Boston College vs Notre Dame Picks and Predictions: Balanced Irish KO Defensively Deficient Eagles

Well-balanced Notre Dame should make short work of Boston College. But if you're not confident in the Fighting Irish covering the 9-point overall spread, we explain why the first-half mark of Notre Dame -5 is a savvier selection in our betting picks.

Feb 16, 2022 • 15:01 ET • 4 min read
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Huddle College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

After a 4-5 start to the season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have put together a 16-2 record since. They stand just a half-game back of No. 9 Duke in the ACC, and a win tonight would tie things up before heading into Saturday. Immediately ahead of them is a manageable matchup against the Boston College Eagles, losers of three straight and five of their last six. Can Notre Dame keep the train rolling and put themselves in a position to win the ACC regular-season title or will Boston College turn things around and spoil the fun on Wednesday night?

Continue reading for our free college basketball betting picks and predictions for Boston College vs. Notre Dame for February 16th.

Boston College vs Notre Dame odds

Notre Dame opened as -10.5 favorites but has since been bet down to -9. The total opened at 130 and has bounced around both directions, and sits at 130.5 at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Boston College vs Notre Dame predictions

Predictions made on 2/16/2022 at 2:25 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Boston College vs Notre Dame game info

Location: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, IN
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

Boston College at Notre Dame betting preview


Boston College: Quinten Post F (Questionable).
Notre Dame: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Notre Dame is 5-1 against the first-half spread in its last six. Find more NCAA betting trends for Boston College vs. Notre Dame.

Boston College vs Notre Dame picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

After an 11-15 finish last year — and Notre Dame's third straight absence from the Big Dance — Mike Brey headed into his 22nd year with the Fighting Irish with some new ideas. While Brey has been able to improve his offense in each of the last three years (KenPom finishes of 105th to 41st to last year's 21st), the defense finished outside the Top 100 during that entire stretch, including a unit that finished 203rd last year, Brey's lowest finish of his head coaching career

Offseason hirings of Anthony Solomon and Antoni Wyche have proven to pay dividends. Notre Dame's defense ranks third in conference play in scoring, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and turnovers forced. Its ability to lean on man defense as heavily as it does keeps things simple, while its occasional utilization of a unique zone gives opposing teams headaches. So, what exactly makes its zone defense unique?

Most (college) zone defenses are prone to 3-pointers as teams move the ball until a defender is caught out of position. “That’s one of our big things, guarding the three-point line. It’s a thing that can shift games and create runs. Even though it’s a zone, it has man-to-man principles. You’re not just guarding an area, you’re still kind of responsible for a man," Wyche said, according to Patrick Engel of Blue and Gold. Creating those runs, especially early in games, has been the exact story as of late.

The Fighting Irish have allowed just 26.8 points per game in their last six. In their most recent game against Clemson, Notre Dame built a 28-11 lead halfway through the first half. Two games prior to that, NC State managed to score just three points by the same mark (and failed to score in the first 6:30 of the game). Notre Dame held Duke to just 27 first-half points. The Blue Devils average 39.5 first-half points per game (eighth-most in the nation) and rank 10th in offense, according to KenPom.

This doesn't bode well for Boston College, which has managed to pick up just three conference wins since ACC play has been in full swing. The Eagles rank 154th overall in KenPom, including a 186th-ranked offense and a 144th defense. They perceivably have no appreciable ceiling to play to, with their only main strength being offensive rebounding — their 11.4 per game ranks first in conference play. If volume at the rim is a "strength," then it's worth noting that Boston College takes 44.0% of its shots at the rim, the 18th highest percentage in the nation. The problem? It ranks 321st in field goal percentage there, with a laughably low 54.4% of shots converted there.

And granted, Boston College won the first matchup by a whopping 16 points. But that was in the first month of the season when Notre Dame was still going through growing pains. The Eagles caught a Fighting Irish team that had yet learned how to fight defensively, catching them at the end of a three-game skid in which they allowed 73+ points in each game. Since then, Notre Dame has allowed teams to reach that mark just three times total. In fact, it hasn't allowed a team to go over 70 in the last nine games at all, a stretch during which the Fighting Irish have only lost to Duke.

Prediction: Notre Dame -9 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

While Notre Dame has played 4-1 to the Under as of late, many of those totals were much higher than tonight's total of 130.5. The Fighting Irish have played in just three totals at or lower than tonight's mark, and have played to the Over in all three cases. Boston College sees the totals a bit more frequently and plays them a bit evenly at 4-3 to the Over. But on top of that, there's the context of the Notre Dame offense facing a defense like Boston College's.

With such a low total, there's a good chance that Notre Dame can do a lot of the leg work given that Boston College ranks 144th in KenPom defense. The Fighting Irish have scored a fair amount against lower-ranked defenses during conference play, especially in games in South Bend. In seven games against teams that rank outside KenPom's Top-100 defenses, the Fighting Irish have averaged 72 points per game, and that average rises to 74.3 when at home.

We're taking the Over.

Prediction: Over 130.5 (-110)

Best bet

Although Notre Dame has been hot of late and Boston College doesn't pose much of a threat on paper, there's good reason to hesitate on firing on the full spread. Notre Dame rarely fares well as moderate or larger favorites, possessing a 2-5 record against the spread as favorites of six or more points.

And to Boston College's credit, the Eagles can play well in situations like tonight's. They won outright against Clemson and Virginia Tech as +10.5 and +6 underdogs, respectively. They also played within the spread against the likes of North Carolina and Duke, games in which they were 13.5-point underdogs.

The safer look may be at the first half, given how Notre Dame's defense can give teams trouble early on. Notre Dame has won all but two first halves in its last 11 games, with its winning halves coming with an average margin of 6.9 points and the median margin being 7 points.

Zooming out further, Notre Dame has been particularly good at home in first halves since its 4-5 start to the season. In the eight home games during that time, the Fighting Irish have lost just one first half (against Duke) and tied another (NC State), but have won the other six by an average margin of 11 points and a median margin of 9.5. This also plays into a weakness of Boston College's, as it ranks 283rd in first-half scoring with just 30.7 points on average. 

Pick: Notre Dame first-half -5 (-103)

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Did you know that if you parlayed our Boston College vs. Notre Dame picks, you could win $61.83 on a $10 bet?

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