NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Tuesday
by Alan Matthews - 2/23/2015
Did you realize that Notre Dame has never won the NCAA Tournament? I would have thought maybe one of those Digger Phelps clubs had. In fact, the Irish haven't even made the Final Four since 1978, the club's only trip to the national semifinals. That was so long ago that there was still a third-place game then -- Notre Dame lost it to Arkansas. This year's Irish are off to their best 28-game start since the 1973-74 squad was 25-3. Yet they are +6000 long shots to win it all on Sportsbook.ag. Here's a look at their game and two others that caught my eye on Tuesday.
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No. 5 Wisconsin at No. 16 Maryland (+5)
This Big Ten matchup tips at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Badgers are still battling for a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance, with ESPN currently listing them as a No. 2 in the South. The Terps are a No. 4 in the East.
Wisconsin (25-2, 13-1), which has a three-game lead on Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue, can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten crown with a victory. UW hasn't won a Big Ten regular-season title since 2007-08. It won a 10th straight game Saturday, 63-53 at home against Minnesota. Likely Big Ten Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky had 21 points, and sophomore Brandon Koenig a career-high 17 points. This winning streak started when Koenig moved into the starting lineup after Treveon Jackson broke his foot. It's the best Big Ten start in school history, and since 2002 only two other Big Ten teams have started 13-1 or better in conference play (Illinois was 14-0 in 2005 and Ohio State 13-1 in 2010). The 10-game conference winning streak is one shy of the school record. Maryland (22-5, 10-4) won its third straight and improved to 7-0 at home in Big Ten games with a 69-65 victory against Nebraska on Thursday. The Terps have one of the nation's top freshmen in Melo Trimble, and he had 26 points, six rebounds and five assists against the Cornhuskers. The Terrapins have won their last three games by a combined of 11 points and are 8-0 in games decided by six points or fewer this season.
This is the only scheduled meeting of the season between the schools.
Key trends: Wisconsin is 4-1 ATS in its past five Tuesday games. The Terps are 1-4 ATS in their past five after a win. They are 1-7 ATS in their past eight overall.
Why take the underdog: Game of the year in College Park, and I believe Terps win outright.
Syracuse at No. 10 Notre Dame (-9)
This ACC matchup tips at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Syracuse, of course, won't be playing in the NCAA Tournament this season after self-imposing a postseason ban. That means no ACC Tournament, either. The Irish are currently projected as a No. 3 seed in the West.
The Orange (17-10, 8-6) have alternated losses and wins over the past seven games. They were beaten 65-61 at home by Pittsburgh on Saturday. Syracuse cut a nine-point deficit to one with less than a minute remaining but couldn't quite come all the way back. Star center Rakeem Christmas had his 10th double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds. SU's Michael Gbinije currently leads the ACC in 3-point shooting as he has made 49.2 percent of his 3-point attempts (32 of 65) in conference games. No SU player has ever led his conference in 3-point shooting. or the season, Gbinije is now 43-for-98 from 3-point range (43.8 percent) overall, which would be the fifth-highest 3-point percentage for a Syracuse player in a season. Notre Dame (24-4, 12-3) has won three straight as it tries to keep its slim hopes of the ACC regular-season title alive. The Irish won 87-70 at Boston College on Saturday. Star Jerian Grant had 10 points and 11 assists for the Irish, who shot 66 percent.
This is the only scheduled meeting of the season between the teams.
Key trends: The Orange have covered only two of their past 11 overall. They have covered one of their past eight vs. teams with a winning record. Notre Dame is 5-2 ATS in its past seven after a win. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Why take the favorite: Orange have lost three of their past four on the road.
New Mexico at Boise State (-9)
The latest-starting game on the schedule is 11 p.m. ET on ESPNU, and it's a must-win for Boise State in Mountain West Conference action. The Broncos are currently listed among the "First Four Out" on ESPN's Bracketology.
Boise State (20-7, 10-4) comes off perhaps its best effort of the season, a 78-46 blowout of Nevada on Saturday. James Webb III led the way with 22 points as BSU shot 56.6 percent and had 17 assists. The Broncos are 32-1 the last four seasons when having 15 or more assists. . Boise State also has held back-to-back league foes to less than 50 points for the second time this season. Nevada shot 36.5 percent (19-for-52). The Broncos have held five conference opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time in school history. This is only the second time in school history that Boise has reached the 20-win mark three straight seasons. New Mexico (14-13, 6-9) has made the NCAA Tournament each of the past three seasons but that's going to end barring a Mountain West Tournament title. The Lobos lost their sixth straight game on Saturday, 76-68 against UNLV. The 76 points were the most allowed by the UNM defense this season and the losing streak is the school's longest since the 1970-71 season.
Boise State won 69-59 in New Mexico on Jan. 18 behind 31 points from star Derrick Marks. The Broncos went on an 11-2 run to close the game after Jordan Goodman's two free throws pulled New Mexico within 58-57 with 3:16 left. Boise was 11-for-26 from long range, while UNM was just 2-for-14.
Key trends: UNM is 0-6 ATS in its past six games. Boise State is 10-1 ATS in its past 11. UNM is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Why take the favorite: UNM is not a good road team -- or good team, period, right now.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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