Monday February 18th 2013 - Posted 2:50 PM Eastern Time
A meaningless late basket from Ohio State was the difference between going 2-1 and 1-2 yesterday but wins are wins and losses are losses and this is all part of the game. We were also fortune ourselves on Saturday with some lucky bounces of the ball but also unfortunate earlier in the week when Portland Blazers didn't cover and Florida State only pushed at +6 spread instead of winning.
Despite the small loss yesterday, we finished a wonderful week (Monday to Sunday) with an impressive 13 units of profit minus juice.
The NBA All-star weekend is over and starting tomorrow, we will have several NBA selections again. As far as College Basketball goes, we have been on a real hot streak lately and there is only one game we like tonight. We are risking 3% of our bankroll on Pittsburgh Panthers.
Take Pittsburgh Panthers at -10.5 spread against Notre Dame Fighting Irish risking 3 Units
This will perhaps be the most watched game tonight and the one that I feel the lines-makers focused the most on when formulating the line. This match-up of Big East teams couldn't be more evenly matched. Both teams are 20-6 overall, and both sport the exact 8-5 conference record. Just how closely matched are these two teams? Consider that not only are their records the same but that Notre Dame is scoring an average of 72.8 PPG average while the Panthers are scoring 71.0. Notre Dame has a 17.9 assists per game average, the Panthers are at 17.2. But here's the most compelling; both teams are shooting exactly .480 overall for the entire season. Having said all of that, the question that I can't seem to get around is that if both of these teams are so evenly matched, then why is Pittsburgh slated as a double digit favorite? The lines typically don't lie and there is a reason why it is set where it is at. It's not often that you see a team like Notre Dame listed as a double digit underdog and that's why the vast majority of the public are backing them getting this many points. While it is enticing, I believe it is the wrong move.
Now, Notre Dame does have the offense to compete with anyone as it ranks 12th in the land in offensive efficiency, although this will be the only Big East game all year where the Irish actually trail their opponent in that category. The biggest difference between these two teams and the reason why I believe this spread is where it is at is the disparity in defense. Notre Dame ranks 180th in the nation in defensive efficiency and 104th in effective field goal percentage allowed overall. When looking at Big East Conference games only, Notre Dame is ranked 14th out of 15 schools in both defensive efficiency and in effective field goal percentage allowed and ranks dead last in defensive turnover percentage. In addition to the troubles Notre Dame will have stopping Pittsburgh's initial shots, Pittsburgh ranks third in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, while the Irish are only 96th in defensive rebounding percentage.
Pittsburgh is ranked 6th in the country in offensive efficiency and 14th in defensive efficiency, making it one of only three schools ranked in the top 15 in both categories with the other two teams being Florida and Indiana, who by the way are the two current favorites to win the national championship at most sports-books and yet Pittsburgh has received hardly any national attention, so look for the Panthers to take advantage of this prime time nationally televised opportunity to show the country just how good they are, especially playing at home.
The Panthers are usually resilient since they are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss. On the other hand, the Fighting Irish are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games following a loss. Also Notre Dame is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games vs. teams with winning records. Providence was able to completely manhandle Notre Dame on Saturday and I believe that Pittsburgh will do the same thing to them tonight. Lay the points.
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