Editor’s Note: This recurring series is written by Billy Costigan.
Last week, favorites won 9 times against the spread. Underdogs won 7 times. There were 9 overs and 7 unders. Favorites held a commanding lead on the moneyline with 12 wins to 2.
Here’s a recap of the bets that were available in week 12.
Bets (9-2) and leans (4-1) from my article last week did very well.
Check out my full betting card recap.
Hopefully, you were able to cash some bets as well while watching some amazing lacrosse!
Week 13 Report
Week 13 this NCAA season is often referred to as “conference champion week” as almost all teams have finished the regular season and if they are playing this week it is in a post season tournament to decide the conference champion. One exception to this is the ACC which currently does not have a conference tournament for men’s lacrosse.
This week is a bit of a strange schedule as many games aren’t posted until prior games decide the next round’s matchup. This often means betting lines can’t be released until closer to the contests as well. So be sure to be checking your sportsbook’s app for lines to be posted. Another good resource is going to different conferences websites to see when the tournament games are scheduled so you’ll know when to be on the lookout for results and the next rounds betting lines.
After conference tournaments are over and the bracket for the NCAA national tournament is released things will be a bit more straightforward. We will have only one tournament to monitor round by round and should have all the lines released in a timely manner opposed to having a half dozen or more smaller conference tournaments to monitor like we do now.
Now let’s take a look at some games I’m interested in making plays on for these conference tournaments / week 13.
Boston University -1.5 (-130) or ML -165
In the first Patriot League semi-final, I have to go with the favorite and tournament host #16 nationally ranked (#1 patriot league) Boston University. Lehigh does have a phenomenal face off man and the edge in defensive efficiency but BU has the edge in offensive efficiency and other areas as well as home field advantage.
Lehigh lost to Loyola who BU defeated handily and also Lehigh lost to BU by a score of 8-9 on April 23rd. BU also has a rest advantage having last played on April 29th whereas Lehigh last played on May 3rd. I wouldn’t worry about BU being rusty, as they were likely highly focused and working hard to prepare for this contest during that rest. The Terriers of BU should also be fired up and hungry for a win in front of their home crowd which would give them the chance to play in Sunday’s championship, and potentially get revenge against Army for a 1 goal loss in their last outing.
Yale +1.5 (-145)
The Ivy League also kicks off their semi-finals in Providence, RI with #8 (nationally) Cornell face #6 (nationally) Yale and the Big Red are a 1.5 point favorite. Parody in college lacrosse is exemplified no better than by the 6 team Ivy League with 5 teams in the top 13 spots nationally and competing for bids to the NCAA tournament.
We’ve cashed many bets this year taking +1.5 points with an Ivy underdog and seeing a 1 goal result either way, often in sudden death overtime which ensures the +1.5 spread cashes. So we are going back to that well tonight with a very solid squad and Yale +1.5 against the spread. Look for the Bulldogs to keep it close or possibly even win this game. The sportsbook is also telling us Yale has a shot by their reluctance to give plus money to the underdog Yale on the moneyline. Currently Yale as an underdog is -110 on the moneyline and Cornell is a -120 moneyline favorite.
***Disclaimer: At the time of writing this breakdown Yale was +1.5 (-145) and I liked a bet on that. By publishing Yale has flipped to a -1.5 (+110) favorite against the spread and is now -115 on the moneyline. This line movement further supports backing Yale. I would honestly approve of bets on Yale at the early +1.5 spread or -110 moneyline as well as the current -115 moneyline. Although I would not risk Yale to cover the new -1.5 spread as this very well could be a 1 goal game.
Army -135 Moneyline
For the second Patriot League semi-final I like a bet on #16 (nationally) Army -135 on the moneyline to just win outright over Loyola. The Black Knights of Army outrank the Loyola Greyhounds in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Loyola lost to BU 9-14 while Army defeated BU last week, Army also defeated Loyola head to head earlier this season. The moneyline is short enough here to back the superior athletes of Army to just win the game.
University Of Pennsylvania +1.5 (-150)
In the other Ivy League semi-final I bet on #13 (nationally) Penn +1.5 (-150) against #5 (nationally) Brown who is also hosting the tournament. The belief that a solid Penn squad could keep the game within 1 goal follows many of the same arguments made for our Yale +1.5 bet.
Also similar to that game the line in this matchup has also moved and Penn has now flipped from a +1.5 (-150) ML -115 underdog to now a -1.5 (+110) ML -120 favorite. This again is a great sign for backing Penn especially if you caught them at the early underdog spread. If you’re just betting them now and want to side with Penn don’t take them to cover, rather look at them -120 on the moneyline.
St. Joseph’s University -1.5 (-115)
On saturday in the Northeast Conference Championship I bet #20 (nationally) St. Joseph’s University to cover -1.5 (-115) over Hobart. Without a conference leading Bryant squad led by Mike Pressler to stand in St. Joe’s way, they seem poised to capture the conference title.
The Hawks will be looking to repeat their 16-12 win over Hobart on April 2nd. This St. Joe’s squad has played well and shows great energy. I may be looking at them come the NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame -1.5 (-115)
This matchup in the ACC brings us a rare non-conference tournament game this week. My bet in this game is to take #7 (nationally) Notre Dame to cover the -1.5 (-115) point spread over #12 (nationally) Duke. If you’ve been following my work this season you’re no stranger to my feelings on these two teams.
While Duke does have some solid numbers and offense, Notre Dame is no JV squad and has a notoriously superior defense. The Irish only defeated Duke 16-15 on April 9th but hopefully they can expose the Blue Devils by one more goal this weekend.
Rutgers +5.5 (+115)
Our final play is a bet on #4 (nationally) Rutgers +5.5 (+115) in the Big10 Tournament finals against #1 (nationally) Maryland. I’m not saying the freight train that is Maryland will get their first loss here, but I think Rutgers can keep it within 6 goals. Maryland has the more efficient offense but Rutgers has the more efficient defense.
While Maryland did handle Rutgers last meeting, Rutgers has continued to grow and should be motivated as ever for this big opportunity. Rutgers has had a good season and shown lots of potential, look for them to hopefully keep it (somewhat) close.
Sport Betting Tips & Conclusion
Lastly I want to leave you with some season long numbers I have been compiling. These numbers are only through the end of week 12 and do not include any conference tournament games that already happened this week. Another note these totals are for all the betable games I could personally find and track on Draftkings Sportsbook. It is possible I may have missed and not included a game or two, or also that other games may have been available at other books. So while these numbers aren’t 100% in stone they are still as close to accurate as possible and can be a helpful tool with the above consideration in mind.
Through week 12 favorites won against the spread 43% of the time (80 wins) while underdogs won against the spread 57% of the time (105 wins). Games went over 42% of the time (77 overs) and under 58% of the time (108 unders), most likely to the dismay of many public bettors who tend to blindly favor the over. On the moneyline is where the disparity gets much larger with moneyline favorites holding a commanding 68% (115 wins) lead over underdogs who only got the outright win on the moneyline 32% of the time (54 wins).
Do these numbers mean you should automatically only bet underdogs on the spread, unders, and moneyline favorites the rest of the season? No, absolutely not. That is not the point of looking at this data. What you want to do instead is treat this information as just one more tool in picking bets, another factor to add to a list when making a case for a bet. In the future I hope to break this data down even further for example by conference or individual team so that it may be even more useful.
One trend I am noticing though is underdogs leading against the spread (57%) but favorites controlling the wins on the moneyline (68%). Which may indicate that a common result in NCAA lacrosse this season is to see favorites win outright on the moneyline but underdogs keep those games close enough to cash against the spread. This speaks to the large amount of parody in lacrosse and that games can often be close. Unders cashing 58% of the time could also be a result of close games that are often low scoring which would support this theory.
You can apply that idea when looking at conference tournament matchups that are likely to be hard fought close games. For instance if you already like the underdog in a matchup after looking through other factors, it may be wise to take them plus the points on the spread and hope if they lose the game it at least stays close. Conversely when you like a favorite, if the moneyline price isn’t too large it may be wiser to just take the favorite to win outright on the moneyline and not worry about them not winning by enough.
Always remember you want to examine as many factors as possible when deciding wagers to place. You’ve got to build the strongest case possible.
I hope everyone enjoys some great conference tournament action this weekend! Soon we will be looking at the NCAA tournament and who can win it all come Memorial Day. Be sure to check out my twitter for more updates and plays throughout the weekend.
As always, my DM’s are open with any questions you may have about lacrosse or sports betting @bCostigan84 on Twitter.
Best of luck and let’s cash some bets!
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