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Virginia vs. Notre Dame - 1/2/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3) at Virginia Cavaliers (11-1)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm (John Paul Jones Arena)

The Line: Virginia Cavaliers -10 -- Over/Under: 136.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will travel to John Paul Jones Arena to take on the 5th ranked Virginia Cavaliers this Saturday night in College Basketball action.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won their 2nd straight game and improved to 9-3 (0-0 ACC) on the season after defeating the Liberty Flames, 73-56, this past Tuesday. Notre Dame was outstanding defensively in the victory and used an 11-0 run to start the 2nd half to take complete control of the game and secure the win. Notre Dame shot 52.1% from the field and 45.0% (9-20) from beyond the arc in the victory. The Fighting Irish held the Flames to 37.9% shooting from the field and outrebounded Liberty by a 35-29 margin. Leading the way for Notre Dame was Zach Auguste who had a double-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds and a steal. On the season, the Fighting Irish have been led by Demetrius Jackson (16.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.1 spg), Zach Auguste (14.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.0 apg), and Steve Vasturia (12.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg). Offensively, Notre Dame is averaging 79.1 ppg on 49.6% shooting and 39.1% from beyond the arc. The Fighting Irish average 8.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.55. Defensively, Notre Dame is holding their opponents to an average of 67.7 ppg on 42.2% shooting from the field. The Fighting Irish have a rebound margin of 6.3 and a turnover margin of 0.2.

Virginia vs. Notre Dame - 1/2/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 5th ranked Virginia Cavaliers continued their winning ways and improved to 11-1 (0-0 ACC) on the season after defeating the Oakland Grizzlies, 71-58, this past Wednesday. Virginia and Oakland played a tight 1st half but Virginia found their offensive rhythm in the 2nd half and outscored the Golden Grizzlies by a 43-29 margin in the 2nd half in the victory. Virginia shot 45.5% from the field and forced Oakland to commit 16 turnovers. The Cavaliers held the Golden Grizzlies to 37.3% shooting from the field and 38.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Virginia was Mike Tobey who had 16 points, 7 rebounds, and an assist from off the bench. On the season, the Cavaliers have been led by Malcolm Brogdon (16.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.2 apg), Anthony Gill (14.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg), and London Perrantes (11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.6 apg). Offensively, Virginia is averaging 75.6 ppg on 50.0% shooting from the field and 41.4% shooting from three-point range. The Cavaliers average 6.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.73. Defensively, Virginia is holding their opponents to an average of 59.1 ppg on 41.3% shooting from the field. The Cavaliers have a rebound margin of 6.1 and a turnover margin of 4.8.

The Fighting Irish are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. AAC opponents and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Cavaliers are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a ATS loss and 34-15-2 ATS in their last 51 Saturday games.

Notre Dame is a solid team that is good on both sides of the ball however, has struggled against better competition this season with losses to Alabama and Indiana. Virginia has been outstanding this season and although they can go on cold streaks on the offensive end, they have been great on the defensive end ranking in the top 20 in scoring defense and turnover margin. Notre Dame has some great talent in their starting five but Virginia is one of the best teams in the country and I think they pull away in the 2nd half to cover this spread. Take Virginia to cover.

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Virginia Cavaliers -10

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