NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Betting Picks: Best Bets for Notre Dame vs Maryland

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Betting Picks: Best Bets for Notre Dame vs Maryland article feature image

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 25: Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate scoring during the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals held at Lincoln Financial Field on May 25, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Larry French/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse season concludes with a title game featuring defending champion Notre Dame and the perennial championship contender Maryland. Notre Dame is favored between -3 and -3.5 on the spread depending on the sportsbook, while the total ranges from 21.5 to 22.5 currently.

Our best bets for the Final Four went 6-1 on Saturday, so let’s carry that momentum into the final game of the season.

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Maryland

Notre Dame (-3) Odds-345
Maryland (+3) Odds+250
TimeMonday · 12 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

It’s rare I don’t bet either a side or total in a marquee matchup, but unfortunately I think the lines the sportsbooks set for the national championship are on point. I lean Notre Dame -3 and Under 22.5, but neither are official best bets. This game should be on the lower-scoring end, but given the potential variance in pace and fairly even matchups on both ends, anything less than 22.5 is a pass for me. Even the first half spread of -2 and total of 11.5 provide little value in my eyes. The over/under of 11.5 was 8-8 for each team this season and it’s tough to predict who will be able to dictate the pace, let alone at what pace that will be.

If you’re set on betting this total, I recommend hoping for an early surge of goals and betting a live under if it rises above 24.

Ultimately, I’m expecting a three- or four-goal victory for Notre Dame, but I don’t think the Irish will ever be able to fully run away with it. Maryland’s defense will keep them in this game and Luke Wierman should be able to prevent the Irish from going on any major scoring runs. Still, this Notre Dame offense is far too efficient to not be able to outscore the Terps and win their second straight championship. 

When these teams last met in early March, Notre Dame won 14-9, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. In that game, the Terps allowed three goals on the power play to one of the greatest man-up units of all time and the Irish capped off their win with an empty-net goal. Yet, for most of the game, Maryland made the Irish work for their offensive opportunities — and while Notre Dame cashed in, nothing came easy. The Terps also generated a lot of quality scoring chances and Liam Entenmann came up big to prevent more than a few of Maryland’s comeback attempts. 

The closeness of this game should come as no surprise. Both teams are well-coached, punish teams by forcing turnovers on clears and winning groundball battles, and are excellent at in-game adjustments. These defenses are also both elite on-ball and are led by two of the best goaltenders in college lacrosse. Notre Dame goaltender Liam Entenmann is a tad better than Terp netminder Logan McNaney, but the margin is very thin. Meanwhile, the Terps defense edges out the Irish, but again only very slightly.

Furthermore, both teams feature athletic faceoff specialists that are tenacious on groundballs and can generate offense off the draw. These faceoff units rank first and second in adjusted faceoff percentage, according to Lacrosse Reference, and were deadlocked at 50-50 when they last played each other.

Notre Dame’s offense and depth is ultimately what should allow them to outlast the Terps on Monday. This Notre Dame offense is even more efficient than the 2022 Maryland team that went undefeated in its championship run and is deep enough to run three midfield lines that would rival any other team’s top units. While the Terps offense has played excellent this tournament, unforced turnovers have still been an issue and they’ll likely need Wierman to create a substantial possession advantage just to keep up with the Irish.

Ultimately, the best way to bet on this game is by targeting player props.

I’m going back to the well when it comes to Notre Dame midfielder Eric Dobson’s points prop. We cashed Dobson over 1.5 points on Saturday and I think this is a great matchup and price to bet him to do so again Monday. He’s gone over this mark in 11-of-16 games this season and had two points in their last meeting with the Terps. His ability to spread out the Maryland defense will be essential in this matchup. I recommend betting over 1.5 points at -146 on FanDuel, but would still play this up to -190.

I’m also betting Chris Kavanagh to stay under 4.5 shots on goal again as well. He’s stayed under this mark in 11-of-16 games this season, including their last game against Maryland — despite the Irish dominating possession and taking 43 shots as a team. Again this is not a fade of the younger Kavanagh as a playmaker, but a fade of his opportunities in a game that I expect Notre Dame to rely heavily on its offensive depth. I just don’t think the volume of quality shots will be there and could see Kavanagh thrive more as a feeder than shooter in this game. Bet him to stay under 4.5 shots on goal at -125 on DraftKings.

I’m also targeting his older brother Pat Kavanagh’s points prop. Maryland defender Ajax Zappitello did a great job of defending the elder Kavanagh in their last matchup and I expect Zappitello to limit him enough to stay under 4.5 points again Monday. Pat Kavanagh has stayed under this in 9-of-16 games, so +100 on bet365 is a fair price to bet him to do so again.

Finally, I’m betting Maryland midfielder Jack Koras to stay under 2.5 points at -160 on bet365. Koras stayed under this number in 11-of-16 games this season, including the Terps’ earlier game against Notre Dame. The volume of shots just hasn’t been there for Koras lately and I expect him to struggle to reach three points yet again on Monday.

Picks: Eric Dobson Over 1.5 Points | Chris Kavanagh Under 4.5 SOG | Pat Kavanagh Under 4.5 Points | Jack Koras Under 2.5 Points

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