December 6, 2016
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Take IPFW +13.5 spread against Notre Dame for 3% of the bankroll.
There is no question that perception is likely to play a role in this matchup as the #22 ranked and undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on a smaller mid-major program in the IPFW Mastodons. Notre Dame has been steamrolling their competition this season, however the Mastodons are no pushovers and enter this contest on a six-game winning streak, including a 71-68 home triumph over last year's Big 10 champions, the Indiana Hoosiers on Nov. 22. The Mastodons feature one of the best mid-major point guards in the country in senior Mo Evans, who is averaging 18.1 points, 6.3 assists and 2.7 steals while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and draining 29-of-53 shots beyond the arc. Evans posted his third double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 assists as the Mastodons beat Miami (Ohio) 87-71 on Saturday.
As a team, Fort Wayne is averaging 88.7 points while shooting 51% from the field and 41% from long-range. Evans is not the only weapon on the team as Bryson Scott averages 16.9 points on 53-percent shooting, John Konchar chips in 13.2 points and 7.7 rebounds and Kason Harrell averages 11.1 points and is 20 of 45 beyond the arc thus far this season. Fort Wayne is an incredibly balanced team and even though they are from the mid-majors, they could wind up surprising some people by the end of the season.
The #22 ranked Fighting Irish set a school record by placing seven players in double figures in their 107-53 victory over the North Carolina A&T Aggies and can start 9-0 for the first time in Brey’s 17-year tenure. There are a lot of eyes on the Irish at the moment and one must wonder when a temporary slip-up is going to happen. While the Irish have shown their ability to light up the scoreboard, they have not been especially smothering on the defensive side of the ball. They have shown their ability to give up points and that could make things difficult for the Irish to pull away in this contest, especially against a team a proficient as the Mastodons.
IPFW will also have the size advantage in this contest as Notre Dame prefers to play with a much smaller lineup. This should be an advantage that the visitors are able to exploit both on the defensive side of the ball as well as on the glass. While an outright victory is a longshot against a red-hot Notre Dame team, we do expect the visitors to put forth a valiant and competitive effort. They should be able to keep this game within single digits, however, even if they fall short and allow the Irish to jump out to a commanding lead, it could force the Irish to take their foot off the gas in the later stages of the second half and allow the Mastodons to close the gap and come away with a backdoor cover. The points will prove to be valuable in this contest as the visitors come away with the ATS victory.
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