Irish & Hurricanes Send Total 'Over' Mark In ACC Action

notre dame basketball

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 12, 2017 2:38 PM GMT

Their dislike for each other is well documented, at least in football, and we've got a free NCAA basketball pick for the ACC battle Thursday night between Notre Dame and Miami in South Florida.

One can't help but wonder if we'll see any "Catholics vs. Convicts" T-shirts in the stands at Watsco Center on Thursday when the Fighting Irish hit the Atlantic Coast Conference highway to take on the Hurricanes.

Probably not, especially since the game is being played in Coral Gables in front of a very pro-Miami crowd. It may not be quite as heated as when the schools get together on the gridiron, but the rivalry between the Fighting Irish and Hurricanes can still generate some fire regardless of the sport. ESPN carries the clash beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and the spread can't find a spot to settle down, bettors able to find Miami from -3 to -4. BetOnline has it in the middle at -3½ with 139 for the total.

 

Notre Dame 3-0 O/U In ACC Affairs

Who would  have thought Florida State and Notre Dame (14-2 straight up, 5-5 against the spread) would be the last two teams unbeaten in ACC action at this point? In case you're wondering when those two meet up, you only need to wait six more days for the Fighting Irish to visit the Seminoles, which will be the third straight ACC roadie for Mike Brey's bunch.

All three or Notre Dame's conference games have been close affairs, the largest margin of victory a 77-70 win over Louisville with the Irish -2 on the NCAA basketball odds. Their 77 points in that one stands as the most the Cardinals have allowed so far. Each of Notre Dame's three ACC triumphs also cashed for those holding 'over' tickets, the games ranging from 139½ to 154.

Miami (11-3 SU, 3-9 ATS) has covered just once since taking down Stanford in a Thanksgiving contest at the AdvoCare Invitational. That cover came in the ACC opener when the Hurricanes topped North Carolina State with ease. Coach Jim Larrañaga's lads followed that up with a 70-55 setback at Syracuse as 2½=point favorites, not much going right on either end of the court. A big problem the last three times out has been at the free-throw line, Miami hitting just 50% (27-54) after sinking better than 75% in the first 11 games.

 

'Canes Out For 3rd Straight Win In Series

Tonight's tussle will at least temporarily settle things on the hardwood between Notre Dame and Miami, who stand 10-10 against each other over the years -- with this matchup the only scheduled meeting this season. It's the Hurricanes who own a slim 3-2 advantage since the schools became ACC hoops foes, Miami taking both meetings last season. The matchup in Coral Gables ended in a 79-70 decision for the home team, the 'Canes covering as 5-point chalk with the final just skipping past a 148 point total, the second straight matchup here to go 'over.' Notre Dame's last win on Miami's floor came in 2002.

The two sides come into this one with contradicting trends on the totals, the Hurricanes running 3-8-1 O/U/P with the Irish 7-3 O/U. For my free NCAA basketball pick, I'm going to side with Notre Dame's tendency. Season record: 21-20-1 (-1.00).

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Over' 139Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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