Tuesday’s NCAAB Betting Previews: Notre Dame-Oklahoma, Michigan-Northwestern
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ignas Brazdeikis
College basketball offers a spiced up slate after a mild Monday one, featuring Notre Dame-Oklahoma in the Jimmy V Classic and undefeated Michigan at Northwestern on Tuesday.
Which side(s) present more value? Let’s take a look at the matchups.
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Betting odds: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Oklahoma Sooners
- Spread: Oklahoma -3
- Over/under: 143
- Tip: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN
No, this isn’t an alternative reality version of the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma are squaring off at Madison Square Garden, and the Sooners (5-1-1 against the spread) would appear to have a slight advantage given their 28th-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (94.3 points allowed per 100 possessions).
But I’m seeing this is a get-right game for the Fighting Irish offense.
While Notre Dame (3-4 ATS) is shooting only 31.5% from behind the arc, Oklahoma is yielding 36.1% of shots from 3-point range, making the Sooners the 88th-worst perimeter defense in college basketball. Forty-two percent of the Irish’s shot attempts have come via 3s as well.
The 6-foot-6 sharpshooter Rex Pflueger (34.6% 3-point shooting), who runs tremendous action off ball screens, should lead the charge in that department.
The Sooners (No. 68 in Adjusted Tempo) have also struggled with slower-paced teams, letting that flaw show in a 78-58 loss to Wisconsin and an 11-point win over Dayton in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The two programs rank 344th and 324th in that category, respectively, with Notre Dame sitting No. 291 overall. The Irish should win the battle on the glass thanks to their 36.4% offensive rebounding rate and control the tempo as a result.
Notre Dame is 7-5-1 (58.3%) ATS when getting at least three points over the past three regular seasons. Expect the Irish to continue that trend in New York City.
THE PICK: Irish +3; Under 143
Betting odds: Michigan Wolverines at Northwestern Wildcats
- Spread: Michigan -6.5
- Over/under: 128
- Tip: 9 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Big Ten Network
Let’s update the Wolverines’ recent dominance, shall we? They’ve won 22 of their past 23 games, and 17 of those victories have been by double digits.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ 29th-rated AdjD has aided their 5-3 mark ATS — similar to Oklahoma — but they’ll still be challenged one of the top teams in the nation.
Despite Northwestern (5-3 ATS) averaging a 42.3% free throw rate (FTA/FGA), Michigan (5-3 ATS) is limiting its opponents to the lowest percentage (18.1%) in the country. It’s a credit to the Wolverines’ sound interior defense, yielding the worst 2-point shooting (35.9%) as well.
Their frontcourt — led by Ignas Brazdeikis (16.3 points per game) and Jon Teske (8.1 PPG) — should have their way against Wildcats’ bigs, even Derek Pardon. The 6-foot-8 junior kept Northwestern within two against Indiana on Saturday with his 24-point and 10-rebound performance, but he’s yet to face a physical presence like Brazdeikis or Teske.
Vic Law — the Wildcats leading scorer (17.6 PPG) and a primary ball handler at times — won’t have much success against Charles Matthews, either, who is one of the top on-ball defenders in the sport.
In Northwestern’s lone double-digit loss to Fresno State, the Wildcats allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 47.8% on 3s. Given Michigan’s expected success in the rebounding department, letting up a mere 24.6% offensive rebounding rate, John Beilein’s unit should have some clean looks from deep in transition. The Wolverines are shooting 37.2% from 3-point range this season, too.
Michigan went 3-2 (60.0%) ATS last season while at least a 6.5-point road favorite. Don’t expect the Wildcats to be the first team to harm the Wolverines this campaign.
THE PICK: Michigan -6.5
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.