Make Unstoppable Virginia Your NCAA Basketball Pick Over Notre Dame

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 2, 2016 4:21 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 4:21 PM UTC

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be looking to do a lot better this season, it's a tall order as they face a powerhouse in the #5 Virginia Cavaliers. Check our free NCAA basketball pick inside.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia-9.5 
Best Line Offered: at Bovada


Tip-off is scheduled for this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. EST at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. At 5Dimes, the Cavaliers are a 9.5 point betting favorite on the NCAA basketball odds and the total around 134.

Virginia has taken over the ACC and will be looking to make it the trifecta consecutively with ACC Titles. Not only that, they have dominated this series, winning eight straight games against Notre Dame. Saying that the Fighing Irish will have their hands full is an understatement. The Cavaliers have also won 9 straight games with two top 25 teams in West Virginia and Villanova included in that group.


The Big 3?
The Cavaliers are a team with 3 key options to choose from that have been unstoppable this season. Their 3rd leading scorer; London Perrantes; has been knocking down buzzer beaters and aside from averaging 11.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds, has been huge from beyond the arc. He's shooting and amazing 56.8% from 3-point range. In his last 4 games, he's an eye-popping 10 for 14 from beyond the arc. Look for Perrantes to be a key figure in this game in finding the open shooter and knocking down his own shots.


A Mystery
Malcolm Brogdon is also a big-time player in the ACC. He leads the Cavaliers in scoring 16.2 points per game. He averages 41.3% from beyond the arc and can rebound and dish the rock. Brogdon has been shooting poorly, but what's been unusual about it is he's been knocking down the 3-ball and not hitting anything else.

In his last 3 games, Brogdon has become 3-happy as he's shooting 9 for 34 from the field and 8 for 16 from beyond the arc. Although 3-pointers are a big part of his game, he needs to be more efficient playing a team the caliber of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


Mr. Double-Double
As for Notre Dame, they're a very deep team, but their one weakness is rebounding. That said, although their a weak rebounding team, they possess one of the best rebounders individually in the country in Zach Auguste.

For the season, Auguste is averaging 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He does a spectacular and efficient job in the paint. Augusute has gotten dramatically better throughout his career at Notre Dame and as a senior, he want's to make a good impression for the scouts at the next level.

Auguste is the type of player that won't look to shoot, but takes intelligent shots. In his last 2 games, he's right at his average, averaging 14.5 points and 12 rebounds. I expect him to be a nuisance to Virginia in not allowing second changes.

Along with Auguste, the Irish have leading scorer, Demetrius Jackson and he can do it on both ends of the court. That said, Jackson has has 2 weak performances against lower level teams in 2 out of his last 3 games. This is definitely a concern for Notre Dame.

I'm not confident in the way that Jackson has been playing and Virginia has been unstoppable. The spread is high for a reason. Take the Cavs and lay the points as the NCAA basketball pick.

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