Notre Dame forward Nate Laszewski (14) blocks a shot to the basket by Miami guard Kameron McGusty (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish look for a sixth win in eight conference outings when they host the struggling Miami Hurricanes on Sunday as betting favorites
- The Hurricanes have lost five of six, but have covered the spread in each of their past two outings
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s ACC conference matchup at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish look to continue their climb up the ACC conference standings on Sunday, when they host the struggling Miami Hurricanes as 7-point favorites. Losers in each of their first five conference matchups, the Irish have rebounded with wins in five of seven dates with ACC rivals. The Hurricanes have headed in the opposite direction, with last weekend’s 80-76 loss to No. 16 Virginia Tech marking their fifth defeat in six outings.
Here’s a look at the odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s ACC conference matchup at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Miami Hurricanes vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds
|Miami Hurricanes||+7 (-110)||+240||O 140.5 (-110)|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-7 (-110)||-333||U 140.5 (-110)|
Odds taken at Feb. 13th from FoxBet
Fighting Irish Turnaround Powered by Steady Offense
The Fighting Irish hope to build on a solid 93-89 win over Duke as 7.5-point road underdogs when they return from a two-game road trip on Sunday afternoon. In addition to raising hopes of fans with their current 5-2 SU run, Notre Dame has also steadily paid out at the sportsbooks. The team has covered in six of their past eight contests, and are set to enter Sunday’s contest favored by more than five points in conference play for the first time this season.
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) February 10, 2021
Steady offense has powered Notre Dame’s turnaround. The Irish have averaged 84 points per game over their past four contests, contributing to a reliable 6-1 run for the OVER in totals betting. The team has endured despite facing the 10th toughest schedule in the nation, according to KenPom. The Fighting Irish are pegged at No.12 in adjusted offensive efficiency, which also marks their best number in that rating since 2016.
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) January 25, 2021
Recent history also favors Notre Dame, which has recorded lopsided victories by double-digit margins in each of their past two meetings. A 73-59 win in Miami as 3-point underdogs on January 24th was a team effort, with guard Prentiss Hubb, and big men Juwan Durham and Nate Laszewski combining to tally 51 points.
Canes Aim to Build on Character Performances
The Hurricanes travel to South Bend looking for answers in the wake of last weekend’s loss to the Hokies. The team has picked up just one SU win in their past six games, and are winless SU and ATS in four straight on the road. At 3-10, Miami is now on pace to finish the season with a losing record in conference play for a third straight year.
No. 16 Virginia Tech Knocks Off Miami in Dramatic Style, by @LymanJake
— Tech Sideline (@TechSideline) February 6, 2021
In the Canes’ defense, they have managed to keep things close. The Hokies needed overtime to squeak past Miami last weekend, which marked the fifth time this season the Hurricanes have fallen to defeat by five or fewer points. It also marked the first time the team has turned in consecutive character efforts during their current slide.
Injuries a Factor in Miami’s Slide
Injuries have played a huge role in the Hurricanes’ struggles this season. A depleted lineup faced the Fighting Irish last month, with just eight players dressing. Senior guard Chris Lykes has been sidelined by an ankle injury since early December, but could make his return on Sunday. Promising freshman guard Earl Timberlake remains out indefinitely, while freshman forward elected to leave the program following the team’s recent loss to Notre Dame.
80 #16 Virginia Tech (14-4, 8-3 ACC)
76 Miami (8-11, 3-10 ACC)
Hurricanes held to just 2 pts in OT, as Miami let a 3-pt lead with under 3 seconds in regulation slip. Isaiah Wong and Elijah Olaniyi each scored 19 pts, and Kam McGusty had 18 pts. #CanesHoops
— Cal Friedman (@friedman_cal) February 6, 2021
That has left the offense in the hands of Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty. Wong leads the team with 17.4 points per game, while McGusty’s 18-point performance last week against the Hokies puts him at 12.2 points per game. McGusty also led all Hurricanes shooters last month against the Irish, recording a season-high 20 points.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 26, 2020
While Lyke’s return would give the Hurricanes a big lift, the Hurricanes face an enormous task to turn things around on the road in South Bend. Keeping things close is more likely, especially if Lykes plays.
The Picks: Hurricanes +7 (-110); OVER 140.5 (-110)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.