Penn vs. Cornell Prediction, Odds, Key Players for MLK Day (Back the Big Red)

Both teams are trying to build momentum after opening conference play with a win. Who comes out on top of this Ivy League matchup? 

Jan 2, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Cornell Big Red guard Jacob Beccles (5) drives to the basket against Baylor.
Jan 2, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Cornell Big Red guard Jacob Beccles (5) drives to the basket against Baylor. / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Both of these teams finished non-conference play with losses to AP-ranked opponents before cruising in their respective Ivy League openers. Penn, coming off losses to Houston and Auburn, blew out Dartmouth, 80-51. Cornell, which fell to No. 18 Houston, returned home and cruised past Columbia, 91-79. 

Which team will grab early momentum in the Ivy League? Here’s the betting preview for Monday afternoon’s matchup in Ithaca, New York. 

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Penn vs. Cornell odds, spread and total

Penn vs. Cornell betting trends

  • Penn is 7-7 ATS this season
  • Cornell is 6-7 ATS this season
  • Penn is 2-3 ATS this season as an underdog
  • Cornell is 5-4 ATS this season as a favorite
  • The OVER is 7-6-1 in Penn games this season
  • The OVER is 9-4 in Cornell games this season

Penn vs. Cornell how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 15
  • Game time: 2 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Newman Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Penn record: 9-7 (1-0 Ivy League)
  • Cornell record: 11-3 (1-0 Ivy League)

Penn vs. Cornell key players to watch


Tyler Perkins: Penn is adjusting to life without leading scorer Clark Slajchert, who is out with an ankle injury suffered in the loss at Houston on Dec. 30. Perkins, a freshman guard, is one of two full-time starters for the Quakers. He is coming off a 19-point, 5-rebound performance in Penn’s win over Dartmouth on Saturday. Perkinshas scored in double figures in five of the last six games and is averaging 5.8 rebounds a night. 


Isaiah Gray: The senior guard has become another threat in a Cornell offense that has five starters averaging double figures. Gray averaged 7.3 points over the first six games but has averaged 12.5 in the last eight contests. Gray is shooting 65.1% from the field this season and leads the Big Red in assists. 

Penn vs. Cornell prediction and pick

Both teams have faced weak schedules, but Cornell’s offense, which ranks No. 49 in efficiency, per KenPom, obviously stands out in this matchup. The Big Red will face a Penn defense that ranks No. 262 in efficiency, No. 243 in effective field goal percentage, No. 325 in turnover percentage, No. 239 defending three-pointers and No. 235 defending two-point shots. 

On the flip side, Cornell’s offense is No. 17 in the nation in scoring at 84.7 points per game, No. 6 in field goal percentage (50.77), No. 9 in effective field goal percentage and No. 1 in shooting inside the arc.

Cornell’s defense hasn’t been much better (ranked No. 252 in efficiency), but they force a lot of turnovers and Penn has struggled to take care of the rock. Cornell is also No. 1 in limiting opportunities at the free-throw line, according to KenPom. 

Cornell’s offense should get whatever it wants Monday afternoon, so back the Big Red to pull away.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.