Notre Dame, Texas A&M Feature in Pair of Pick‘ems

Vanderbilt Commodores

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 24, 2018 4:37 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 4:37 PM UTC

A straight-up pick and a wager on the total offer value in a pair of pick’ems Saturday, as Notre Dame travels to Wake Forest in the ACC and Vanderbilt hosts Texas A&M in SEC action.

Notre Dame vs Wake Forest (pick‘em)

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 146Best LIne Offered: at 5Dimes

Wake Forest (11-17 SU, 9-16 ATS) hasn’t come close to beating Notre Dame (16-12 SU, 10-14 ATS) under head coach Danny Manning. Going 0-4 SU and ATS, it’s lost by double digits in all but one. This is the Demon Deacons best chance yet to pick up a win, oddsmakers opening the meeting a pick ‘em on the board. Manning’s men have tipped off 9.1-point underdogs on average in the series.

The Irish, a disappointing 6-9 in conference play, is finally starting to play to its potential. Voted third in the ACC preseason poll, they started 3-7 SU and ATS, the usually potent Mike Brey offense missing in action. Notre Dame averaged 66.3 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting in this span. Since, they are 3-2 SU and ATS, scoring 80.8 per tilt on 50.7 percent from the floor. Brey’s men can’t miss from deep, going 57-of-125 from the 3-point area. Senior guard Matt Farrell sank a school-record 10 treys two games ago in an 84-67 win over Boston College. Respect:

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Have to 👀 them to believe them
🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀
10 3FGs for @MattyFarr3 at BC pic.twitter.com/8hJYKWazew

— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) February 18, 2018
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Wake fails to put it all together and stay within the number versus good teams. It is 6-15 ATS on the season when squaring off against an opponent with a positive point differential. The defense, which ranks 138th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings, yields 77.4 points per game in this situation. Guarding the perimeter is a challenge. The Deacs allows 40.6 percent from behind the 3-point line in this spot.

The Irish play at one of the slowest paces in the nation, ranking 323 out of 351 teams in tempo. Despite the slow attack, an efficient shooting performance against a porous defense will see them push 80 points. Wake will not lag too far behind. Pick ‘over’ the total.

Texas A&M (-1.5) vs Vanderbilt

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Vanderbilt +105Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Schedule-makers picked a bad time for Texas A&M (17-11 SU, 11-14 ATS) to take on Vanderbilt (11-17 SU, 7-18 ATS). Losers of three straight, the Aggies have never won at the famed Memorial Gymnasium. Since joining the SEC, they are 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in the series.

Billy Kennedy’s team has to bounce back quickly to gain a NCAA Tournament bid, needing victories in at least two of its final three games—at Vandy, at Georgia and home to Alabama—for the committee to consider an invitation. A pair of losses would drop the once-ranked bunch to 7-11 overall in the SEC. No team four games below .500 in conference play have received an automatic invite. Motivation is there, but confidence waning.

The issue is the Aggies’ defense is in retreat. Ranked 11th in the country in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings, they are surrendering 80.6 points per game on 46.3 percent from the floor in their last five played. This is 8.2 more points per contest then the betting market projected.

The Commodores, meanwhile, are in the midst of a scoring bloom. They are putting up 75.3 points per game in the last seven, surpassing their team total in all but one by a 5.0 average. Vandy fields five shooters at all times, each capable of firing from long-range. It attempts 46.2 percent of its shots from behind the arc, the 18th highest rate among all Division I programs. The style of play is proving a tough matchup for most late in the season.

The result of this matchup will come down to which team wins the 3-point battle. Give Vandy the edge. It averages 40.5 percent from behind the arc hosting SEC opponents. Texas A&M sinks just 5.9 treys per game as a visitor in conference play, shooting just 27.7 percent from deep. The Aggies are 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in these games. Commodores win 77-72. Take them straight up.

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