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Pick on the Spread for Iona-Harvard on December 30

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Saturday’s college basketball matchup between the Iona Gaels and Harvard Crimson

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NCAA Basketball: Harvard at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Harvard Crimson and Iona Gaels prepare for conference play as both meet up in Cambridge on Saturday for their final game before the calendar turns to 2024.

Iona Gaels (-2.5, 144) vs. Harvard Crimson

This is a revenge game of sorts as Iona’s leading scorer, Iden Tretout, played for Harvard last season and is 13.1 points and 2.4 assists per game this season after averaging 9.7 points per game at Harvard last season.

While Iona will have their top scorer in Tretout for Saturday, Harvard may be missing start freshman Malik Mack, who missed the team’s most recent game against Holy Cross and is dealing with illness.

While Mack’s 20.1 points and 4.4 assists per game on 47.2% 3-point shooting will be missed if he can’t play on Saturday, the team as a collective still has the edge from the outside, ranking 15th overall in 3-point shooting percentage with a 3-point shooting percentage of 44.9% at home, which 17th in the nation.

The Crimson have also been the better team at guarding the 3-point arc, ranking 77th in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage while Iona is 232nd.

Harvard’s biggest issue this season has been allowing second chance scoring opportunities, ranking 314th in defensive rebound rate with opponents rebounding 32% of their missed shots and are 280th in overall rebound rate.

Saturday’s matchup will not expose Harvard’s weakness with Iona 243rd in rebound rate and 254th when on the road specifically in this category.

Though Harvard is dealing with some injuries and illness issues, they have still been rhetorical more consistent team on offense with Iona entering having scored 68 points or fewer in five of their last seven games and with Harvard being held to fewer than 70 points just twice this season, the Crimson will find enough firepower to get a win on Saturday.

The Play: Harvard +2.5