Yale vs. Auburn Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament First Round (Back the Bulldogs)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Yale-Auburn. 

Dec 22, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Yale Bulldogs forward Danny Wolf (1) shoots a three point shot against Kansas.
Dec 22, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Yale Bulldogs forward Danny Wolf (1) shoots a three point shot against Kansas. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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After a thrilling buzzer-beater for another Ivy League Tournament title, Yale is back in March Madness for the third time in the last five seasons. However, the Bulldogs haven’t been much of a Cinderella with just one NCAA Tournament win in six career appearances (79-75 over No. 5 Baylor in 2016). 

Yale has suffered back-to-back first-round exits in the NCAA Tournament. Can they upset No. 4 Auburn or at least hang inside the double-digit spread? The Tigers steamrolled the SEC field in the conference tournament and are trying to get to the second weekend for the first time since its Final Four run in 2019. Can Auburn pull away in Washington as a big favorite? Here’s the betting breakdown of the first-round tilt with a best bet. 

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Yale vs. Auburn Odds, Spread and Total

Yale vs. Auburn Betting Trends

  • Yale is 15-12-2 ATS this season
  • Auburn is 21-13 ATS this season
  • Yale is 3-3-1 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Auburn is 21-11 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 16-13 in Yale games this season
  • The OVER is 14-20 in Auburn games this season

Yale vs. Auburn How to Watch

  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Spokane Arena
  • How to watch (TV): TNT
  • Yale record: 22-9
  • Auburn record: 27-7 

Yale vs. Auburn Key Players to Watch

Yale

Danny Wolf: One of five double-digit scorers in the Yale lineup, Wolf is a dominant frontcourt piece as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer and rebounder. Wolf averages 14.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and has turned in three double-doubles over his last five contests. 

Auburn 

Johni Broome: The 6-foot-10 forward averages 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting 54.4% from the field. He was unstoppable in the SEC Tournament, posting a pair of double-doubles in three games, including a 19-point, 11-rebound performance in the championship win over Florida on Sunday. 

Yale vs. Auburn Prediction and Pick 

It’s hard to picture Yale notching its first NCAA Tournament win since 2016, but the Bulldogs’ style of play puts them in a good position to hang around as a double-digit underdog. 

Yale plays at one of the slowest tempos in the nation (No. 334 in average possession length, per KenPom) and avoids costly turnovers (No. 18 in turnover percentage). Yale will have to make the most of its possessions against an Auburn defense that is No. 1 in KenPom in effective field goal percentage and No. 4 in overall efficiency. 

Auburn has been excellent as a favorite this season (21-11 ATS) but Yale was the No. 2 scoring defense in the Ivy League this season (66.6 points per game) and No. 1 in effective field goal percentage. Yale can slow down the game offensively and force enough stops to frustrate the heavily favored Tigers. Back the Bulldogs. 

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Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.