Harvard vs. Cornell Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Friday, Feb. 16 (Back the Big Red)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Harvard-Cornell. 

Dec 5, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Cornell Big Red guard Chris Manon (30) handles the ball against Syracuse.
Dec 5, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Cornell Big Red guard Chris Manon (30) handles the ball against Syracuse. / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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In a showdown for first place in the Ivy League, Cornell lost a hard-fought 80-78 decision on the road to Yale on Feb. 10. The loss snapped Cornell’s perfect Ivy League record (6-0) and the Big Red are back home for their next four contests, starting on Friday against Harvard. 

Harvard has played .500 ball (3-3) over the last month after starting 0-2 in league play. The Crimson were dominant last time out, cruising past Dartmouth, 77-59. Can they hang tough as modest underdogs Friday night in Ithaca? Here’s the betting preview for Friday’s conference clash with a best bet. 

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Harvard vs. Cornell odds, spread and total

Harvard vs. Cornell betting trends

  • Harvard is 7-12 ATS this season
  • Cornell is 10-9 ATS this season
  • Harvard is 4-7 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Cornell is 7-6 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 12-7 in Harvard games this season
  • The OVER is 12-7 in Cornell games this season 

Harvard vs. Cornell how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 16 
  • Game time: 6 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Newman Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Harvard record: 12-8 (3-4 Ivy League)
  • Cornell record: 17-4 (6-1 Ivy League)

Harvard vs. Cornell key players to watch

Harvard

Malik Mack: The freshman has been a bright spot for Harvard this season having taken the Ivy League by storm. Less than 20 games into his collegiate career, Mack is second in the Ivy League in scoring at 18.7 points per game while shooting 40.4% from 3-point range. He also leads the conference in assists (4.7). He poured in 18 in Harvard’s 77-59 win over Dartmouth Feb. 10. 

Cornell 

Chris Manon: Cornell shot 54.5% from the field in its loss to Yale and Manon led the offense with 22 points. He went 9-of-11 from the field and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. Manon leads a deep Cornell lineup in scoring (12.2 points per game) while shooting 59.1% from the field and is sixth in the Ivy League in assists (3.3)

Harvard vs. Cornell prediction and pick 

In the first meeting between these two teams Feb. 3, Cornell pulled away in the second half for an 89-76 win. The Big Red shot 52.5% from the field and, despite Harvard shooting 52.6%, forced 17 turnovers by the Crimson. 

Both defenses struggle, but Cornell has been fantastic in creating takeaways this season, ranking No. 58 in KenPom in turnover percentage and No. 41 in steal percentage. They’ll face a Harvard offense that likely won’t shoot over 50% from the field as a team that is No. 222 overall on that side of the ball and is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams (No. 282) in the country. Cornell’s defense doesn’t rebound well, but that’s not a category Harvard should take advantage of as the No. 298 offensive rebounding team in the country. 

Cornell has shot over 50% from the field in three of its last four games, including the first matchup with Harvard, and should get plenty of quality looks against a Harvard defense that is No. 203 overall and No. 197 against 2-point shots. Cornell is the best offense in the nation in 2-point shooting (63.9%) and you should back the Big Red in a bounce-back spot coming off its two-point loss to Yale. 


Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.