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2017 Women’s Frozen Four: Odds & Point Spreads

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Projecting the final weekend

Rich Gagnon, BC Athletics

And then there were four. Just one weekend remains in the women’s hockey season, and Boston College is one of the lucky few teams remaining.

Last week we broke down the odds, point spreads, and projected final scores for each of the NCAA quarterfinal games. We’ll do the same for the Frozen Four now that we know which teams have advanced to St. Charles. We do that using each team’s KRACH and GRaNT Ratings — remember, KRACH is best used to calculate game odds, and GRaNT is best used to calculate game scores.

First, the odds to win the NCAA championship based on the odds of winning the semifinal and the odds of beating each possible finals opponent:

(1) Wisconsin: 58.08%
(2) Clarkson: 18.28%
(6) Minnesota: 14.81%
(4) Boston College: 8.83%

Why does 4th seeded BC have worse odds than 6th seeded Minnesota? The Eagles are guaranteed to face the Badger Buzzsaw. The Gophers could potentially win the tournament without having to face them.

#4 Boston College (28-5-5, 17-4-3 WHEA)
vs. #1 Wisconsin (32-2-4, 22-2-4-3 WCHA)

KRACH Projected Line:
Wisconsin -378 (79.09%)

GRaNT Projected Spread:
Wisconsin -2.13

GRaNT projected final score:
Wisconsin 3.51, Boston College 1.38

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Wisconsin is definitely the tournament favorite, and has been all year. But this isn’t a game the Eagles are going to just concede — the Badgers can be, and have been, beaten. KRACH gives the Eagles roughly 1 in 5 odds, which seems about right. This would certainly be a big upset if the Eagles can get the win, but they’ve held their own in NCAA tournament games against the #1 seed in the past.

#6 Minnesota (26-7-5, 19-4-5-3 WCHA)
vs. #2 Clarkson (30-4-5, 19-1-2 ECAC)

KRACH Projected Line:
Clarkson -114 (53.24%)

GRaNT Projected Spread:
Clarkson -0.20

GRaNT projected final score:
Clarkson 2.56, Minnesota 2.36

This is a great, close matchup according to all the metrics. The Gophers are 6th in the Pairwise, but 5th in GRaNT and 4th in KRACH, putting them right on the heals of Clarkson. But the Gophers saw their best player, Dani Cameranesi, return to the ice after expecting to lose her for the rest of the season to ankle surgery.

The Gophers took a close 1-0 win over then-#2 Minnesota-Duluth to get here, with Cameranesi on the ice. She adds both a high-end scoring threat as well as depth to a Gopher team that really needs it — so expect the Gophers to have closed the (already small) gap on Clarkson in the mathematical rankings to make this game at virtual tossup.

The puck drops at 6pm and 9pm on Friday in St. Charles, MO for the semifinals, with the championship game on Sunday.