Miami - FL vs. Notre Dame, 01/12/17 - Prediction & Preview
Written by: Brian Spaen
No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-2 SU, 6-3-1 ATS, 7-3 O/U) vs Miami Hurricanes (11-3 SU, 3-9 ATS, 3-8-1 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:00 PM ET, Watsco Center in Coral Gables, FL
Line: Miami -2
Notre Dame looks to stay undefeated in ACC action when it travels to Miami on Thursday night. The Fighting Irish scored another big win at home against Clemson last Saturday. The Hurricanes were dealt a disappointing loss at Syracuse over a week ago. Miami swept the season series against Notre Dame last year.
Beachem’s scoring output returns
The back-and-forth tussle between Notre Dame and Clemson ended with the Irish getting the last laugh in a 75-70 victory. ND ultimately came back after being down 40-33 at the halftime break. The comeback was fueled by making 15-of-32 3-pointers and getting 18 assists on 28 field goals made. Both teams barely went to the free throw line with the Irish making 4-of-6 and the Tigers nailing 7-of-8. Also, ND’s senior forward, V.J. Beachem (14.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), was able to get out of his funk.
Beachem had 22 points, including 6 makes from 3-point range. In the previous two games against Pittsburgh and Louisville, he was held to eight combined points and went just 4-of-13 from the field. Notre Dame has been able to get by with his struggles, but news of the third-best scorer getting back to form will only fuel this team for a big ACC run.
Offense goes missing at Syracuse
Miami has had a week to process the 70-55 defeat at Syracuse. The Hurricanes struggled from the field making 38.9 percent of their shots and went a dismal 2-of-10 from the free throw line compared to the Orange making 12-of-14. They were also outrebounded 30-26. No starter for the Hurricanes reached double digits. However, freshman guard Dejan Vasiljevic (7.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg) came off the bench and led the team with 18 points. All 6-of-12 shots from the field came from behind the arc.
The Hurricanes have significantly less on offense than Notre Dame, but the 73.6 points per game (194th nationally) is better than what it showed at Syracuse. Both Miami and ND shoot approximately 47 percent from the field on average, and the Hurricanes should be able to own the glass and force as many turnovers as the Irish do. Miami also hasn’t lost at home yet this season.
Notre Dame is:
- 24-8 ATS in their last 32 games on Thursday
- 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU win
Miami (FL) is:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on Thursday
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games
Notre Dame’s ability to move the ball on 17.8 assists per game (17th nationally) should be the difference in this contest. The offense is electrifying and it overshadows a defense that holds teams to a respectable 66.7 points per contest (73rd nationally). Miami will likely suffer its first home loss of the season.
Pick: Notre Dame +2
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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