Harvard Crimson (1-0) vs. Iona Gaels (1-0)
November 13, 2021 1:00 pm EDT
The Line: Iona Gaels -6 ; Over/Under: 136
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The Harvard Crimson and the Iona Gaels meet Saturday in college basketball action from Hynes Athletic Center. Harvard is coming off a win in their first game this week, beating Morehouse by 16 points. As for the Gaels, they notched a win in their opener as well, taking out Appalachian State by 12 points. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Harvard and the Ivy League sat out basketball activities last season, which is unfortunate since the team was coming off an encouraging campaign. The Crimson finished 21-8 in the 2019-20 season, going 10-4 in Ivy League play for a second-place finish in the standings.
The Crimson got off to a good start in their opener this year, scoring 52 points in the first half on the way to an 86-70 win over Morehouse College. Leading scorer was Noah Kirkwood with 23 points and five rebounds. Chris Ledlum chipped in 20 points with 13 rebounds as well.
Over on the Iona side, they went 12-6 overall last year and 6-3 in MAAC play to finish far down the standings. The Gaels caught fire in the conference tournament however, plowing through for a MAAC Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gaels put up 40 points in the second half of their opener versus Appalachian State, propelling the team to a 65-53 win. Tyson Jolly managed 19 points with four rebounds and three assists, and Dylan van Eyck finished on 17 points with eight boards.
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Iona is 4-1 ATS in their last five on Saturday and 21-8-2 ATS in their last 31 overall. The Gaels are 5-1 ATS in their last six at home.
Meanwhile, the Crimson are 2-7 ATS in their last nine Saturday games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games. Harvard is 4-11 ATS in their last 15 overall.
PICK: I’m going to try Iona. The Gaels started slow against Appalachian State, but ended up with a nice second half and a 49.0 percent rate from field goal range. The 3-point shooting was off (3-of-15) but Iona was solid on the boards (35) and had 16 team assists.
As for Harvard, they had a hot start versus Morehouse but ultimately shot a tepid 39.7 percent from the field overall. The rebounding was good (38) and the Crimson benefitted from 23 turnovers as well. Still, I think the Gaels have the inside track on a potential cover here.