Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(17-4, 9-7 ATS)
DePaul Blue Demons
(6-14, 9-10 ATS)
The DePaul Blue Demons have dropped 21 straight games in the Big East, but in college basketball betting action on Thursday night, they’ll have a chance to get rid of that dubious distinction when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish come to town.
The good news about the Fighting Irish is that they have won three games in row both SU and ATS. The bad news is that they haven’t played a game in over a week and a half and might be losing some mojo. There’s definitely a reason to believe that they could be coming down from the top now that they have to play DePaul and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a span of just a few days. Carleton Scott had a great performance with 16 points and nine boards against the Pitt Panthers last Monday, but he has a hamstring injury that is almost certain to keep him out of the lineup on Thursday. The good news is that Tim Abromaitis isn’t only going to score two points in this one like he did on the road last week. Ben Hansbrough was the man that just kept throwing dagger after dagger on the Panthers, and he is now averaging a team high 16.5 points per game this year. He’s certainly going to be the best player on the court, and this could once again be a showcase for one of the top stars in the Big East.
It’s been a very frustrating year for the Blue Demons, but this is going to feel like their Super Bowl, playing on national television against a Top 15 team in the country. They haven’t stuck within double digits in a game since January 4th, a stretch of five straight game. Needless to say, DePaul hasn’t covered a spread in that stretch as well. It has one of the worst defenses, not just in the Big East, but in the entire country as well. Allowing 74.7 points per game isn’t going to cut it, especially when it is allowing teams to shoot a stunning 48.5 percent from the field, ranking No. 340 in the land. There aren’t all that many great scorers on this team, but Cleveland Melvin is a real exception to the rule. Melvin averages 14.4 points per game, and he is a big time player in the paint. However, the fact that he is only averaging 4.7 boards per game is really a part of the lackluster rebounding effort that this team has as a whole. Melvin will need some help from Brandon Young and Tony Freeland, both of which have put up double digits in scoring per game on the campaign.
Again, we really can’t stress enough that this is a bad, bad spot for Notre Dame. Scott won’t be playing, and the team has to be coming down a notch. DePaul is going to be sky high for this one, and this just has the makings of an NCAA basketball betting upset on Thursday.
College Basketball Free Pick: DePaul Blue Demons