NCAA Lacrosse Final Four: Penn State vs. Duke Prediction, Pick, and How-to-Watch
The NCAA Lacrosse Final Four is here, and Penn State and Duke will meet in Philadelphia. In this article, we will provide a prediction, pick, and how-to-watch guide for this exciting match-up.
Penn State started their season with their sights set on the Big Ten Title. Coach Jeff Tambroni had confidence in his solid defensive unit, quality attack, and great face-off man. After an easy win over Lafayette, they fell to Villanova before winning four games in a row, including one over Cornell. In conference play, they opened with a loss to Maryland but rebounded, beating Ohio State, Johns Hopkins in double overtime, Michigan, and Rutgers. This was enough to secure them the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but they fell to eventual champions Michigan in the semi-finals. However, they made the NCAA Tournament as the five seed, defeating Princeton and Army each by one goal to set up this match-up with number one Duke.
Duke had a strong start to their season, winning their first two games before stumbling at Jacksonville with a one-goal loss. They then knocked off four top 20 teams in a row with Penn, Syracuse, Loyola, and North Carolina. Duke then won on the road at number one ranked UVA but fell at number two ranked Notre Dame in the next game. They beat UVA a second time and clinched the ACC title after defeating #19 Syracuse. Duke advanced to the NCAA Tournament as the top-seeded team, holding off a pesky Delaware squad by one goal before handling Michigan with ease.
Here are the Penn State-Duke NCAA Lacrosse odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NCAA Lacrosse Odds: Penn State-Duke Odds
– Penn State: +4.5 (-128)
– Duke: -4.5 (+104)
– Over: 25.5 (-115)
– Under: 25.5 (-105)
How To Watch Penn State vs. Duke
– TV: ESPN2
– Stream: ESPN+
– Time: 12:00 PM ET/ 9:00 AM PT
– Watch NCAA Lacrosse games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)
Why Penn State Could Cover the Spread
The biggest concern for Penn State going into this game will be senior defensive captain, Jack Posey. Posey is the leader of the Nittany Lion defense that ranked 15th in the nation in goals allowed this year. He was also the key player in the man-down defense that was fifth in the nation on the season. Posey was hurt in the game against Army and did not return. If he is out for this one, a major piece from the Penn State defense will be missing, as the All-American Honorable Mention player was the cog to keep the defensive engine rolling.
If Posey cannot go, second-team all-American goaltender, Jack Fraycon may have to do even more than he has all year long. Fraycon led his team with a 57.2% save percentage which was fourth in the nation. His 210 saves, which was good for 14 saves per game, ranked him sixth nationally, and the Sophomore goalie ranked 12th in goals against average.
Leading the offensive side of the ball will be third-team all-American TJ Malone. Malone scored 33 goals this year and was great at finding the open man, dishing out 32 assists to lead the team. Getting the ball to him early will be the job of face-off specialist Chase Mullins. Mullins only won 46.8% of his face-offs this year but went on a major run against a solid face-off man at Army. He will be hoping to repeat that performance on Saturday.
Why Duke Could Cover the Spread
Duke can score quickly and in bunches. They are led by Tewaaraton Award finalist Brennan O’Neill. O’Neill grabbed first-team All-American honors for his work this year at attack. He was second on the team with 51 goals and has 40 assists this year giving him 91 points, the most in the nation, and the second-most points per game. The recipient of many of those assists was Dyson Williams, who scored 57 times this year and was named an honorable mention All-American.
Not only does Duke have a potent attack, but they also have the best face-off man in the nation. Jake Naso was named first-team All-American for his work in the faceoff circle this year. He won 62.9% of his faceoff on the season, often flipping the ball to himself, which allowed him to pick up 145 ground balls.
On the defensive end, Duke ranked 13th in the nation in goals per game. The defensive unit is great at limiting possessions and other teams’ shots. The standout for them is Kenny Brower, who was named a first-team All-American this year. Brower caused 18 turnovers this year, and teams regularly stayed away from his side of the field.
Final Penn State-Duke Prediction & Pick
Penn State just beat a top-ranked defense in Army. However, there is one major difference. Army did not put up those stats against the likes of UVA, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Duke did. Even if Penn State can score when they have the ball, having the ball is going to be an issue. Duke does not commit a lot of mistakes on offense. Then, when they score, their face-off game is so strong, they will likely be getting the ball back. That will be the difference in this game. Duke is going to control the ball because of the face-off play and win this one. However, 4.5 goals are far too many to lay here. Expect a lower-scoring game, and Penn State to cover.
Final Penn State-Duke Prediction & Pick: Penn State +4.5 (-128)
- NCAA Lacrosse Penn State betting odds
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News Source : Bryan Logan
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