NCAA Betting Preview: Notre Dame at DePaul

By: Joe Freda | Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Cleveland Melvin

Cleveland Melvin and the Demons aim for a big upset over Notre Dame.

The No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish have won three straight games, with a 3-0 spread record.  Mike Brey’s crew looks to extend its streak in Thursday’s road outing against the DePaul Blue Demons, who are 0-5 ATS in their last five contests.

Notre Dame has been idle since its 56-51 win as a 10 ½-point road dog in a Jan. 24 duel against the Pittsburgh Panthers.  The Fighting Irish rallied back from a five-point deficit at the battle’s break, outscoring Pittsburgh in the second half, 33-23.

Fighting Irish guard Ben Hansbrough notched team-highs of 19 points and seven assists.  The senior hit 8-of-14 field buckets, while adding one of his squad’s two steals.

Hansbrough’s mate Carleton Scott logged 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds.  The senior forward did most of his damage beyond the arc, connecting on 5-of-6 three-point shots.

The tight affair’s combined 107 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 136, bringing the ‘under’ to 6-2-1 in Notre Dame’s last nine games.  Both squads united to sink 18-of-29 free throws, while the Fighting Irish held the Panthers to 40 percent field shooting.

Notre Dame improved to 4-4 against the spread in its first eight games away from home, with the ‘under’ moving to 7-1.  Scott and Co. have allowed 65.2 PPG in that span.

DePaul’s latest defeat came in Thursday’s 71-60 loss as a 10-point road dog against the South Florida Bulls.  The Blue Demons were outrebounded, 31-22, while both squads combined for 27 turnovers.

Blue Demons forward Cleveland Melvin logged a team-high 17 points.  The freshman added three steals and all four of his squad’s blocks.

DePaul’s Krys Faber grabbed a team-high six rebounds, while finishing with a season-high 16 points.  The junior center connected on 7-of-8 field buckets.

The contest’s combined 131 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 134, making the ‘under’ 6-3 in the Blue Demons’ last nine games.  Both squads united for 48.5 percent field shooting, with DePaul allowing South Florida to drain 6-of-12 from three-point range.

DePaul is 5-6 ATS in its first 11 home ‘board’ dates, with the ‘under’ going 7-4.  Faber and Co. have put up a meager 63 PPG in the last five duels of that stretch.

Notre Dame is 4-2 ATS in its last six meetings against the Blue Demons, with the ‘over’ also cashing at 4-2.

The rivals have not met since DePaul’s 87-77 defeat as a 16-point road dog, one year ago.  Faber was held to four points for the Blue Demons, struggling in a 1-for-5 day from the field.  Hansbrough notched 15 points for Notre Dame, who edged out DePaul in rebounds, 41-32.

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PT), with ESPN providing the national television coverage following the broadcast of the Michigan, Ohio State matchup.

Notre Dame will have two days off before Sunday afternoon’s home game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.  DePaul will be idle for one day, visiting the No. 13 Louisville Cardinals as part of Saturday night’s college hoops slate.

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