Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Barclays Center - Brooklyn, New York
2:00 PM EST. The Fighting Irish were ranked #14 in both polls before the season began, but an injury to All-American Bonzie Colson in late December completely derailed their season. Notre Dame was 10-3 before Colson went down and it went 7-9 during conference play without him. In college basketball when you lose your star player, it's so hard to play at an elite level. It's not like you can just make a trade or sign a blue-chip recruit off the street. Colson returned to the lineup for the final two games of the season, and the Irish went 1-1 with a 17-point win over Pittsburgh while falling to the #1 ranked team in the nation, Virginia, 62-57 on the road in Charlottesville. Despite their less than ideal 18-13 record KenPom still has the Irish ranked as the #27 team in the country after playing the 30th most difficult schedule. It's easy to forget how good this team looked when it won the Maui Classic to start the season. The Irish will have to run the table in the ACC tournament just feel the Madness, but now that it is healthy, Notre Dame becomes a real threat to do just that. We've already bet the Irish at 16-1 to win this tournament and punch their ticket to The Big Dance.
A 0-18 conference record has Pitt sitting as the #15 seed, so expectations are understandably low. However, the Panthers recently covered as a 19-point pooch in South Bend, which might explain why they are getting some love in the market today. Do not be fooled by what looks like a relatively positive result, as Pitt covered that large number by just two points. Getting whacked by double-digits is what this team does. In conference play, the Panthers lost 15 of those 18 games by 10 or more, and eight of those losses came by 20 or more. That 73-56 defeat to the Irish two games ago was on a night that ND was working Bonzie Colson back into its lineup for the first time in two months. With another game under his belt, the Panthers may not be as fortunate to hang around today.
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#520 Notre Dame -17 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)