College Basketball Betting Preview: #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #2 Pitt Panthers

#14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #2 Pitt Panthers
Jan 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM EST
Opening Line:  Pitt -10
Current Line:  Pitt -11
Opening Total: 139
Current Total: 136
Opening Moneyline:  Pitt -650 / ND +525
Current Moneyline:  Pitt -750 / ND +550

St. John's Notre Dame Big East Basketball Preview
Tyler's younger brother is a stud too

Pittsburgh has continued their recent dominance and a victory over the then-unbeaten Syracuse Orange has propelled them to the #2 rank overall.

Notre Dame has been a poor road team this year and have dropped their last three on the road and managed to average only 56.3 points per game, losing all three by an average of 17.3 points.  Tyler Hansbrough’s younger brother Ben is dominating for the Fighting Irish, averaging 18.3 points and shooting 45.6% from three.  If Notre Dame is to stay in tonight’s game, Hansbrough is going to have to have a big game on the interior.

Some betting trends:

Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-5 SU in their last 6 road games.  The total has gone UNDER in all 5 of their last 5 on the road and they are 1-5 SU in their last 6 road games against Pitt.

Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in their last 5 and 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home.  They are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the Fighting Irish and 6-3 SU in their last 9 against Notre Dame.  They are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against Notre Dame and 5-1 SU in their last 6 at home against them.

Other than Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame has three other players who average double figures:  Tim Abromaitis, Carleton Scott, and Tyrone Nash.  Along with Scott Martin and Eric Atkins gives you the top 6 players and rotational players on Notre Dame’s team.  Abromaitus, a 6’8″ senior forward, averages 14.9 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.  He’s scored in double figures in all but 2 of the Irish’s games and has scored 20 or more 7 times already this season.  He’s also notched two double doubles.  6’7″ senior Carleton Scott is also putting up 11.4 points per game and grabbing 6.3 rebounds per night.  He’s shooting 35.9% (23 of 64) from three and has hit a three in 9 of the 13 Notre Dame games.

Pittsburgh is led by the trio of Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, and Gilbert Brown, who together combine for 40.2 points per game, slightly more than half of Pittsburgh’s offensive attack.  Like Notre Dame, they have a 6 man rotation, in which all 6 players average over 20 minutes and over 7 points per game.  Gibbs, a 6’2″ junior guard, is leading the way in scoring with 15.9 points per game while shooting a lights out 45.4% from three (64 of 141).  He’s hit at least 2 threes in every game except the win on December 22nd againt American.  He’s had two games with 10 attempts and is averaging 7 attempts from three per night.  Atkins of Notre Dame will have to be careful and consciencious of where Gibbs is at all time and he can’t afford to play any help defense really.  If Gibbs gets hot, it could be a blowout in the favor of Pittsburgh, but on the same hand, they are good enough that if he has a bad game, they could still win.

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