Yale vs. Cornell Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Friday, Feb. 23 (Back the Big Red)

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

Expect a big crowd in Ithaca, New York Friday night with sole possession of first place in the Ivy League on the line when Yale visits Cornell. Yale handed Cornell its only league loss to date less than two weeks ago on Feb. 10 (80-78) and it’s shaping up to be another thriller at Newman Arena. 

Yale was 8-0 in league play before a poor performance at Princeton on Saturday (73-62). Cornell, amid a four-game homestand, recovered nicely from its loss to the Bulldogs, defeating Harvard (75-62) and Dartmouth (89-80). Does Cornell get the job done as small home favorites on Friday? 

Here’s a betting preview of the first-place bout with a best bet.

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Yale vs. Cornell odds, spread and total

Yale vs. Cornell betting trends

  • Yale is 11-9-2 ATS this season
  • Cornell is 11-10 ATS this season
  • Yale is 3-2-1 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Cornell is 8-7 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 12-10 in Yale games this season
  • The OVER is 13-8 in Cornell games this season 

Yale vs. Cornell how to watch

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 23 
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Newman Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Yale record: 17-7 (8-1 Ivy League)
  • Cornell record: 19-4 (8-1 Ivy League)

Yale vs. Cornell key players to watch


Danny Wolf: The 7-foot sophomore forward is one of the top players in the Ivy League. He leads the league in rebounds (9.8) and is eighth in scoring (14.7) but is coming off his worst performance of the season by far. In the loss to Princeton, Wolf was held scoreless in 36 minutes, going 0-for-8 from the field. He’ll look to bounce back against Cornell, the team he had 25 points against on Feb. 10. 


Chris Manon: Cornell has one of the deepest teams in the Ivy League with balanced scoring throughout. Manon leads the pack at 12.7 points per game but has poured in 20-plus in two of the last three contests. He’s shooting 23-of-36 from the field in that stretch and most recently went for a season-high 25 points in Saturday’s win over Dartmouth. 

Yale vs. Cornell prediction and pick 

Cornell has the No. 1 scoring offense in the Ivy League (83.6 points per game) and they do it with a deep lineup. The Big Red play at the 24th-fastest tempo in the nation, according to KenPom, and they’re able to sustain it with eight players averaging at least 6.3 points per game. 

Sure, the fast-paced style of play has its drawbacks. With the extra possessions, Cornell ranks No. 230 in KenPom in turnover percentage, but Yale doesn’t particularly force a lot of takeaways (No. 298). Cornell is the No. 1 team in the nation in shooting from 2-point range and is fourth in the Ivy League in firing triples. Yale is No. 200 defending from beyond the arc, but minimizes second-chance opportunities at a great rate (23.1%) and is No. 2 in scoring in the conference. 

On the other side, Cornell’s defense is last in the Ivy League in scoring (74.3 points per game), but faces a Yale offense that is middle of the road in most major metrics, ranking No. 150 in perimeter shooting and No. 136 from 2-point range. 

Opponents are desperate to slow down this Cornell team, but the Big Red have the advantage at home. Inside Newman Arena, Cornell is 5-2 ATS this season and is averaging 86.7 points per game against conference opponents at home. Cornell ranks No. 11 in the nation in bench minutes (Yale ranks No. 275) and will have the fresh legs to run past Yale. Take Cornell as a short favorite. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.