NCAA Basketball Picks: Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 18, 2013 1:55 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 1:55 PM UTC

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Pittsburgh Panthers will bring identical overall and Big East Conference records into Monday’s meeting at the Petersen Events Center in the Steel City. Which team will we be looking to back with our NCAA Basketball picks tonight?

Before I share my free picks for tonight's game, let’s take a closer look at the betting line for this high-profile affair that tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Closing out a road trip

Notre Dame will try to bounce back from a 71-54 setback to the Providence Friars as two-point underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the posted total of 133. The Fighting Irish may be running on fumes, as three of their five games this month have gone into overtime.

The program has gone 5-10 against the spread off a loss against a conference rival the last two-plus seasons. 

Playing solid basketball

Pittsburgh has won seven of its last 10 games, but suffered a 79-69 defeat to the Marquette Golden Eagles as 2.5-point road favorites last time out, while going OVER the total for the first time in five contests.

The Panthers are 9-9 ATS when playing in February the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 12-6 in that situation. 

Success versus top-25 foes

College basketball handicappers may find the Fighting Irish attractive when looking over the betting lines, considering they’ve gone 20-13 against ranked teams over the last four seasons, including a 3-1 mark during the 2012-13 campaign.Notre Dame is 2-1 SUATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 2-1 in those affairs.

Home-court advantage 

The Panthers definitely enjoy one of the better home-court advantages nationally—winning 35 of their last 44 games inside this building during Big East play. Pittsburgh enters this contest with a 178-21 overall record at the Petersen Events Center. 

From a betting trend perspective, it’s important to note that the school is just 98-94 ATS at home since 1997. 

Mirror images

I’m definitely a bit surprised at the number that NCAA basketball odds makers have released in this matchup, considering both teams have gone 78-41 in league play since the beginning of the 2006-07 season. 

Notre Dame’s four-game win streak over Pittsburgh is the longest for the program in this series.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Panthers as one of their college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 Monday games, while the Fighting Irish are 0-11 ATS in their last 11 losses on the road in Big East play.

College Basketball Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers -10 at BetOnline

Be sure to check out my Free Picks on the West Virginia & Kansas State matchup as well.

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