College Hoops Betting: #21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #14 Cincinnati Bearcats

#21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #14 Cincinnati Bearcats
Monday, January 7, 2013, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Fifth Third Arena – Cincinnati, Ohio
Opening Line: Cincinnati -4 1/2
Current Line: Cincinnati -4
Opening Total: 135
Current Total: 135
Opening Money Line: Cincinnati -175 / Notre Dame +155
Current Money Line: Cincinnati -175 / Notre Dame +155

#21 Notre Dame takes on #14 Cincinnati in a key Big East match-up Monday night. The Bearcats are 4 point home favorites.

On the same night the Notre Dame football team plays Alabama in the BCS Championship game, the #21 Fighting Irish men’s basketball team travels to #14 Cincinnati in a key early season Big East match-up. In fact, Notre Dame’s athletic programs are having a great 2013 so far. The #5 women’s basketball team upset #1 UConn over the weekend, and the hockey team is ranked #3.

Notre Dame leads the series 8-4 against Cincinnati, including 1-3 in the Queen City. The Bearcats won the only meeting between the schools last year in Cincinanti 71-55. The two teams will meet again February 24 in South Bend, and could possibly meet again in the Big East or NCAA tournaments.

Notre Dame is 13-1 this season under coach Mike Brey. The only loss for Notre Dame came early in the season in a tournament in Brooklyn 79-70 in overtime to St. Joseph’s. The Irish have since won 11 straight games including the Big East opener Saturday at home against Seton Hall 93-74. Notre Dame has key wins over BYU in Brooklyn, George Washington, Kentucky, and Purdue in Indianapolis. The Fighting Irish are 7-4 ATS and the total is 6-2 this season.

Cincinnati is 13-2 under coach Mick Cronin. After a 12-0 start, the Bearcats have lost 2 of their last 3 games at home by one point to New Mexico  55-54 and Saturday against St. John’s 53-52. The Bearcats are 1-1 in the Big East this season. Cincinnati has key wins over Iowa St and Oregon in a tournament in Las Vegas, Alabama, Marshall, Xavier, and at Pitt. The Bearcats are 6-5 ATS and the total is 2-6 this season.

Notre Dame is outscoring teams 78-61 this season. The Irish are #37 in scoring. Notre Dame is shooting 51.5% from the field and 40.6% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish are #4 in field goal percentage and #12 in 3 point shooting. The Irish make 69.0% of their free throws. Notre Dame averages 38.4 rebounds per game and they give up 28.1 to opponents. Irish opponents are shooting  38.3% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. Notre Dame is #36 nationally in opponents’ field goal percentage. The Fighting Irish average 20 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocks, and and 11 turnovers.

Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley averages 15.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Guard Jerian Grant averages 12.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Eric Atkins averages 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Scott Martin averages 9.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Center Garrick Sherman averages 9.2 points, and 4 rebounds per game. Pat Connaughton averages 8.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game. Cameron Biedscheid averages 8.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Forward Eric Katenda is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.

Cincinnati is outscoring teams 76-57. The Bearcats are #49 in scoring and #24 in points allowed. Cincinnati is shooting 42.8% from the field and 34.3% from 3 point range. The Bearcats make 62.5% of their free throws. They are #316 in the country out of 347 teams in free throw shooting. Cincinnati is third in rebounding nationally with 43.9 per game, and the Bearcats give up 30.6 per game to opponents. Cincinnati opponents are shooting 35.7% from the field and 29% from 3 point range. The Bearcats are #9 in the former and #25 in the latter. Cincinnati averages 14 assists, 9 steals, 7 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Bearcats’ guard Sean Kilpatrick averages 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Cashmere Wright averages 14.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Guard JaQuon Parker averages 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Forward Titus Rubles averages 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Jeremiah Davis III, Cheikh Mbodj, Justin Jackson, David Nyarsuk, Shaquille Thomas, Jermaine Sanders, and Ge’Lawn Guyn make up the rest of the rotation.

Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS after scoring more than 90 points, 5-1 after a straight up win and overall, 4-1 after a cover, 10-4 against teams with winning records and with a winning percentage of over .600, 33-16 in Big East games, 7-19-2 in Monday games, and 1-4 in road games after 3 or more straight home games. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 6-1 after failing to cover, 7-2 in Big East games, 13-6 against teams with winning records. The home team and favorite has covered the last 4  games in this series.

After a hot start, Cincinnati has struggled in their last 3 games. Even in the Pittsburgh game, they were down in the second half before rallying late. Against New Mexico and St John’s the Bearcats didn’t score over 54 points. Defensively they are still one of the best teams in the country, and they can slow down the potent Notre Dame offense. Cincinnati would prefer to play this game in the 60;s and Notre Dame would rather play it in the 70′s. I like Notre Dame to pull off the upset on the road.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot as the conference season gets underway. We have winners every day until the National Championship game in April.

 

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