Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#7943 Notre Dame vs.
#7944 Louisville
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:00pm EST
Written by The Dominator

Tuesday evening college basketball action and we will see a pair of teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference square off as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish grapple with the Louisville Cardinals at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Notre Dame enters this game at 9-11, while the Cardinals come in at 11-5.

Notre Dame Collapse Against

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have not had the season they were expecting, but the reality is that they lost a ton of talent from last year's solid squad. Notre Dame had been playing much better, and they went into their latest game with Syracuse having won six of their previous eight games. That stretch included a road win over Duke. Notre Dame was 9-10 heading into their game with the Cuse, and they build a 20 point lead in the game. It looked like the Irish were off to a comfortable win, but then the 2nd half was played, and the threes stopped falling. Notre Dame hit 10 of them in the first half but just two after the break. The Orange defense stepped up, and the offense chipped away until Syracuse eventually won 75-67.

Overall, the Irish shot 49% from the field, including 39% (12/31) from long range in the loss. Notre Dame was just 2/18 from long range in the 2nd half. Getting their three-point shooting back on track in this one could be tough as the Cardinals are one of the nation's best teams at defending the arc. Leading their attack was Trey Wertz, who had 17 points while Dane Goodwin had 13. The defense was not good as the Orange shot 44% from the field overall, including 45% (10/22) from long range. It was a crushing loss for a Notre Dame team that still hoped to make a late push for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame enters this game ranked 146th in scoring at 72.6 ppg, 53rd in shooting (46.9%), 26th in three-point shooting (38.1%), and 25th in free throw shooting at 77.1%. On defense, they are 224th in points allowed, giving up 72.0 ppg, 191st in defensive FG% (43.6%), and 301st in three-point defense (36.3%).

Louisville Gets Obliterated By The Hells

The Louisville Cardinals have been very inconsistent of late after a hot start. The Cardinals began the season at 9-1, but they have sputtered of late, going just 2-4 over their last six games. Louisville had a horrendous outing in their last game as they fell to the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road by a score of 99-54. The defense had been one of the better in the ACC this year, but they allowed 99 points on 61% shooting overall, including 44% (8/18) from long range. The Cardinals had allowed just 59.0 ppg over their previous three games.

The offense has struggled of late as the Orange have averaged just 62.6 ppg over their last five games, after putting up 71.2 ppg through their first 11 games. The offense was completely a mess against the Tar Heels as the Cards shots just 33% from the field overall, and they were just 1/16 from long range. They will need to get their three-point shooting back on track here, especially if Notre Dame starts hitting their threes. Leading the attack, if you can call it that, was leading scorer Carlik Jones (17.1 ppg), who had 13 and was their only player to score in double-figures. Louisville needs to get their act together or they will not be having a good seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament. Louisville has also won their last five games against the Irish.

Louisville enters this game ranked 256th in scoring at 68.5 ppg, 170th in shooting (44.3%), 303rd in three-point shooting (30.3%), and 120th in free throw shooting at 70.4%. On defense, they are 76th in points allowed, giving up 66.4 ppg, 103rd in defensive FG% (41.7%), and 76th in three-point defense (31.5%).

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Fighting Irish are off a horrible loss to Syracuse on the road as they had a 20 point lead before collapsing down the stretch. The Cardinals are not off of a banner game either as they lost by 55 points to North Carolina on the road. The Cardinals have been a much better team at home where they have gone 8-1 and have outscored their foes by 10.2 ppg. They also have a strong three-point defense and will be able to lock down on Notre Dame's three-point shooters, just like Syracuse did in the 2nd half of that game. Notre Dame hit 10 threes in the first half but just two after the break. Louisville has a solid offense and the Irish defense has allowed 72.9 ppg on the road. Look for Louisville to bounce back from their horrific game against the Heels as they send the Irish to their 2nd straight road loss.

Prediction: Louisville -3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Louisville home games have averaged just 135.4 ppg while Notre Dame road games have put up 145.6 ppg. Something has to give here. The Irish showed against Syracuse that they can get their offense going, especially from long range. They are not an uptempo team but they shoot the ball well and may look to run a bit more here so they don't have to face a tough Louisville defense in the half-court. The Cardinals have been solid on offense at home where they have averaged 72.8 ppg on the year and the Irish have allowed 72.9 ppg on the road. We also note that Notre Dame's last four road games have averaged 157 ppg. This game should also be relatively close at the end and that will lead to either OT or a ton of free throws being shot. Lastly, the Over is 7-3 in Fighting Irish last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, and that seals the deal for me.

Prediction: Over 141
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Written By David Hess , "The Dominator"

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought-out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.