2023 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Duke vs. Notre Dame

2023 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Duke vs. Notre Dame article feature image

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 27: Jake Taylor #13 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates a goal during the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals held at Lincoln Financial Field on May 27, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Larry French/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The 2023 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse season concludes on Memorial Day with an ACC showdown between Duke and Notre Dame —the two biggest snubs from last season’s tournament.

Their matchup is even more poetic when you consider both teams needed an overtime win to advance to the championship game, and that Notre Dame’s only other championship appearances fell short at the hands of the Blue Devils.

Let’s examine which team has the edge in this season’s finale.

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Notre Dame (-1.5) vs. Duke

Notre Dame Odds-120
Duke Odds+100
Day/TimeMonday · 1 p.m. ET

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Notre Dame enters as a 1.5-point favorite after coming from behind to knock off Virginia in overtime. Meanwhile, Penn State gave Duke all it could handle before a controversial goal by Garrett Leadmon sent the Blue Devils to the title game. The total for this game is currently 26.5 at most sportsbooks.

While both teams pulled off gutsy wins on Saturday, Duke failed to cover as 4-point favorites against a Penn State team that was much weaker at the faceoff and also without its top defender. Additionally, Duke managed to win 62.86% of its faceoffs but couldn’t convert those extra possessions into a substantial lead. While Duke’s offense played well, its defense was exposed by a Penn State offense that attacked them at a variety of spots in a similar way the Irish did when they faced Duke earlier this season. 

As for Notre Dame, the Irish needed to erase a late two-goal deficit against Virginia and force overtime to punch their ticket to the title game, but I believe the better team came out on top. Credit to Virginia’s offense for taking it to Notre Dame’s usually stout defense, but the Irish outplayed the Cavaliers overall.

Notre Dame’s defense held Virginia to a season-low 12 goals for the second straight time. The Irish also managed to overcome their lone weakness at the faceoff thanks to a Herculean effort from a Will Lynch-led unit that won 57.14% of their draws against one of the best faceoff specialists in the nation (Petey LaSalla).

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The few teams that managed to have success against Duke were the ones who slowed down the Blue Devils’ leading scorer, Brennan O’Neill. Luckily for the Irish, defender Chris Fake displayed the ability to neutralize O’Neill in their 17-12 victory on April 8, holding O’Neill to one goal on four shots.

The one concern for the Irish is the health of Tewaaraton Finalist and leading scorer Pat Kavanagh, who appeared to injure his hamstring midway through the semifinal game. Kavanagh stayed in the game, however, and still managed to tally two goals following the presumed injury. While a healthy Kavanagh would greatly improve Notre Dame’s chances, the Irish’s MVP can still make a difference at 70% health and without the ball in his stick.

During the quarterfinals, Johns Hopkins held Kavanagh to one point and no shots on goal. The Irish responded with a group effort and three-goal victory. I bring this up because while the Irish would prefer big games from both Pat Kavanagh and Chris Kavanagh, they have the depth on offense to overcome anything the Duke defense throws at them.

I’ve repeatedly said this Notre Dame team is the most complete in college lacrosse — the Irish have backed up that claim in every game of the NCAA Tournament. I think Notre Dame wins outright and also covers the spread, but to avoid a potential one-goal win, I recommend betting a half-unit on the moneyline (-110 on FanDuel) and a half-unit on Notre Dame +1.5 (+115 on Caesars).

In addition, I am targeting two player props. 

First, I like Notre Dame midfielder Jack Simmons to continue his productive postseason performance and go over 1.5 points (-120 on DraftKings.) Simmons had three points against Duke in their last meeting and he has had three straight multi-point performances in the NCAA Tournament.

Simmons is no stranger to the big stage — he's making his third national championship appearance after winning two titles with Virginia. He’s had two or more points in eight of 15 games.

Second, I like Duke’s Owen Caputo to stay under 1.5 points (-120 on DraftKings). Caputo has stayed under this mark in 12 of 18 games this season, and he had no goals and one point in Duke’s last meeting with Notre Dame.

He’s only taken six total shots in the last five games and he has failed to record more than a point in eight of his last nine. I don’t think the Blue Devils will rely on Caputo much on Monday.


  • Notre Dame ML (0.5 unit; FanDuel)
  • Notre Dame -1.5 (0.5 unit; Caesars)
  • Owen Caputo Under 1.5 Points (-120; DraftKings)
  • Jack Simmons Over 1.5 Points (-120; DraftKings)

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