Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Yale Bulldogs vs. Princeton Tigers
Where and when: Jadwin Gym, Princeton, New Jersey, Friday, 7 pm EST
The Yale Bulldogs take on the Princeton Tigers at Jadwin Gym in Princeton, New Jersey, in Ivy League basketball action on Friday night at 7 pm EST. These two squads are each 5-1 in the Ivy League and represent the cream of the conference with the Bulldogs currently residing in the top spot with the Tigers a close second. Each of these teams are also coming off a win while atoning for a prior loss as the Bulldogs were able to take out the Big Green of Dartmouth at home by 18 points after falling to the Crimson of Harvard by a single point at home in their prior outing. Princeton, on the other hand, took care of the Lions of Columbia by 7-points on the road after falling to the Big Red of Cornell in their prior matchup.
Yale has won 4-straight versus the Tigers, including picking up a huge, blowout victory in their most recent outing at Jadwin Gym in March of last year as 3.5-point favorites, thus halting a 4-game home win streak for the Tigers against Yale. And while the Tigers have covered the number in 3 of their last 5 home matchups versus the Bulldogs, Yale has covered in their last 2 meetings in Princeton, New Jersey.
Yale has been the dominant team versus Tigers in recent outingsYale has posted 80+ points versus the Tigers in their last 2 matchups while winning by 22-points in March of last year at Jadwin Gym. They enter this contest ranked in the top 50 in points scored per game (77 ppg), field goal percentage (47%), along with 3-point field goal % (38%) as they continue to rely on a scoring attack led by junior forward Paul Atkinson (18 ppg, 8 rebs) along with junior guard Azar Swain (16 ppg). Swain has posted 20 or more points in each of his last 3 starts and despite shooting under 40% from the floor on the season, continues to be a decent shooter from long-range in connecting on 38% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Atkinson is just as dangerous from long-range as he is currently at 44% in addition to shooting a whopping 64% from the floor. Together, the seek to lead the Bulldogs to their 5th-straight win over a Princeton team that has shown that it can indeed rebound on the defensive end (ranked 21st in opponents rebounds per game at 28 per), but is allowing the competition to shoot 47% from the field in 2019-20.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are just as aggressive as their unit ranks within the top 40 teams in the country in allowing just 64 points per game on 38% shooting (30% 3FG). Yale, in fact, atoned for a lackluster defensive performance versus the Crimson to hold the Big Green to just 57 points on 43% shooting (5-20 3FG) in addition to forcing 14 turnovers in their 18-point home victory in their last time out. Important to note that Yale has allowed an average of just 64 points in their last 3 meetings versus the Tigers, including surrendering just 38% shooting to the Tigers in their last road meeting (5-23 from long-range).
Tigers need a near perfect performance to obtain a victory versus a strong Bulldogs squadPrinceton has been an accurate team statistically as they are shooting 47% from the floor on the season; However, in order to crack a solid defensive unit for the Bulldogs, they will certainly need to shoot much better than in their last outing at home versus their conference foe. In this contest, leading scorer Jaelin Llewellyn (14 ppg, 4 rebs) shot just 2-7 (0-3 from long-range) for 4 points as the sophomore guard has had to deal with consistency issues in posting single digits in 3 of his last 5 starts, overall, while shooting just 37% from the floor, including a mere 27% from 3-point range.
Then junior center Richmond Aririguzoh (13 ppg, 8 rebs), however, led the team with 15 points, 5 rebounds, along with 6 assists in the contest as the center has since increased his scoring average by 3 points in his senior campaign while shooting just under 64%. Important to note that the Tigers will also have the services of junior guard Ryan Schwieger (13 ppg) as he happens to be a dangerous shooter in converting over 50% of his shots from the field while connecting on over 40% of his 3-point attempts on the year.
Defensively, the Tigers have allowed 65 points or less in 6 of their last 8 games, overall, as they will really need to shore up vulnerabilities in this area versus Yale. The team is coming off a win over the Lions where they allowed just 1-9 shooting from long-range, yet Columbia shot over 50% from the floor, a key stat that kept the 6-16 (1-5 Ivy) visitors in the contest throughout.
Consistency on both ends of the court can certainly keep the Tigers in this contest in front of their home faithful; However, Princeton happens to be only a game above .500 at home on the season (5-4), yet have won 5-straight after beginning their conference slate at an 0-4 start.
- Tigers are 7-2 ATS in last 9 games
- Tigers are 3-1 ATS in last 4 meetings at home versus Bulldogs
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will side with the Tigers in this instance, particularly with so much on the line. Yes, Yale may have a great one-two punch in Atkinson along with Swain, however, the Tigers are no slouch either and have been dominant at home as of late in winning 5-straight. Also, aside from covering as 5-point favorites in their last meeting with Princeton at Jadwin Gym, Yale has failed to cover in 3 of their last 4 games on the road versus their conference foe. Expect a very competitive matchup in this contest on Friday as the Tigers will indeed find ways to keep this game tight throughout.
Prediction: Princeton Tigers +4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Tigers have been able to trend towards the under as of late due to their ability to hunker down on the defensive end of the floor. Yale, as pointed out, has also thrived due to their ability to remain solid on this end of the floor as well as I see this game as being one that is low-scoring, as has been the case in 2 of the last 3 meetings amongst these 2 teams. Also, the under has been the play in 4 of the last 5 home games for Princeton as opponents have only averaged just 62 points.
Prediction: Under 137