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NCAAB Handicapping: Ohio St. vs. Notre Dame

College Basketball Betting – Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) got a great effort last time out in beating nationally-ranked Miami. On Saturday they will be venturing into hostile territory when they take on the battle-tested Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) in NCAA college basketball sports betting action that is slated for a 4 PM ET tip-off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

BetUS NCAA Basketball Sports Betting Matchup:

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

* OSU has won its last nine games SU
* OSU has covered seven of its last eight games
* OSU has played six of its last eight games OVER the total
* OSU has lost four of its last five road games SU
* OSU has covered two of its last six road games
* ND has won six of its last seven games SU
* ND has played six of its last nine games UNDER the total
* ND has covered nine of its last 14 games
* ND has won 20 of its last 21 home games SU

It is clear that Notre Dame’s mode of operation includes making opponents defend the entire court. Last time out, the Irish hit 19 shots from beyond the arc. That comes to 48 in the last three games. Of course, that would normally open things up for Luke Harangody, one of the nation’s premier inside players and last season’s conference player of the year (Big East). But Harangody, who scored only 13 points against North Carolina in the finals of the Maui Invitational, contracted pneumonia somewhere along the way out in Hawaii, and will most likely be held out until New Year’s Eve, when Notre Dame begins the Big East season with a game against DePaul.

That means that (a) 6’10” Luke Zeller, a 39% shooter who has averaged 3.1, 2.2 and 2.2 rebounds in his three previous seasons, will have to pick up some of the slack in Harangody’s absence, and more plausibly, (b) that coach Mike Bray will be relying more on the outside game, specifically the three-point marksmanship of Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers, who between them have hit 50% from beyond the arc.

We certainly respect the experience of those two seniors, as well as junior guard Tory Jackson. But this does indeed become more of a one-dimensional team. And Ohio State has made a real mark with its defense (allowing just 34.5% shooting).

But the Buckeyes are not a big scoring team, and are hitting less than 44%, and if you concede that Notre Dame is going to make its share of three-pointers (they average 11.4), they can still stretch a lead. Remember that much of that OSU defensive strength is on the inside, coming through Dallas Lauderdale, who’s blocked 4.5 shots a game. And blue-chip freshman B.J. Mullens has not started contributing big yet. You’ve got to wonder how things would have turned out Tuesday night if Miami’s Jack McClinton, a renowned three-point bomber, would not have been thrown out of the game for slapping OSU guard Anthony Crater.

North Carolina’s run-and-gun blew Notre Dame off the court in Hawaii. Ohio State, which likes to pick up the pace, won’t do that. This does not present the same home court advantage for Notre Dame as it does in the Joyce Center (they’re playing it at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts), but with their experience, using primarily juniors and seniors while OSU depends a lot of freshmen and sophomores, will make a difference. We’ll look for the Irish to overcome the loss of Harangody and win this game by double digits for BetUS Sportsbook college basketball bettors.

Our PREDICTION: NOTRE DAME BY 12

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