College Basketball Best Bets: Will Notre Dame Tip Off Bounce-Back Season Vs. Saint Mary’s?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 22, 2021 - Last Updated on November 23, 2021
College Basketball Best Bets

Over the next week, there will be college hoops on by noon EST every single day. Welcome to Feast Week, and let’s tip it off with my college basketball best bets for Notre Dame vs. Saint Mary’s in the Maui Invitational.

Click on the odds below to bet now. You can also continue the discussion in our betting community, as we break down all of the games throughout the week.

College Basketball Best Bets: Monday, Nov. 22

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels

Mike Brey last guided Notre Dame to the NCAA tournament in 2017. The Irish should be improved this season, but are they built to knock off the Gaels in the first round of the Maui Invitational?

Entering the 2021-22 campaign, Brey noted that his team would be shifting from its extended defense to a no-middle scheme. This strategy assists with dribble penetration, but it allows for its fair share of open 3-point shots. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s offense is set up for its perimeter shooting.

Over the Gaels’ first four games, they’ve accrued a top-105 3-point scoring rate. That metric entails that a majority of their shots are via beyond the arc. Expect Randy Bennett to run his offense through 6-foot-7 big man Dan Fontu (28.4% possession rate) while working the ball out to his long-range gunners.

Both teams rank top-10 in defensive rebounding percentage — albeit a small sample size. Nevertheless, if the Gaels’ methodical half-court offense is efficient enough, it should minimize the Irish’s transition opportunities.

Moreover, Saint Mary’s boasts a top-30 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, holding opponents to a bottom-100 perimeter scoring percentage in the process. Notre Dame’s attack revolves around its 3-point shooting — even with the emergence of Yale transfer Paul Atkinson Jr.

  • Adjusted Efficiency accounts for the ratings of the offense (or defense) on a points-per-possession basis via college basketball prognosticator Ken Pomeroy.

Expect Bennett’s unit, which has traditionally been stout at limiting teams’ looks from behind the arc, to stifle Brey’s approach. There’s still value in this number despite it getting bet down this morning.

Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Saint Mary’s +2.5 (down to a pick’em)

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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