Big East Basketball Betting Preview: #21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #16 Pittsburgh Panthers

#21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #16 Pittsburgh Panthers
Monday, February 18, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Petersen Events Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -10 1/2
Current Line: Pittsburgh -10 1/2
Opening Total: 124 1/2
Current Total: 122 1/2
Opening Money Line: Pittsburgh -600 / Notre Dame +475
Current Money Line: Pittsburgh -650 / Notre Dame +525


Pittsburgh is a 10.5 point favorite at home against Notre Dame in  a key Big East battle.

Pittsburgh is a 10.5 point favorite at home against Notre Dame in a key Big East battle.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Pittsburgh Panthers are both 20-6 overall and 8-5 in the Big East. The two teams meet Monday night in Pittsburgh. The two teams are tied for third in the conference but Syracuse, Georgetown, and Marquette are tied for first with 9-3 records. Louisville is also in the mix at 9-4.

Notre Dame leads the series 30-27, and has won 4 straight against Pittsburgh. The Irish won the last meeting last season 72-59 in South Bend. Pittsburgh is 17-11 in the series at home. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools this season unless they meet in the Big East or NCAA tournaments. Both teams will join the ACC in the next couple of years.

Notre Dame is coached by Mike Brey. The Fighting Irish have losses in a tournament in Brooklyn in overtime to St. Joseph’s, at home against UConn, and Georgetown and at St. John’s, Syracuse and Providence 71-54 . Notre Dame has key wins over BYU in Brooklyn, George Washington, Kentucky, Purdue in Indianapolis, at Cincinnati, South Florida, and DePaul twice, and at home against Seton Hall, Rutgers, Villanova and Louisville. Notre Dame has won 3 straight games. The Fighting Irish are 11-12 ATS and the total is 10-10 this season.

Notre Dame is outscoring teams 73-65 this season. Notre Dame is shooting 48% from the field and 37.6% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish are #16 in field goal percentage and #37 in 3 point shooting. The Irish make 69.7% of their free throws. Notre Dame averages 36 rebounds per game and they give up 29.2 to opponents. Irish opponents are shooting  41.6% from the field and 32.9% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish average 18 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and and 11 turnovers.

Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley averages 14.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Jerian Grant averages 13 points, 2.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Eric Atkins averages 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Pat Connaughton averages 8.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game. Guard Scott Martin averages 7.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury.  Cameron Biedscheid averages 7.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Center Garrick Sherman averages 7.7 points, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Tom Knight also gets time in the rotation. Forward Eric Katenda is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.

Pitt started off the season 12-1 under coach Jamie Dixon. The only non-conference loss came to currently undefeated Michigan in the pre-season NIT semifinals in New York City. In conference, the Panthers have losses at home to Cincinnati, at Rutgers, Marquette twice including 79-69 Saturday in Milwaukee, and at Louisville. Pitt has wins at Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, and Cincinnati, and home wins over Connecticut, DePaul, Syracuse, and Seton Hall. All non-conference wins were over inferior opponents. The Marquette loss snapped a 3 game winning streak for Pitt. The Panthers have gone 7-2 in their last 9 games after a 1-3 start in Big East play.  Pittsburgh is 9-10 ATS this season and the total is 10-5.

Pitt is outscoring teams 74-55 this season. The Panthers are #9 in points allowed. Pittsburgh is shooting 48% and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Panthers are #14 in field goal percentage nationally. Pittsburgh makes 66.4% from the free throw line. The Panthers average 34.9 rebounds per game, and are first nationally in rebounds allowed with 23.1 per game. Pitt opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. The Panthers average 17 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks and 11 turnovers per game.

Guard Tray Woodall  averages 10.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Lamar Patterson averages 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Talib Zanna averages 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds. Forward J.J. Moore averages 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds.  Center Stephen Adams averages 7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Guard James Robinson averages 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. Cameron Wright, Dante Taylor, Trey Zeigler, and Durand Johnson will also get some minutes.

Notre Dame is 6-14 after a straight up loss, 8-21 in Monday games, 3-8 overall, and against Big East teams, and 2-7 against teams with winning records. The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in this series overall recently, and 5-1 in Pittsburgh. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 in this series.

Pitt is 8-2 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover, and 14-5-1 in Monday games. The last 4 games in this series have gone under the total.

Both Pittsburgh and Notre Dame are coming off blowout losses on the road. The difference was Pitt lost at conference leader Marquette, and Notre Dame lost at a mediocre Providence team. That is the only reason this line is as high as it is. Notre Dame isn’t terrible obviously, and they should stay with in this pretty big number even on the road.

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Posted by on Feb 18 2013. Filed under College Basketball, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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