Duke to Cover Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Inconsistent Notre Dame

Nikki Adams

Saturday, January 16, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 12:49 PM UTC

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on Duke Blue Devils in a highly-anticipated ACC showdown on Saturday’s early slate of college basketball. Here’s our betting analysis & NCAA basketball pick.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2936020, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NCAA Basketball Picks: Duke -8.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-5, 2-2)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set to take on No.9 Duke Blue Devils on Saturday’s round of college basketballs, a game that is trading on a rather hefty spread with the Fighting Irish to the disadvantage.

Most sportsbooks opened on an 8-point line but some opened on 10-points. As it is, the Fighting Irish are trading around +8.5-to-9-points so college basketball bettors must shop around for the best line that fits their expectations. For instance, Heritage sportsbook opened on an 8.5-point line but it was bet up to 9-points by late Friday, while BetOnline opened on 10-points and as action came down their wire the line dropped down to 8.5-points. A lot of action appears to be coming down on this game from all sides, which means there’s sure to be more movement on the NCCA Basketball odds board.

Notre Dame (11-5, 2-2) are sat ninth in the ACC Standings behind a modest season. They are coming off a 72-64 win over Georgia Tech and will be looking to build on that momentum with a second straight win. Unfortunately, recent form shows concerning inconsistency: they’ve oscillated between a win and loss in their last five games. Of note is the losses to ranked opponents UVA and Pittsburgh.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the upset on the road in straight-up basketball betting markets. Nor is their poor run of form versus the spread encouraging towards their chances of covering in this game: they’ve covered just one of their last seven games despite going 4-3 SU over that period.

They failed to cover as the 9.5-point away underdogs in a 77-66 loss to Virginia and they failed to cover as the 4.5-point faves in a 86-82 home loss to Pittsburgh.


On the season, they are 5-8-1 ATS with a 9.9-poin winning margin and a negative 2.2-point differential versus the spread.

As away underdogs, they are 0-1 ATS with an 11-point losing margin and a 1.5-point differential against the spread.

Against the Conference, they are 1-2-1 ATS with a 5.2-point winning margin and a plus 2.2-point differential against the spread.


No.6 Duke Blue Devils (14-3, 3-1)
The Duke Blue Devils (14-3, 3-1) are coming off a tough 68-63 loss to Clemson on the road, a defeat that snapped a five-game winning streak and marked just their third loss of the season. Most significantly, it marked their first loss to Conference rivals and saw them slip to 3-1.

Without a doubt the Blue Devils will be keen to bounce back at home to the Fighting Irish, who are just 2-2 SU in the Conference. The hosts are trading as the considerable home chalk for good reason: they are third in the nation for scoring and, even more impressively, they are undefeated at home with a 10-0 SU mark.

On the season, they are 8-7-1 ATS with a 17.4-point winning margin and a plus 1.3-point differential against the spread.

At home, they are top of the ACC Standings with a 6-2-1 ATS mark that includes a whopping 27-point winning margin and a plus 5.2-point differential versus the spread.

Against the Conference, they are 3-1 ATS with a 13-point winning margin and a plus 1.1-point differential versus the spread.


Betting Verdict
The loss to Clemson was a bit of a setback but it’s not the ‘be all end all’, so to speak. It’s the way of rivalries and they go either way. The Blue Devils are back at home where they’re tough to beat, and following this latest setback they might be even tougher than most would expect them to be as they attempt to bounce back. With the Fighting Irish coming in on inconsistent, topsy-turvy form, only make the Blue Devils a more attractive option, even if they are matched on a rather high line. Take Duke Blue Devils on your NCAA basketball pick to win and cover.

comment here