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Auburn vs. Yale Expert Pick – March 22, 2024

Auburn vs. Yale Expert Pick – March 22, 2024

AUBURN VS. YALE EXPERT PICK – MARCH 22, 2024 – The SEC started off with an incredible bang in the NCAA Men’s tournament. Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Kentucky all lost. The SEC continues to disappoint in March, especially for the believers who know good basketball is played in the conference. 

The Auburn Tigers (26-7) look to right the ship for the SEC on Friday with a statement win against Ivy League tournament champions, the Yale Bulldogs (21-9). The Tigers are one of the most well-balanced teams in the tournament. They play excellent defense and follow that up with fast-paced offense. Overmatched teams have difficulty keeping up with Auburn.

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Auburn breezed through the SEC tournament, defeating the Florida Gators 86-67 last Sunday. They are locked in right now and are a trendy pick by many to come out of a loaded East Right that includes UCONN and Iowa State.

Yale punched their ticket with an Ivy League tournament win against Brown, after 4th-seeded Brown upset first-seeded, Princeton. Yale may have gotten lucky to avoid Princeton in the championship game, but they could be a tough out. They’re a well-balanced team that loves to slow down the pace and control the clock. If they can move the move the ball and get good looks near the rim, Yale could prove more difficult than first expected.

Read on to find out who to play in this Friday matchup.

Read below for Auburn vs. Yale expert pick – March 22, 2024.

The Odds 







(21-9 SU, 16-11 ATS) 






(26-7 SU, 19-10-2 ATS) 






When: Friday, March 22 at 4:14 pm EST 

Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 21st, 2024

Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers are fresh off a dominating performance in the SEC championship. While they may have faced the path of least resistance, they handled everyone well and demonstrated why they are one of the toughest teams in the country.

The problem for opponents when facing Auburn is trying to find their weakness. According to KenPom, Auburn ranks 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency, and 58th in adjusted tempo. That means they defend incredibly well, can score on every possession, and force turnovers in order to get easy baskets in transition. Auburn is also 324th in luck rating, which means they are one of the unluckiest teams in basketball. The Tigers grind out wins.

On offense, Auburn uses its size to get looks at the rim, where their near proximity field goal percentage hovers around 62%. If they can’t get the look they want, they can kick it out to the three-point line. Auburn shoots well from three and will force the defense to step out to defend the three point shot. This creates even more opportunities near the rim.

They also make 75% of their free throws. Yikes.

Defensively, the Tigers are a little vulnerable near the basket, but that may have more to do with the tempo than their ability to guard the rim. Teams that play fast often give up some easy layups in transition.

Either way you slice it, the Tigers are a formidable matchup.

Yale Bulldogs

The Yale Bulldogs aren’t necessarily a pushover. KenPom ranks the Bulldogs 91st in adjusted offensive efficiency and 89th in adjusted defensive efficiency. That doesn’t even sniff the superiority of Auburn’s efficiency metrics, but it does mean that Yale isn’t a lopsided team. If everything is going well for them, they can keep it close.

Yale plays very slow. They rank 324 in adjusted tempo. The Bulldogs want to move the ball around, work the clock, and get a high percentage shot at the rim. They are pretty effective at this and average a 58% field percentage in near proximity shots.  Nevertheless, they won’t be able to work the clock against Auburn on every possession.

Auburn operates at a +2.3 turnover margin (46th best in the country) and can hurt teams in transition if they come up with a quick steal. Meanwhile, Yale doesn’t turn the ball over too much (+1.5 turnover margin), but the added pressure of ball protection will be yet another thing that Yale has to contend with.

While Yale can defend the three a little bit, their rim defense leaves much to be desired. If Auburn works it inside and grabs a bunch of offensive boards (something they excel at), Yale might not have an answer.

The Pick

The line moved a point in Auburn’s favor and I think that reflects the public’s confidence in this well-rounded Auburn team, not necessarily a skepticism towards the Yale Bulldogs. Nevertheless, Yale isn’t efficient enough to be disruptive and run with Auburn for 40 minutes. Bruce Pearl will have his team ready and focused.

Yale could hang with Auburn for a half, but eventually the Tigers will control the pace of the game. Yale doesn’t score quickly and, as we saw with South Dakota State against Iowa State, teams that are forced to play quickly while they’re behind suffer greatly.

Don’t fade the entire SEC year. Auburn is with the -12.5 asking price.

Jack’s Pick

Auburn -12.5


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