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Home Court Makes Penn Faves In Ivy League Tournament

Ryan Betley of the Pennsylvania Quakers is introduced before the game against the Princeton Tigers

This Ivy League season has felt like a two-horse race with the Penn Quakers and Harvard Crimson running away from the pack. However, with the Ivy League tournament being held in Palestra, Penn finds itself as a -115 favorite to win the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Penn is a perfect 7-0 at home during league play with all but two of those victories coming by six points or more. The Quakers may have the deepest team in the league with six players averaging at least 7.5 points per game – including sophomore guard Ryan Betley, who paces the team with 14.7.

Betley will undoubtedly be looking for revenge in the semifinals when Penn takes on Yale (+600), as the Bulldogs beat the Quakers 80-79 less than a week ago – largely due to the guard being shut down offensively.

Harvard (+185) – despite officially claiming first in the league – enters the tourney with the second-best odds to win it all. The Crimson offense is in the bottom half of the Ivy League in basically every category – likely due to their lack of passing and a reliance on playing iso. The one player who consistently shows up on both ends of the floor is Chris Lewis. The sophomore forward cemented himself as one of the best bigs in the league this year by averaging 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while posting a 61.1 field-goal percentage.

Harvard should not be overlooking Cornell (+1200) in their first-round matchup. Though the Crimson beat the Big Red in both regular-season meetings, those victories came by a combined 13 points and it took Harvard double overtime to down Cornell last week.

2018 NCAAB Ivy League Championship Odds

Odds as of March 7 at BetOnline

  • Penn -115
  • Harvard +185
  • Yale +600
  • Cornell +1200