NCAA Betting Preview: Notre Dame at Syracuse

By: Joe Freda | Friday, December 31, 2010
Ben Hansbrough

Ben Hansbrough hit all 10 free throws in the upset against Georgetown.

The No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish have prevailed in four straight games, with a 2-1 spread record in the three ‘board’ battles of that span.  Mike Brey’s squad travels north for Saturday afternoon’s contest against the No. 5 Syracuse Orange, who have started their season with a 14-game winning streak.

Notre Dame’s latest triumph came in Wednesday’s 69-55 victory over No. 9 Georgetown as a 1 ½-point home dog.  The Fighting Irish were held to 38.5 percent field shooting, while sinking 22-of-27 at the foul line.

Fighting Irish forward Tim Abromaitis put up a team-high 20 points, while adding four rebounds.  The senior drained 5-of-7 from three-point land, improving to 29-for-76 beyond the arc this year.

Notre Dame’s Tyrone Nash finished with 15 points and 10 boards, logging his first double-double in nine games.  The New York native added one of his squad’s three blocks.

The lopsided affair’s combined 124 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 145.  Nash and Co. edged out Georgetown in rebounds, 32-31.

Notre Dame is 3-1 ATS in its first four games away from home, which all took place at neutral sites.  The ‘under’ also cashed at 3-1 in that stretch.

Syracuse extended its unbeaten run with Tuesday’s 81-74 win as a 13-point home favorite against the Providence Friars.  The Orange connected on 48.1 percent of their field buckets, including 9-of-22 from three-point range.

Orange forward Kris Joseph piled in a season-high 27 points, while finishing with four assists.  The Montreal native played for the entire 40 minutes, hitting 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Joseph’s mate Rick Jackson grabbed a team-high 17 rebounds, while adding two of his squad’s four blocks.  The senior forward added a season-high five assists, while recording no turnovers.

The contest’s combined 155 points stayed ‘under’ its closing ‘total’ of 155 ½ by a ‘hook.’  Jackson and his teammates held the Friars to 39.7 percent field shooting, allowing 8-of-30 buckets to connect from beyond the arc.

Syracuse dropped to 3-6 ATS in its first nine home ‘board’ dates, putting up 75.9 PPG in that stretch.  The ‘under’ moved to 5-3 in the last eight games of that span.

Notre Dame is 3-2 ATS in its last five meetings against the Orange, with the ‘over’ going 4-1.

Syracuse won last January’s matchup between the Big East Conference rivals, 84-71, as a 2 ½-point road favorite.  Jackson and Joseph united to hit 5-of-10 from the field for the Orange, while Abromaitis finished with 26 points for Notre Dame.

Saturday’s tip is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (PT), with ESPNU providing the national television coverage.

Notre Dame will have two days off before hosting the Connecticut Huskies as part of Tuesday’s college hoops slate.  Syracuse will be idle for one week until next Saturday’s road duel against the Seton Hall Pirates.

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