Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#861 Miami - FL 148.5 vs.
#862 Notre Dame -6.5
Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 6:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: February 23, 2020, Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, IN, 6:00 PM ET

The Miami Hurricanes will have their work cut out for them in Sunday’s road trip to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Not only did the Hurricanes put an end to a recent three-game slump, but they managed to bounce back with three consecutive victories over Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Boston College. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish knocked off North Carolina to make up for a pair of losses to Virginia and Duke.

Hurricanes show their resilience

There was no backing down in the face adversity for the Hurricanes in a road trip to Virginia Tech. It took three overtimes for them to turn into the Category 5 storm they needed to be to finally knock the Hokies out of the game. Freshman Isaiah Wong was the surprise player to step up with a team-high 27 points to help lead the Canes to a 102-95 victory.

Can he put together a repeat performance in Sunday’s meeting with the Fighting Irish?

That’ll be one of the biggest questions heading into a game against Notre Dame’s 146th-ranked defense. The struggle bus has been moving along at a snail’s pace for the Fighting Irish, and Wong will have a chance to prove he’s no one-hit wonder. Miami is enjoying a nice offensive surge in recent outings with the team averaging 73.2 points per game on the season.

Only a strong offensive performance can make up for the mess the Hurricanes have shown on defense. Their 273rd-ranked defense is allowing an average 46.9 shooting percentage on the road this season. It’ll be a long night for Miami if they aren’t blowing up the scoreboard.

Notre Dame’s epic comeback

Speaking of resilience, the Fighting Irish showed how much fight they have left in the tank by overcoming a 15-point deficit in the second half of their game against North Carolina on Monday. One can only imagine the heartbreak a loss like that caused for a Tar Heels team that has only won three conference games all season.

But don’t expect any sympathy from Notre Dame after dealing with their own struggles this season. There isn’t much basketball left to go, and with their name falling silent in tournament projections, they’ll look to finish out as strong as possible.

Next on the itinerary is a head-to-head meeting with the Hurricanes.

Offensive efficiency will be the single driving force when taking on a Miami team with a defense allowing an average 74.6 points per game. There will be plenty of opportunities to knock down big shots in this matchup. It will ultimately be up to the Fighting Irish to take advantage of the chances they get and avoid getting off to a slow start. They may not be able to come back if things get ugly in this meeting.

On the defensive end of the floor, the Fighting Irish have been wildly inconsistent this season, setting the stage for what could potentially be an exciting offensive shootout.

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The Hurricanes managed to survive triple overtime against the Hokies, but they won’t survive Sunday’s run-in with the Fighting Irish. There are far too many defensive question marks to continue to trust Miami on the road. The magic they put on display will run dry against a Notre Dame team allowing only 66.0 points per game on their home floor.

Defense continues to be a major concern for the Hurricanes, especially when they’re competing on the road. Opposing teams are averaging a 46.9 field goal shooting percentage against them. They’ve made up for those woes by matching the opposition by scoring buckets on the other end of the floor.

That strategy obviously isn’t fail-proof considering they have the fourth-worst record in the ACC Conference. The Fighting Irish won’t allow themselves to get in a jam this time out as they dominate on offense and put enough pressure on defense to come out on top. I’m laying the points and taking the Notre Dame on Sunday.

Prediction: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6.5)

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The Hurricanes have a knack for giving up too many buckets. Things will get even worse with them being on the road against a Fighting Irish team averaging 46.2 percent shooting on their home floor. A disastrous ending is in store with Miami currently allowing an average 79.6 points on the road.

That sort of scoring allowance would put too much stress on some of the best offensive teams in the country, much less Miami’s 141st-ranked offense. No one will be tuning into this game for the stout defensive play for good reasons. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (147.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.