the night, pitting the second and third best teams in the league against each other.  Princeton is coming off of a really nice weekend, sweeping the Brown/Yale trip in convincing fashion.  They're playing their best ball of the season.  On offense, their shooting is as hot as it's been all year, which is key considering how often they shoot the three-ball.  And defensively, they've been remarkably consistent in their ability to force turnovers and force teams into tough shots.  They're really coming on, but this game is a big test for this young team.

Harvard, meanwhile, is coming off of an absolutely spanking at the hands of Cornell in a real statement game by Cornell.  They came into that Cornell game on quite a roll and really confident, and they really thought that they could challenge Cornell for the league title.  While they still control their own destiny technically, that game was a major major disappointment for them.The #1 question in this game is how they respond to that.

Matchup-wise, lots of things seem to favor Princeton.  Princeton forces a lot of turnovers, and turning the ball over is one of Harvard's two major weaknesses on offense (three point shooting being the other).  Harvard does most of its damage from inside the arc and from the line, but Princeton does a really good job of defending two-point field goals (although they tend to foul at an average rate, which Harvard might take advantage of).  On the other end, Harvard has done a great job defending the perimeter, but I'm not so sure how much those numbers mean against the unconventional Princeton offense, as this young Harvard team will be so preoccupied with making sure they don't get beat backdoor that Princeton will still get its usual dose of decent looks at the bucket from the perimeter.

But like I said earlier, this game more than likely comes down to who how Harvard responds to its beatdown last weekend in the game of their season to that point.  Do they come out looking to avenge that loss with an inspired effort and try to rip through the rest of the league until Cornell comes to their house in two weeks?  Or does a little bit of doubt start to creep in regarding their presumed contender status in the Ivy League this year?

To beat this Princeton team that's playing so well right now by double digits will require an absolutely fantastic game by Harvard, and while they have it in them, they'd really need to be on their game tomorrow.  Frankly, given the lack of certainly about Harvard's emotional status coming into this game, I lean towards taking the points.

The lean:  PRINCETON +9
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#11
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:23:13 PM

Dmon bro i just signed on intentionally looking for your ivy league plays. Princeton opened up at plus 9.5 at my place that i go to in Vegas. I was digging that one.

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#12
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:25:18 PM
I haven't locked it in myself.  Not gonna make any plays official until tomorrow.  But I will go through each game and give a lean (or a no-play lean) over the course of the next hour or so.
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#13
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:39:52 PM
Penn @ Dartmouth

I'm not going to touch this game.  We know it'll be ugly, as it features the two worst teams in the league (and two of the worst teams in the country).  I correctly guessed this line would open at -2.5, since both teams are terrible and this one is totally up for grabs (but Dartmouth's home, giving them the slight edge).  Both teams know that playing each other gives them their best chance at a win, so there's that.  Also, both teams fired their coach midway through this season, so that's another fun stat.  Really, this one's impossible to pick.

If you want information on Penn just for fun, here goes:  They've definitely changed their style quite a bit under Coach Allen.  With fewer players and less talent at his disposal, Allen has turned this team into a slow-paced bunch that tries to grind out wins.  The improvement on defense has been really nice to see, but the offense really is struggling to find points.  Guards Darren Smith and Rob Belcore just haven't been able to find their touch offensively this season, and all indications point to Danny Monckton seems poised to take taking over many of their minutes this weekend.  As for the injuries, the only potential return to action is from Mike Howlett, who is coming back from some kind of foot injury.  Last I heard (two or three weeks ago) was that he was improving and hoping to return to action as soon as this weekend, but I haven't heard anything more recent than that so I wouldn't count on it.  I'll be sure to let you know once I hear a more definitive answer tomorrow.

Anyway, like I said, this game's a total stay-away for me.
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#14
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:40:20 PM
Thanks D  
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#15
Posted: 2/4/2010 11:49:22 PM

 

good luck this weekend D

 

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#16
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:19:19 AM
Brown @ Columbia -4

Interesting matchup.  And this line opens suspiciously low, as I had this one predicted to open at -6.5.

Brown started off the Ivy season strong by beating Yale in Yale, but has since lost its last three (Yale, Princeton, and Penn- all at home).  Last weekend, they were particularly terrible, getting obliterated by P'ton and losing to a horrible Penn team.  The injuries to Mullery and Sullivan, their two best players, are definitely a concern, as Mullery was still noticeably hobbled last weekend and Sullivan's shooting motion just didn't look right.  But they definitely come into this weekend off of a disastrous one.

Columbia, on the other hand, is harder to evaluate.  They lost their first three Ivy games of the year, but all three were against the two best teams in the league (Cornell twice and Harvard).  Then last Saturday, they woke up in the second half (after a really sluggish first half) and played really well to put Dartmouth away.  Can they carry over what they did in the second half of that game into this one?

I'm kind of suspicious of the -4 line.  Won't people hammer Columbia at this line given how terrible Brown looked last week?  Vegas has to know this and set the line here anyway, so that set off some serious red flags for me.  Something's not adding up.  I may need to think about this one some more.

In the meantime, I do have a slight lean on this total.  While I can't totally justify this (but I'll try anyway in a moment), my gut is telling me to take OVER 128.5.  When Brown is on offense, there is one major plus for them in this matchup:  Columbia does not do a good job at all of defending the perimeter, allowing teams to take a ton of them and hit at a high percentage.  While Brown doesn't do much well on offense, they do spread the floor with some shooters.  Their best chance to win this one might be to open things up a bit.  Columbia gets the benefit of playing against a really bad defense for the first time in a while, and hopefully they will benefit from the open space that they haven't had in a while.  Columbia loves to work it inside and play inside-out, and Brown is very susceptible to the inside game and could have problems with Columbia's bigs.

If the number of possessions gets into the mid-sixties or higher, this one has a pretty decent chance of going over.

The (slight) lean:  OVER 128.5
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#17
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:30:55 AM
Last game for Friday night:  Yale @ Cornell

There's not exactly a ton to analyze here.  This is Cornell's league and the other seven teams are just living in it.  At this point, I feel like Cornell can pretty much name the score in any of its home games.  The two important questions here are whether they come out as motivated/focused as they have so far and whether they keep their foot on the gas long enough to cover this number.

Looking at the first question first, there's some room for debate.  On one hand, they are coming off of their biggest game of the season, an absolute thrashing of then-contender Harvard and a true statement game.  So you can see the potential for a letdown.  On the other hand, in the Ivy league where there's no conference tournament and the League's automatic bid goes to the best regular season conference record, every game matters and this senior-led bunch really seems to get it.  They've come out in every single game completely and totally focused, and have just decimated people.  It really seems like they're on a mission for 14-0 in the league, and I wouldn't bet against that happening.  So while there's some potential for something of a letdown here, I wouldn't expect it from Cornell.  They'll come to play.

The answer to the second question is probably "no."  All year Cornell has gone to the bench early in the second half if it's established a big lead (think 20 points).  And given that this is a Friday night game with another one looming 24 hours later, we know for sure that Coach Donahue will rest his big guns if the game's in the bag.  So the cover / noncover will most likely come down to Cornell's bench.  Will they carry over the momentum the starters give them and continue to play great (like they did in the Dartmouth home game) or will they let the opponent get a backdoor cover (like they did in the Columbia home game)?

Frankly, I have no idea, so I'm not gonna play this game.  If I had a gun to my head and had to choose a side here, I'd probably go with Yale, but don't hold me to that and I'm definitely not playing that.
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#18
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:36:25 AM

great stuff.  i'll definately be checking back to see what you end up going with. 

good luck 

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#19
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:41:38 AM
Now, I'm going to look ahead very briefly to Saturday, with a more thorough analysis coming either tomorrow night or Saturday afternoon.  For now, some rambling thoughts:

-My first thought for Saturday concerns the weather.  A major snowstorm is brewing in the northeast, and is set to start dumping inches/feet of snow all over the region starting late Friday afternoon.  While this shouldn't be an issue for the Friday night games (the traveling teams leave Friday morning and will have arrived before the snow becomes an issue), I imagine that traveling between the Friday and Saturday opponent could be a major issue for the traveling teams.  This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

-If Princeton happens to pull off the upset tomorrow night and beats Harvard, I will be all over Dartmouth on Saturday night.  If it sets up that way, Dartmouth will be my biggest play of the weekend.  I've seen this situation so many times, where goofy things happen up at Dartmouth on Saturday nights.  Dartmouth plays much better at home than it does on the road, Princeton would (in this scenario) be coming off of a huge win, traveling through a major snowstorm to get to Dartmouth, and (like I said) goofy things always tend to happen in Dartmouth on Saturday nights.  I'm not saying that Dartmouth would win neccessarily, but I'd feel very very confident that it would be an ugly, really close game that comes down to the final minutes.  And given that we'd most likely get a very strong number to play (Dartmouth +9 maybe?), I would be all over that.

-I think I like Harvard on Saturday night vs. Penn.  This depends a lot on how both of their games go on Friday night, but there's definitely a scenario in which I could see myself making Harvard a play on Saturday night.  We'll see on this one.

That's it for my early Saturday rumblings.  To be continued after tomorrow night's games...
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#20
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:50:29 AM
Dmon nice writeups, looking forward to your picks tomorrow....
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#21
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:53:37 AM
So to summarize:

Friday leans include Princeton and Col/Brown OVER.  Nothing is finalized yet, as I want to go over a few more things tomorrow.  I'll post my finalized plays when I lock them in.

My strongest leans for the weekend appear to be in the Saturday games.  Depending on how things go on Friday, I may have a big Saturday play on Dartmouth and maybe one on Harvard.  I'll make these determinations after I see how tomorrow night's games play out.
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#22
Posted: 2/5/2010 12:56:38 AM
they play back to back?  Dang.
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#23
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:08:57 AM
Good stuff as usual Dmon. I kind of like Princeton myself. They are playing well right now and I agree Harvard may not be all in after the hammering Cornell gave them. Good luck.
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#24
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:33:48 AM

Thank you Dmon. Your write-ups are greatly appreciated.

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#25
Posted: 2/5/2010 1:43:17 AM
Great effort! Like your style and knowledge. I know nothing of the Ivy League other than Cornell is the BEAST. Thanks for the info! Looking forward to your plays. GL!
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