Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

The Pittsburgh Panthers come into this Big East Battle as a 10-point home favorite over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The over/under total for the game is set at 140.  Notre Dame has been playing better basketball recently. The Fighting Irish lost three out of their first five games this month, but look to be back on track as they beat Cincinnati 66-58 on Wednesday as 4.5-point home favorite.  They followed up that win by beating Marquette on Saturday 80-75 as 3.5-point home favorites.

Notre Dame is now 16-4 on the season and 8-7 against the spread.  Their Big East Record sits at 5-3.  Most of their offense comes from seniors Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis.  Hansbrough is averaging 15.8 points per game and Abromaitis is averaging 15.2 points per game.  Notre Dame is averaging 75 points a game and shoots 44.9 percent from the floor.  They are an excellent shooting team as they shoot 72.8 percent from the foul line and 36.7 percent from beyond three-point range.  Notre Dame is 3-4 against the spread in its last seven road games and 3-2 against the spread in it last five games overall.  The total has stayed der in three of its last four games.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are 19-1 on the year.  Their record against the spread is a modest 8-7.  They are the only team in the Big East that is undefeated in league play, winning their first seven games.  They are coming off a blowout win over Depaul, where they won 80-50, as a 16-point road favorite.  Pittsburgh is an extremely deep team with nine players averaging over 10 minutes of play.  Junior guard Ashton Gibbs is the teams leading scorer with 16 points per game.  Pittsburgh is ranked 19th in the nation in scoring with an average of 80 points per game and rank first in team assists with an average of 19.9.   Pittsburgh is 3-1 against the spread in its last four home games and 4-1 against the spread in its last five games overall.  The total has stayed der in three of its last four games.

Notre Dame has surprisingly won three of the last four games these teams have played and have covered the spread in three as well.  Last season they knocked Pittsburgh out of the Big East Conference Tournament with a 50-45 victory as a two-point underdog and beat Pittsburgh 68-53 in the regular season as a 1-point home underdog.  This time around, I expect a different result, as these teams are not that closely matched.  Pittsburgh has much better talent and much better depth.  I am going to lay the 10 points and take the Pittsburgh Panthers.


Pittsburgh Panthers -10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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January 24, 2011 by : Posted in College Basketball, Sportsbook No Comments

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