Princeton vs. Notre Dame -6.5 O/U 135
Recommendation: Notre Dame
Pointspreads tend to be very accurate by this time of the year. Both the oddsmakers and the broader betting markets have a full seasons worth of data to punch into their computers. The end result is that the numbers -- both sides and total -- are consistently right where they are supposed to be.
So when bettors are looking for an edge at this time of the year, they’re going to have to dig for information that is not factored into the numbers. Given the full season results and stats for Princeton and Notre Dame, this pointspread is as accurate as it gets. But when it comes to key tidbits of info? Well, that’s where we can find an edge.
Princeton was forced to leave New Jersey on Monday due to the East Coast blizzard; more than 24 hours ahead of schedule. That wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal, except for the fact that the Tigers played in the first ever Ivy League Championship Game on Sunday, creating a mad scramble for a team from a conference that has never had a conference tourney before.
Here are the pertinent quotes from Tigers Director of Basketball Operations Chris Mongilia, in his first year on the job at Princeton: “We've been booking buses and hotels. It's been putting a lot of pressure on us to get everything done and organized. But yeah, it's been crazy."
More from Mongilia, talking about how his players have to deal with midterm exams this week: “A lot of our guys are going to have to take exams proctored by a professor who is going to have to travel with us. They are going to have to take them in a conference room up at the hotel in Buffalo. The storm has definitely put a few bumps in our travel plans."
Princeton is an Ivy League school, and midterm exams are no joke. There’s a huge difference mentally between cramming and taking the tests before leaving town for the tourney versus bringing all their study materials with them and dealing with intense, high pressure exams in a hotel conference room in between practice time in the 48 hours leading up to tip-off. The fact that this is an early start game only exacerbates the problem for the Tigers. Plan and simple, I’m not expecting Princeton’s A-game here!
The broader betting markets pay no attention to intangible factors like this one – it’s all about the algorithms that generate pointspreads. Hence the early $$ for Princeton, driving this line down to -6.5 as I write this, with the potential for this line to get driven down even further. That puts Notre Dame into the ‘bargain’ price range, worthy of a wager here.