NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame Fits Perfect ATS System for First Four Games
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Geo Baker.
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame on Wednesday night jibes with an undefeated against the spread (ATS) system.
While the sample size is small — only four games have ever fit the parameters — this system exclusively applies to First Four games, which have only been around since 2011.
Keep that in mind when making real money wagers on this contest, but the historical precedent is strong enough to keep in your back pocket.
The First Four teams that have opened as favorites but closed as underdogs are 4-0 ATS since 2011.
Rutgers opened as a 1.5-point favorites over Notre Dame before the market turned on them.
Now, the best price on the market has Notre Dame as a 1-point favorite, on account of sharp action across American sportsbooks.
That’s likely due to Notre Dame’s substantial advantage in the advanced metrics. The Fighting Irish are the 52nd-best team in the country, according to KenPom.
On the flip side, Rutgers is just 74th in college basketball — lower than three No. 13 seeds.
Note that this system only applies to closing lines. Should Rutgers revert to favorites before tipoff on Wednesday night at 9:10 p.m. ET, then this trend won’t apply. Another note is that this system exclusively applies to spread bets — not the moneyline.
Both Rutgers and Notre Dame are competing to claim a No. 11 seed and a right to face No. 6 seeded Alabama on Friday in the Round of 64.
The other First Four teams to have covered after opening as favorites then closing as underdogs are:
- 2021: Wichita State (+2.5) over Drake (Drake 52, Wichita State 51)
- 2021: Texas Southern (+1) over Mount Saint Mary’s (Texas Southern 60, Mount Saint Mary’s 52)
- 2018: Syracuse (+1.5) over Arizona State (Syracuse 60, Arizona State 56)
- 2014: Tennessee +2.5 over Iowa (Tennessee 78, Iowa 65)
This sample size is small, so make sure this pick fits your own personal thesis before making a selection.
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