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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Betting Preview

The last of the “First Four” games of the NCAA tournament is set to get underway Wednesday night as the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-10) take on the No. 11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-13).

This game will take place at the University of Dayton Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:10 pm ET. The winner of this game will head to the West Region with a matchup against No. 6 Alabama looming.

After winning three of their last four games to end the regular season, Notre Dame was bounced from the ACC tournament in their first game against Virginia Tech, 87-80.

In the loss, Prentiss Hubb had a game-high 23 points to go along with five assists. Cormac Ryan added 20 points, but it still wasn’t enough to take down the Hokies.

Rutgers was also eliminated in the first game of the Big Ten conference tournament by the eventual winners, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

In the 84-74 loss, Geo Baker scored a team-high 23 points while Clifford Omoruyi added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Notre Dame is the slight favorite in this one. They are -115 to win while the Scarlet Knights’ moneyline sits at -104. The spread features Rutgers +1 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 131.5.

More Odds

Both of these teams are long shots to win the National Championship. Rutgers is +40000 to win it all, while Notre Dame is +50000.

By The Numbers

Notre Dame has had the better offense this season. They rank 119th in the nation in scoring averaging 71.9 points per game. The Scarlet Knights rank 239th, averaging 67.9 points.

Defensively, Rutgers holds the advantage. They rank 62nd in the nation in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of 65.8 points per game. The Irish rank 98th allowing 66.9 points.

Notre Dame Looking To Bounce Back From Rough ACC Tournament

As the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament, the Irish had big plans to make a run at taking home the conference crown. Instead, they were bounced in their very first game against the Virginia Tech Hokies. On Wednesday, they will look to bounce back from the loss and pick up the play-in win to get into the field of 64.

Leading the way for the Irish is freshman guard Blake Wesley. This season, Wesley is averaging a team-leading 14.6 points. He is also chipping in 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

The Irish have two others averaging double digits in guard Dane Goodwin (13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds) and forward Paul Atkinson Jr (12.3 points, seven rebounds, 1.7 assists).

Can Rutgers Pull Off Another Upset

There was a stretch from the middle of January to the middle of February, where Rutgers were upset specialists. In fact, they beat No. 16 Iowa (48-46), No. 14 Wisconsin (73-65), and No. 19 Illinois (70-59) in that time. On Wednesday, they will look to pull out another upset against the Irish.

Rutgers’ offense is led by senior forward Ron Harper Jr. In 31 games, Harper is averaging 15.6 points on 43.4% shooting. He is also averaging 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

Other contributors for the Scarlet Knights include Geo Baker (12.4 points, two rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals), Clifford Omoruyi (11.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks), and Paul Mulcahy (9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.2 steals).

Take The Irish To Win And Cover

If this game was being played a month ago, it might be Rutgers that would be the favorites. Unfortunately for Scarlet Knights’ fans, they have cooled off considerably as the season has ended.

While Notre Dame has had its own struggles down the stretch, they are still a bit more trustworthy at this point than Rutgers. For that reason, take the Irish to win and to cover the modest one-point spread.

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