UMBC vs. Princeton NCAA Basketball Picks and Odds Analysis

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Princeton Tigers head coach Mitch Henderson. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

While students sort through their notes and books studying for finals this week, we’re sorting through the NCAA basketball odds for Monday’s clash at Princeton between the Tigers and UMBC Retrievers.

UMBC Retrievers vs. Princeton Tigers

Monday, December 13, 2021 – 06:00 PM EST at Jadwin Gymnasium 

The annual slowdown on the schedule is upon as academics take precedence over the business of college basketball. It makes for fewer sports betting options as most teams will be scaling back on their schedules from now until Christmas, leaving days like Monday when Princeton and UMBC qualify as a marquee matchup. 

Neither team impressed anyone entering the season as being a contender for the NCAA Tournament or on the college basketball future odds. The Terriers were picked somewhere behind Stony Brook and Vermont in the America East Conference, and the Tigers were in a similar standing in the Ivy League behind Yale and Harvard. 

Terriers Routinely Beaten on the Glass 

This matchup also isn’t impressing some online betting sites that have chosen to leave it off their boards. Those that are carrying numbers have Princeton favored in the 6-7 point range with the total running 152½-153½. 

Jim Ferry has the talent at UMBC to win on the road as the underdog and proved that over the Thanksgiving holidays with an 87-77 upset at Pittsburgh. 

The Retrievers traveled to Iron City as 5½-point ‘dogs and capitalized on sharp passing and fine shooting from beyond the arc. It was their first win over a Power 6 team since the famous upset of No. 1 seed Virginia in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tournament. 

Maryland-Baltimore County didn’t enjoy the same effort the last two times out, dropping a decision at Delaware and Georgetown as underdogs of 6-7 points. The Retrievers went the final 3½ minutes of the first half to lose control of the game against the Blue Hens, eventually falling by a 70-60 count.

Ferry’s cagers were then rolled in the second half against the Hoyas, unable to find anyone to defend the hot-shooting Kaiden Rice in a 100-71 rout

‘Over’ a Winner in Princeton’s Last Five Games 

Okay, so it hasn’t exactly been a tough schedule for Princeton, and that’s reflected in the Ken Pomeroy rankings. But Mitch Henderson and the Tigers still deserve a lot of credit for winning eight of their first 11 games after not playing since March 2020 when they were vying for their second Ivy League Tournament title.

They have also proven to be very capable of taking down bigger foes with a pair of underdog upsets against South Carolina in the Asheville Championship and an 81-80 surprise in Corvallis over Oregon State. 

Princeton’s rally effort at Hofstra to begin December fell short, or else the Tigers would be riding a 5-game win streak heading into Monday’s matchup. They rebounded from the loss to the Pride with a tough 81-79 overtime decision at home over Drexel.

That was followed by an 82-69 triumph last week over the visiting Bucknell Bison, the final having just enough to cover a -12½-point spread at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

This past weekend found the Tigers on the road at Lafayette where a 15-0 run midway through the first half allowed Princeton to leave Pennsylvania with an 84-73 win over the Leopards. The Tigers were led by Ethan Wright’s 22 points, and they outscored Lafayette 45-12 from beyond the 3-point line. 

Tigers Double-Digit Winners in Three Previous Meetings 

There is a small amount of history between the programs, though it has been a little more than 18 years since they last met. The Terriers hosted the Tigers down in Baltimore at the RAC Arena in December 2003, and Princeton registered a 68-52 victory. The Tigers walloped UMBC a year earlier in Princeton, 76-43, and also win the only other matchup in 1993. 

The Terriers will be taking on their second Ivy League team of the season when they face the Tigers on Monday. They pounded Columbia in Baltimore earlier this season, a 98-60 romp as 13½-point betting favorites to open December. Monday night marks Princeton’s first matchup against an America East team since beating Maine on the road in November 2018. 

Both sides have been good ‘over' plays so far this season, especially Princeton. I’m not seeing it, however, and will run contrary to that trend with my college basketball pick

NCAAB Pick: Under 152½ (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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Under 152½ (-109)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.