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NIT Handicapping: Penn St. vs. Notre Dame (Mar. 31)

NIT Semi-Finals – Notre Dame vs. Penn State

BetUS NCAA Basketball Odds: NOTRE DAME -4, Total 138

Here are some of the NCAA basketball betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* ND has covered four of its last six games
* ND has covered seven of its last 21 games * ND has won five of its last six games SU
* ND has played eight of its last nine games UNDER the total
* PSU has won four of its last five games SU
* PSU has played five of its last seven games OVER the total

For Notre Dame, this NIT tournament has been all about redemption. At the start of the season, a lot of experts had them penciled in as a top ten team, with a chanced to eventually reach the Final Four. Well, they have gotten to the Final Four, except it’s been in the wrong tournament. A seven-game losing streak in the middle of the Big East schedule kind of took care of that.

Actually, the Irish have not had a bad draw in getting here, They have played a thin UAB team, a so-so New Mexico squad, and a Kentucky team that was itself disappointing enough to get its coach fired a couple of days ago, and all those games took place at the Joyce Center. This is a little different setting, because Penn State comes into the Garden suffering from some hurts but still brimming with confidence after waltzing into the O’Connell Center in Gainesville and controlling Florida en route to a nine-point win.

Notre Dame unquestionably has an effective 1-2 inside-outside punch in Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney, but Penn State has a talented trio in Talor Battle, Jamelle Cornley and Stanley Pringle that can go toe-to-toe with them. The three combined for 51 points against Florida, and Cornley’s performance was particularly heroic because it was not even known whether he was going to play with his shoulder injury, yet he scored 23 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Battle had a hip pointer and was just one for eight from three-point range, but still scored 13 points and dished out five assists. Pringle hit five three-pointers against the Gators. This team is on a mission too.

Penn State’s people have had five full days to rest up; and that’s a positive. There should be a reasonable contingent of Nittany Lion fans to make this trip, as we know Notre Dame will have its followers. The Irish have been an under-achieving bunch for much of the year, and have shot just 41% in the tournament. Playing away from home has not been a boon to them. Penn State is a team that has exceeded expectations for much of the year, and they carry a lot of mental toughness into the proceedings. We prefer to take points with the Lions, the four-point underdog in the BetUS NIT college basketball online betting odds.

Our PLAY: PENN STATE +4 ***

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