Syracuse vs. Notre Dame Odds, Picks & Prediction | College Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 3)

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame Odds, Picks & Prediction | College Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Dec. 3) article feature image

Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Joseph Girard III (Syracuse)

  • Syracuse travels to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to start ACC play.
  • The Orange are coming off of a beating at the hands of Illinois, while the Irish just toppled Michigan State.
  • Will the Irish keep shooting the ball well? Anthony Dabbundo dives in below.

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame Odds

Saturday, Dec. 3
12 p.m. ET
Syracuse Odds
-114o / -106u
Notre Dame Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

ACC play begins this weekend with each team getting a taste of conference action before the full league slate begins in January.

Syracuse has a second consecutive road game in the Midwest on Saturday afternoon after the Orange were blown out against Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday.

Syracuse was almost entirely uncompetitive in a 29-point blowout loss that saw it score just 44 points, including 21 in the second half.

Notre Dame will play its second home game in four days after the Fighting Irish crushed Michigan State. Mike Brey's squad blitzed the Spartans from the opening tip and rolled to an 18-point victory.

Both of those results set up an excellent buy-low, sell-high opportunity in this game. A lot of the Orange's weaknesses aren't really going to get exposed by Notre Dame on Saturday, and the spread is inflated because of those recent performances.

Syracuse should bounce back against a team with more limited athleticism and less depth.

Syracuse Orange

Syracuse has posted three consecutive poor performances for varying reasons. The Orange blew an early double-digit lead against St. John's and lost the Empire Classic Championship in overtime.

They returned home and lost a buy game to Bryant as a nine-point favorite. Then, Syracuse went to Illinois and didn't look competitive after the opening 10 minutes.

The biggest problem for Syracuse — beyond its lack of talent relative to past Orange teams — is the performance of Joseph Girard III. Girard is an enigmatic figure and has had an up-and-down career for the Orange, but he's more than capable of carrying this offense when he's going.

He's scored nine total points in the past three games after tallying 85 points in the first four games.

The true Girard is somewhere in between the two, but his added offense will make the Orange considerably better.

This should be a good matchup for Girard given that Notre Dame applies zero ball pressure and concedes open looks from beyond the arc.

If the Orange can get their top scorer going, it'll open up space for freshman point guard Judah Mintz to score in the paint. Add in that Jesse Edwards won't be going up against an excellent interior defense, and the Orange's offense should take a big step forward in this game.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has taken a step back this season. The Fighting Irish have one of the more extreme statistical profiles in the country with their short bench. They are 363rd in bench minutes, last in the country. Notre Dame is only going six deep on any given night with four seniors and two freshmen. Those six are the only players who have played in the past three games.

The defensive flaws are evident in that the Fighting Irish are incapable of applying any ball pressure or forcing any turnovers. They rank near the bottom of the country in turnovers forced, despite playing a relatively weak schedule of opponents that includes one team in the KenPom top 100.

They also concede plenty of open 3-pointers, which all leads to a very mediocre defensive efficiency rating. Notre Dame may have an excellent offense that relies on ball movement and shooting, but it doesn't crash the offensive glass.

One of the easiest ways to expose Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense is with offensive rebounds, but Notre Dame doesn't make that a priority.

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame Betting Pick

Syracuse came into the season inflated in the betting markets and was clearly overvalued against Colgate, Richmond, St. John's and Bryant.

But as was the case against Illinois on Tuesday, you're now paying a premium to bet against Syracuse.

It's time to buy low on Jim Boeheim's team. Buy low on Girard and expect Syracuse to be very competitive in its first ACC game. The Orange's young team won't be overmatched physically by Notre Dame, and that should enable the offense to keep this game within one or two possessions.

Notre Dame has looked average to begin the season, and one ridiculously good shooting performance — Cormac Ryan was 6-of-7 from 3 — shouldn't change the overall outlook of this team.

Given how down the ACC is again, I'll be looking to bet plenty of underdogs this season.

That starts with Syracuse at +4 or better.

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