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Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds – Panthers clamp down on explosive Fighting Irish

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/23/2010 2:27:56 PM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick Pitt

Pitt’s online betting chances in the tough Big East are very good as they continue to use a stifling defense to shut down their opponents. The Panthers will travel to Notre Dame on Wednesday to face a Notre Dame team that is the opposite: all offense, no defense. They may be without their star player, which will make it easier for the Panthers to smother their perimeter players.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 PM ET
WHERE: The Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN
KEY STAT: Pitt has won seven of their last 10 against Notre Dame

The Storyline: Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds
The Panthers (21-6, 10-4) have won five in a row after a 70-65 upset of Villanova, one of the teams they’re chasing in the Big East along with Syracuse. The Fighting Irish (17-10, 6-8) have dropped their last three by a combined total of six points, including a 91-89 double-overtime loss at Louisville. Pitt has had the upper hand in this battle, but the Fighting Irish are a tough out at home.

Offensive Matchups: Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds
The main reason that Pitt beat Villanova was great shooting from a place they’ve been inconsistent all season: the foul line. The Panthers went 26-of-34 from the charity stripe and made some critical free throws down the stretch. Pitt is a perimeter-based team that doesn’t shoot the three-pointer very well, so they’re kind of tough to judge offensively. However, Aston Gibbs has scored 20 or more in three of his last four games.
The Fighting Irish has missed All-American Luke Harangody, but they’re still battling hard, and Tim Abromaitis stepped up with 29 points against the Cardinals. Ben Hansbrough and Abromaitis lead a Notre Dame that love to shoot the three, and they may shoot even more in Harangody’s absence. The Fighting Irish lofted 24 treys at Louisville, and when they’re going in, it’s fine. But if they’re off, it’ll be a long night.

Betting Edge: Notre Dame

Defensive Matchups: Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds
This is where the Panthers can earn some credit with sportsbook players as Pitt is one tough team defensively. They’re physical without fouling, and they don’t gamble much, but the perimeter trio of Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker and Jermaine Dixon harass the opposing team’s guards all night long.
The Fighting Irish’s problems stem on the defensive end, mainly because it looks like they don’t even want to play defense. They rank lower than 200th in the country in three-point defense, field-goal percentage, points allowed, blocks and steals, and Notre Dame chooses simply to outscore their opponents.

Betting Edge:

Coaching Matchup: Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds
Jamie Dixon has done a great job keeping this team in it after they lost a wealth of talent. Last year, Pitt was an inside team with Dejuan Blair and Sam Young, and they haven’t changed their philosophy, still choosing to take high-percentage shots with smaller players. Their defense is better than ever, too.
Mike Brey has had the Fighting Irish in a postseason tournament in each of his first nine years in South Bend, and an NCAA Tournament berth is still in the mix, but they would probably have to run the table for the rest of the season. Brey hasn’t gotten these guys to play defense, and losing Harangody is massive.

Betting Edge:

Betting Prediction: Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame Betting Odds
The Fighting Irish should be favored at home, where they are 15-3, but their best win came against West Virginia back in January. Pitt has dropped seven of their last nine at Notre Dame, including an 82-70 loss in 2008, but they’ll snatch one here on Wednesday. The Panthers’ perimeter defenders can blanket the Notre Dame shooters, especially if Harangody is out, and even if he can play, how effective will he be? Pitt’s defense will be too much for the high-powered Fighting Irish.

Washington’s Pick: Pitt

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge at BetOnline.



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