NCAA Basketball Picks: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse to go Under

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 3, 2014 1:59 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 1:59 PM GMT

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Syracuse Orange are both coming off hard-fought overtime victories, as they prepare to face off for the first and only time Monday night. Where does the best value lie for our college basketball picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at the Carrier Dome, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Trouble away from home

Notre Dame is the only ACC member that hasn’t won on the road, as it comes off a 76-73 overtime victory over the Boston College Eagles as 6.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Fighting Irish are 2-9 SU in their last 11 trips to this venue—dropping the last three by an average of 15.6 points.

It’s important to point out that the program has covered the number in six of its last seven games as road underdogs of 12.5 to 15 points.

No. 1 in the country

Syracuse will occupy the top spot in the country after Arizona’s loss at California coupled with its 91-89 overtime victory over the Duke Blue Devils as 4.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

Orange senior forward C.J. Fair is coming off a career-high 28-point performance—a bit surprising after he averaged just 14 points over his previous four contests.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 6-2 ATS versus conference opponents during the 2013-14 campaign.

Small margin

The Fighting Irish are definitely worth a look on the college basketball odds board, considering they’ve gone 18-27 SU versus top-10 opponents under head coach Mike Brey.

Notre Dame’s 10 losses have also come by an average of just 6.9 points, but it did suffer a 63-47 setback to Syracuse in last year’s meeting as 8.5-point road underdogs.

Potential letdown?

The Orange could definitely suffer a letdown in this affair after such a high-profile win over the Blue Devils, but they’ve gone 9-0 SU and 4-5 ATS as home favorites of 12.5 to 15 points the last two-plus seasons.

Syracuse will likely win this game on the defensive end, as it currently sits fourth in the ACC in averaging 5.1 blocks per game.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total for their college basketball picks, as the UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this series.

College Basketball Pick: Under 131 

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