North Carolina is making a name for itself on the defensive end in 2014-15, but it’ll receive a challenge from a sharp-shooting underdog in Notre Dame Monday.
Shooting the Lights Out
Notre Dame leads the country with an effective field goal percentage of 63.0, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA Basketball picks, as it prepares to face the 11th-best defense in terms of efficiency.
The Fighting Irish’ 14-1 record matches their best 15-game start in 15 campaigns under head coach Mike Brey, as they sit just a victory away from equaling their entire win total from a season ago.
Offensively, the team occupies the top slot in shooting 55.3 percent from the field, while it sits behind just one squad nationally with a 1.66 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Sports bettors will find that the program is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games following three or more consecutive home tilts.
North Carolina’s defense is holding opponents to 34.8 percent shooting, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA Basketball odds, as it recently held Clemson to 28.3 percent from the field in a 74-50 victory as 6.5-point road favorites last Saturday.
The Tar Heels held the Fighting Irish to 123 combined points in sweeping last year’s season series, including a 63-61 triumph as 12-point home favorites on March 3.
It’s important to point out that the squad is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a SU win of 20 or more points.
Grant Is a Major Factor
The Fighting Irish have one of the best players in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as Jerian Grant has had a hand in 38.5 percent of their points this season—netting a team-high 268 points and dishing out a team-best 93 assists.
Grant leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio, which is remarkable given the fact that he’s played 519 total minutes.
A Winning Formula
The UNC Tar Heels aren’t the best offensive team in the country, but they committed just six turnovers last time out—tying their fewest in 12 seasons under Hall of Fame head coach Roy Williams.
North Carolina ranks first in the AC in offensive rebounding percentage, but is 14th in terms of grabbing just 67.2 percent of its chances on the board defensively.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Fighting Irish as one of their top NCAAB selections, as the Tar Heels are a mediocre 10-10 ATS versus teams that average 77 or more points since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +8.5 at Bookmaker