College Basketball Predictions: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Thursday, 11/29/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Notre Dame PK
Current Betting Line:  Notre Dame -2
Opening Total:  134
Current Total:  132.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have one of the biggest home court advantages in college basketball

Kentucky hits the road after winning all three games on a recent homestand, as it prepares to play in the SEC/Big East Challenge.  The Wildcats are 42-18 all-time against the Fighting Irish, which includes wins in 11 of the past 12 meetings.  The program is expected to welcome back point guard Ryan Harrow, who has missed the last four games.  Kentucky is 3-1 ATS as an underdog over the past two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 3-1 in those contests.

The Wildcats were the only BCS level school not to return a single player with at least one start from a season ago, but head coach John Calipari has compiled 106 wins during his time with the program.  He has gone 52-22 when matching up with Big East Conference opponents during his career, while the school is 172-73 all-time in that situation overall.  Over the last three games, Kentucky has shot a blistering 62 percent from the field, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread on Thursday night.

Notre Dame has lost five of seven meetings with Kentucky inside the Purcell Pavilion, but the program has compiled a perfect 45-0 record at home in the month of November under head coach Mike Brey.  The Fighting Irish are hoping their experience shines through in this high-profile affair, as they welcomed back five starters from last year.  “It’s been a big thing that’s helped us over the years is we’ve stayed old,” stated Brey this week.  Notre Dame is 19-18 ATS as a favorite since 2010, with the OVER going 22-11 in that situation.

The Fighting Irish have won 23 straight non-conference home games and are 64-1 in that particular situation in their last 65 opportunities.  Notre Dame has three probable starters averaging in double figures, with senior forward Jack Cooley leading the way, scoring 14.3 points and grabbing 11.3 rebounds per game.  The program is 16-23 against ranked teams in the top 10 during the Brey era, including an 11-6 mark at home.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this contest, with the OVER going 8-3 in the Fighting Irish’ last 11 home games.

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