Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels Free College Basketball Picks, Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 3/3/2014
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-15, 6-11 ACC) at North Carolina Tar Heels (22-7, 12-4 ACC) NCAA Basketball: Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. EST (Dean E. Smith Center)
The North Carolina Tar Heels are entering the most important stretch of the college basketball year on an absolute tear. The No. 19 team in the nation finally moved back into the AP Top 25 for the first time since early in the season after a huge win over Duke last week, and it continues to ride an 11-game winning streak into the final two games of the regular season. The squad will face Notre Dame on Monday night and then close out the year with a matchup against Duke on March 8 before it heads into the ACC tournament and beyond.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have one game left in the regular season, and with the team sitting on an 6-11 ACC record and 15-15 overall mark they will probably not be invited to participate in the NCAA Tournament later in the month. Notre Dame was competitive during the only other meeting between the schools this season and will look to play the role of spoiler during Monday’s matchup. Let’s take a closer look at the game with predictions and analysis.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Story Lines
North Carolina had been an underrated squad since losing four out of five games early in January, but it has since come racing out of the gates with an impressive winning streak that extends back over a month. The team has been led by the duo of Marcus Paige and James Michael McAdoo. Paige currently averages 17.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while McAdoo is producing 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per matchup.
The Tar Heels are one of the highest-scoring and most efficient schools in the nation. The squad is 50th in points (76.7), eighth in rebounds (40.8) and 20th in assists 15.8). North Carolina is currently ranked fourth in the conference standings, but it will be a legitimate threat heading into both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. For bettors, the team has been a solid ATS squad with a 16-13 overall ATS record and 8-2 mark in its last 10 games.
Notre Dame has lost three of its last four matchups and did not cover the spread in any of them. The Fighting Irish have been a horrendous ATS team this season and are currently sitting on an 8-18-2 ATS record. The squad is also 2-7-1 in its last 10 matchups. Scoring and rebound have been two of the team’s major problems along with a lack of a solid defensive effort.
Notre Dame averages 72.4 points per game, which is ranked 141st in the nation, and grabs 34.3 rebounds per contest, which is ranked 208th. The team is coming off a close loss to ACC rival, and sometimes-AP-ranked squad, Pittsburgh, over the weekend. The Fighting Irish were 3.5-point underdogs heading into the matchup and lost by four points. Notre Dame played well, shot over .500 from three-point land and made .852 percent of its free-throws, but a few key baskets and poor offensive possessions ultimately cost it them game.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Odds and Key Trends
North Carolina opened as an 11-point favorite over the underdog Fighting Irish at BetOnline. North Carolina is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games and 9-2 ATS in its last 11 overall games. The team is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 matchups following a SU win but only 1-5 ATS in its last six following an ATS loss. North Carolina is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 Monday games and has gone “over” the total in five of its last seven home games.
Notre Dame is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games following an ATS loss and against teams with a winning SU record. The team is also only 6-17-2 ATS over its last 25 Monday games and has gone “under” in seven of its last nine games following a SU loss.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at North Carolina Tar Heels Free College Basketball Picks and Betting Predictions
The Tar Heels had covered eight straight games prior to its last two ATS losses. In general the team has been a covering machine over its last 10 matchups, but it may be winding down in preparation for the postseason. North Carolina is a very good team, but tonight’s game against Notre Dame has ‘letdown’ written all over it. The squad has a huge showdown with Duke on Saturday and may be looking ahead to that matchup instead of focusing on a desperate Fighting Irish team. Take Notre Dame plus the points.
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