NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet Miami +2.5 vs. Notre Dame In Huge ACC Game

Willie Bee

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

Miami is fighting for the ACC title and Notre Dame is in search of a top 4 ACC finish. Join us for a preview and free NCAA basketball pick in their Wednesday night showdown.

We all know how intense the gridiron rivalry has often been between Miami and Notre Dame. Bad blood eventually ended what had become almost an annual showdown in the 70s and 80s, the teams going 20 years without facing off at one point until the Hurricanes and Fighting Irish were finally cast against one another in the 2010 Sun Bowl.

The rivalry between the two on the hardwood is still growing now that the Irish are part of the ACC with the 'Canes. Wednesday's matchup in South Bend has all the ingredients to possibly take it to the next level as both schools battle to build up their resumes heading into the conference and NCAA tournaments.

Miami and Notre Dame get together for the second time this season, and fourth in the last 14 months with a 7 PM (ET) clash that will be aired by ESPN2. We all know familiarity breeds contempt, and the way these two are playing, it's not far-fetched to imagine seeing them a third time next week in DC during the ACC Tournament.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's worry about tonight's encounter at Purcell Pavilion. Wagering particulars for the skirmish include Notre Dame on a -2 to -2½ line, depending where you shop, and carrying a 143½ total.

 

Road Has Been Tough On Hurricanes & Their Backers
Miami (23-5 straight up, 17-10 against the spread) has been on a roll since dropping successive road games at Virginia and Clemson in mid-January. Jim Larrañaga's gang has run off 10 wins in the 12 subsequent matches, including victories over Virginia and Louisville a week ago, beating the NCAA basketball odds in each of those affairs to give the Hurricanes six covers their last eight times out.

Winning and covering at home -- 11-4 ATS in Coral Gables -- has been one thing, but the Hurricanes have so far not been able to match that success on the road. That's especially true in conference play where Miami is 3-4 outright and a puny 2-5 vs. the spread with another road tilt on deck this Saturday at Virginia Tech.

Notre Dame (19-9 SU, 12-13-1 ATS) suffered a couple of tough losses early to Monmouth and Alabama in the AdvoCare Invitational, but has been making up for those during conference play with 10 ACC wins. Mike Brey's bunch is safely in the Big Dance, currently a No. 7-8 seed in the latest projections, and in a dogfight with Duke for a coveted top 4 seed at the ACC tourney.

The Fighting Irish and Blue Devils are presently tied for fifth, but since Louisville is ahead of them and will not be included in the league bracket next week, either Notre Dame or Duke can move up a spot. The Irish get the luxury of finishing the regular season at home, NC State to follow Miami into South Bend this weekend, and own the tiebreaker over the Blue Devils by virtue of a 95-91 win in Durham on January 16.

 

3 Of Last 4 Have Been 'Over' Winners
Miami took the first meeting at home on February 3 by a 79-70 count, closing the first half strong for a 12-point advantage at intermission. Freshman Anthony Lawrence Jr. led the Hurricanes with 18 points off the bench, one of five Miami players to score in double-digits. Converting more than 56% of their field goals was a huge reason why the Hurricanes were able to cover a -5½ point line.

The result left Notre Dame with a slim 10-9 lead in the series, the Irish taking both meetings last season with one of those wins in the ACC Tournament. Last year's battle in South Bend went to Notre Dame, 75-70, the Hurricanes just beating a 6½ point line.

Their road woes are concerning, no doubt, but I still like the Hurricanes for my free NCAA basketball pick in this ACC fight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Miami +2½ 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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