NCAA Basketball Picks: Notre Dame vs. Duke

Ross Benjamin

Friday, March 13, 2015 2:19 PM GMT

One of the most exciting NCAA Basketball picks we can make tonight is for Duke vs. Notre Dame in the ACC Semifinals. Can the Blue Devils shut down the potent perimeter shooting of Notre Dame? 

Potential Entertaining ACC Semifinal between Irish and Blue Devils
The #11 ranked Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” (27-5) and the #2 Duke Blue Devils (29-3) will have at it on Friday in the ACC Semifinals. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN, and the scheduled start time is 9:30 PM ET. According to the NCAA Basketball odds at Heritage, Duke is a 6.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 152.5. These teams split their two regular season meetings with the home team winning on each occasion. Both of those contests stayed under the total, despite exactly 150-points combined being scored in each of those games.

 

Notre Dame survives a Scare in Quarterfinals
Notre Dame squandered a 43-25 halftime lead versus the Miami Hurricanes last night, fell behind by 1, and then eventually rallied for a seven point win. They’ll certainly need to put forth a more consistent effort tonight against a red-hot opponent (Duke) which is a serious national title contender. On a more positive note, Notre Dame has won three in a row and six of the last seven heading into tonight. As I stated in yesterday’s preview article on the Miami Fla. and Notre Dame game, the Irish are the best perimeter shooting team in the country with all things being considered. They’ve shot 50.4% from the floor and converted on an outstanding 39.1% of their three-point attempts this season. During their 90-60 blowout loss to Duke in early February, Notre Dame only shot 39.7% from the floor. Needless to say, they must shoot better than that is they hope to knock off Duke for the second time this season.

 

Blazing Blue Devils
The #2 ranked team (Duke) in the land is sizzling hot right now after winning each of their previous twelve games. Ironically enough, their last loss came at Notre Dame on January 28th. They’ve also covered in eight of those previous twelve including going 4-0 SU&ATS during the last four, and their average margin of victory in those four contests was a whopping 23.3 points. Duke has also scored 72-points or more in each of the last eleven contests, and has shot 50% or better from the field in five of the last seven.

 

Final Analysis
They say the great equalizer for a college basketball underdog is their ability to hit a high percentage of their three-point attempts. Well if that’s truly the case then Notre Dame qualifies in that regard. When it comes to placing our NCAA basketball picks, I like the value on the underdog in this spot despite having to fade a red-hot team.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Play on Notre Dame +6.5 over Duke at 5Dimes