NCAA Basketball Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 12 Marquette Golden Eagles
Thursday, 3/14/13, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Marquette -2
Current Betting Line:  Marquette -3
Opening Total:  126.5
Current Total:  125.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

College Football Sportsbook
The Marquette Golden Eagles are 8-7 all-time in the Big East Championship

Notre Dame has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it comes off a 69-61 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as 7.5-point neutral-site favorites Wednesday night, while going OVER the posted total of 122.5.  “We expected to be here a while, no question,” commented Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey.  The team improved to 9-12 when playing in the Big East Championship under his direction, as it attempts to reach the semifinals for a fourth consecutive season.  Notre Dame is 3-1 SUATS on a neutral floor this year, which is important to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread Thursday night.

The Fighting Irish are 5-4 in the quarterfinal round of the league tournament, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  Notre Dame went 10-of-17 from three-point range in its latest win, which wasn’t surprising due to leading the conference in shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.  With the win, the program’s current senior class moved into a tied as the all-time winningest in school history.

Marquette won its last four games of the regular season, including a 69-67 overtime victory over the St. John’s Red Storm as seven-point road favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the total for the third time in four contests.  The Golden Eagles have reached the semifinals twice in this event since joining the Big East in 2005.  The program has tallied 28 conference victories the past two seasons, which happens to be the most of any school within the league.  Marquette is 8-9 ATS as a favorite this season, with the OVER going 8-2 in that situation.

The Golden Eagles are 8-7 all-time in their previous seven appearances in the event, as they’ve managed to claim at least one win every year except 2006.  Marquette is extremely deep, with a total of nine players averaging at least 13.3 minutes per game, as the bench contributes 30.7 points per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Golden Eagles due to their 11-7 ATS mark in tournament games, while the Fighting Irish are 9-10 ATS versus teams with a winning record.

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