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Against the Odds: Pick em for Pitt and Notre Dame

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Vegas opened with the Irish as a slight favorite, but the money has shifted for Pitt’s ACC opener.

NCAA Basketball: Crossroads Classic-Purdue at Notre Dame Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Baby games are over for the Pitt Panthers and ACC Conference play begins today. Not to take anything away from the Panthers’ out of conference schedule, but it wasn’t exactly a murders’ row. That’s over now and Pitt will host a familiar face at 2PM this afternoon. Notre Dame comes into today’s game ranked 24th in the country. Pitt is 24th in the RPI, but receiving no votes in either of the major polls out right now.

Taking that into consideration, Vegas expects a tight ballgame. They opened giving the Fighting Irish a one point edge, but the line has since moved to an even line. Perhaps some, with money, still think The Pete has some magic from previous years. Whatever the case, if you lay money down on this game, you are probably going to be going close to straight up betting on one of the other.

Notre Dame head coach, Mike Brey, brings in a fundamentally strong squad whose only two losses were to top ranked Villanova and also top-20 Purdue. They have four players that average between 13.2 and 16.2 points per game, so they can hurt you in a variety of ways. They are over 40% from beyond the arc and 85% from the charity stripe. Pitt will need to come out strong and they haven’t had a problem with that this year, but they will need to play for 40 minutes. There cannot be a letdown in this game for Pitt, if they want to open at 1-0 in the ACC.

A win for Pitt would probably give them a nice boost, some votes in the rankings and a possible move into top 20 for the RPI. A loss and I’m sure the fan base will take it well...just kidding...you know that they will all head for the nearest bridge. Let’s hope the bridges stay clear of jumpers after this contest.

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