Harvard vs Indiana Basketball: Predictions and Odds

Harvard vs Indiana Odds

Sunday, Nov. 26

4:30 p.m. ET

Big Ten Network

Harvard Odds Spread Total Moneyline

+6-110138.5-110o / -110uN/A

Indiana Odds Spread Total Moneyline

-6-110138.5-110o / -110uN/A

Harvard vs. Indiana is set to take place in Indianapolis and will have a distinctly Hoosier feel to it, although this is no “gimme” game for Indiana.

Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers are 0-5 against the closing number, failing to cover by an average of 8.2 points per contest. Consequently, they have dropped 30 spots in KenPom, from 49th to 79th.

On the other hand, Harvard has made an impressive start to the year. The Crimson have gone 4-1 ATS, resulting in a significant 96-spot jump in KenPom’s rankings. Could this give Harvard the edge in the game?

The rise of the Crimson has been fueled by freshman point guard Malik Mack, an electrifying player who can both score and distribute. Through six games, he is averaging 20.2 points per game and has a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Mack has also helped sophomore forward Chisom Okpara to emerge. Okpara uses his physical 6-foot-8 frame to create room near the basket, but he can also knock down an occasional 3-pointer when the defense plays him to drive.

Most of Tommy Amaker’s supporting cast — Chandler Pigge, Justice Ajogbor, Louis Lesmond, Thomas Batties — was highly recruited. The Crimson’s talent level is as high as any in the Ivy League.

Harvard’s shooting numbers show some red flags. According to Shot Quality, Harvard’s 3-point and midrange shooting percentages are expected to regress by 7.1% and 12.3% respectively. Defensively, the Crimson’s opponents should be expected to improve.

An interesting detail for this matchup: Amaker’s Harvard teams have been exceptional as underdogs. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Crimson are 38-16 against the spread when getting points, covering by an average of 3.9 points per game.

Indiana, on the other hand, has been struggling. The team ranks 350th nationally in 3-point attempt rate and 3-point percentage. The Hoosiers get just 12.5% of their points via the long ball, placing them at 361st in the country (KenPom).

This inability to shoot has allowed opposing defenses to camp out in the paint and take away driving lanes. However, the strength of the team lies in the paint, particularly with players like Malik Reneau and Kel’el Ware.

Additionally, Indiana’s size has not translated into dominance on the boards. This could be a factor when facing Harvard, who have legitimate size and physicality.

When it comes to betting, Harvard appears to be the more impressive team this year according to BartTorvik.com, without factoring in preseason ratings. This, combined with Harvard’s strong track record as an underdog during Amaker’s tenure, makes them a worthy wager.

Pick: Harvard +6 (Play to +5)

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