Villanova vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Will No. 23 Notre Dame pull off the upset today when it takes on No. 1 Villanova at 12:00PM ET in the Never Forget Tribute Classic?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Fighting Irish are now 6.5-point underdogs for today's game with the Wildcats, while the over/under currently sits at 146.5 points. Notre Dame had opened as a 5-point dog before the line was bet up to 6.5, while the total opened at 147 before dropping to 146.5.
VILLANOVA KEY TRENDS: The Wildcats have been a great bet overall, covering in 11 of their last 15 games. They're also 4-1 against the spread in their last five games versus the ACC, are 36-15-1 against the number in their last 52 non-conference games and have covered in nine of 13 when coming off a win. They've also been solid against top competition, covering in eight of their last 10 games versus an opponent with a win percentage above .600.
NOTRE DAME KEY TRENDS: The Fighting Irish have covered in four straight games and are 5-0 against the number in their last five non-conference tilts as well. They've been solid as an underdog, covering in seven of their last nine neutral site games when a dog and are 4-1 at the betting window in their last five games versus an opponent with a winning record as well.
OUR PREDICTION: I love backing a team like Notre Dame when its an underdog. That's because the Fighting Irish are one of the best in the nation at protecting the basketball, averaging just 8.1 turnovers per game. They also do a great job on the defensive end, allowing opponents to shoot just 37.8 percent from the field while forcing 14 turnovers per game. They also do well at the free throw line, shooting 85.9 percent and they knock down an average of 11 threes while shooting 41.3 percent from beyond the arc. Granted, they haven't played anyone yet, which is why this is a huge measuring stick game today. That said, this is a good, fundamental team that doesn't beat itself so the Irish are worth backing.
SATURDAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREDICTION: NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH +6.5