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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/8/13

Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (9-22) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-10)

College Basketball: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Joyce Center)

The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -15.5 -- Over/Under: 134 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

The Miami (OH) RedHawks open up their 2013-2014 campaign with a trip to hostile South Bend for a showdown with the 21st ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish Friday night at 7PM.

Miami should be looking forward to a clean slate and an opportunity to improve on a dismal 9-22 season a year ago.  Along with a new season are plenty new faces as the RedHawks saw four rising seniors leave the program.  Miami welcomes two new players via transfer in former Michigan forward Blake McLimans and former Oregon guard Willie Moore who will have to sit out nine games via violations committed while at Oregon.  With Allen Roberts no longer with the program, look for forward Will Felder (11.7 ppg) to take control as the team’s leading scoring option.  While the new faces should help some, another season in the basement of the MAC east looks likely for this squad.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/8/13

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame has moved on to new pastures as they will play in the ACC beginning this year.  The Irish are led by their strong, veteran backcourt of Eric Atkins (11.2 ppg, 5.5 apg) and Jerian Grant (13.3 ppg, 5.5 apg).  The DC area natives have made a very strong tandem in South Bend and should have the upper hand from the tip against Miami’s lowly backcourt.  The Irish will need to test out some lineups early to replace the 20ppg production of graduating seniors Jack Cooley and Scott Martin.  Tom Knight and Garrett Sherman appear to be the options to fill the post void for the Irish.  A newcomer to watch is point guard Demetrius Jackson -- the McDonalds All-American is certain to log backcourt minutes and should benefit greatly from the tutelage of  Atkins.

This has all the makings of a cake walk start to the year for the Irish who are bigger, faster and deeper at all key positions than the struggling RedHawks.  After some early jitters via official game action, I expect the Irish to settle into their sets and run away with this one for the easy cover at home.

Notre Dame -15.5

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