Syracuse vs Notre Dame Picks and Predictions: Irish Exploit Orange System

The Orange haven't had the same success shooting on the road this season, and the Fighting Irish have the tools to crack their zone. Find out why the home side can beat up on Boeheim's game plan with our Syracuse vs. Notre Dame picks.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2022 10:03 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Blake Wesley Notre Dame Fighting Irish college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Golden Domers host the “Carrier Domers” when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish battle the Syracuse Orange in ACC action Wednesday. 

Both programs are playing sound basketball heading down the home stretch, however, the Irish’s ACC title hopes took a knock with a loss to Wake Forest last time out. The NCAA basketball betting odds have Notre Dame pegged as a 5-point favorite inside Purcell Pavilion, where it is 11-1 SU but just 6-6 ATS. The Orange are 3-6 SU but 5-4 ATS in true road games this season.

Check out our free college basketball picks and predictions for Syracuse at Notre Dame on February 23. 

Syracuse vs Notre Dame odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Notre Dame opened as 4.5-point home chalk and jumped to -5 with early action on the Fighting Irish. The total hit the board at 146 points and has slimmed to 145.5 at some books.

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.

Syracuse vs Notre Dame predictions

Predictions made on 2/23/2022 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Syracuse vs Notre Dame game info

Location: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, IN
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

Syracuse at Notre Dame betting preview


Syracuse: Jesse Edwards C (Out).
Notre Dame: Nate Laszewski F (Questionable).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Fighting Irish are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Syracuse vs. Notre Dame.

Syracuse 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

Mike Brey’s offense had Syracuse on the ropes the last time these ACC foes faced off, jumping out to a 32-15 lead in the opening 13 minutes inside the Carrier Dome last February. However, Jim Boeheim made the move to good ole “55” (full-court press) and forced the Irish into 10 turnovers and a second-half scoring drought which allowed SU to battle back for the home win.

Brey has the blueprint to break the Orange’s vaunted 2-3 zone and has the horses to finish the job in 2022. Notre Dame is one of the top shooting teams in the country, owning an offensive efficiency rating ranked 50th at and is knocking down almost 37% of its 3-point looks. 

Notre Dame has the scoring depth and versatility to do damage against the SU zone, with three players averaging more than 12 points on the year and three others putting up around eight points per contest. The Irish have forwards who can flash high and hit mid-range jumpers as well as slashers who can get inside the zone, collapse the defense and hit a spot-up shooter on the wing.

The one area bettors need to keep an eye on for Wednesday is the status of Notre Dame forward Nate Laszewski. He’s been slowed by a knee injury in recent weeks but has missed practice with an illness, and while his knee is stronger, Brey has Laszewski as a game-time decision. The 6-foot-10 senior is a zone buster, able to exploit Syracuse’s terrible rebounding while also showing touch from beyond the arc. 

Defensively, the Fighting Irish have their hands full. The Orange can score and love looks from distance, upping that action from outside in recent games. Syracuse has averaged more than 27 3-point attempts over its last three outings, knocking down 36.6% of those shots. On the season, SU sits 14th in 3-point success at 37.8%.

However, the Irish are a much tougher team at home, where they boast a defensive efficiency rating of 0.944 (vs. 1.029 on the road) and check visitors to just a 27.9% shooting clip from 3-point range, compared to 37.1% from deep as a visitor. 

Prediction: Notre Dame -5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The best way to beat a zone defense is to beat it back down the floor and not allow it to set up. Notre Dame, however, isn’t one of the quickest clubs getting up and down the hardwood (ranked 280th in tempo). The Irish do have options once into the halfcourt set and aren’t reliant on one source to pump out the majority of points.

That means Brey can read what the SU defense is giving, move the ball, dribble-penetrate the seams, and find space for open shooters. That process takes more time off the clock, which means fewer possessions. And should Boeheim go back to the full-court pressure, that will chew up even more time getting the ball over half and into the offense.

The Orange’s most glaring defensive weakness has been on the boards, where they allow foes to track down close to 10 offensive rebounds per outing. That leads to plenty of extra possessions and easy putbacks. Keeping the Irish off the glass may be a little easier, considering ND ranks out 208th in rebounding rate and hauls in a mere six offensive boards per game (334th). Laszewski’s potential absence could compound that lack of girth on the glass.

On the offensive end, SU has had a tough time replicating its 3-point success outside of the Carrier Dome, firing at a near 42% clip at home but sinking to 34% on the road. That sees the Orange’s average scoring margin flip from +11.7 as hosts to -5.5 as visitors. That’s a big reason why Syracuse is 2-7 Over/Under in true road games.

Prediction: Under 146 (-110)

Best bet

Notre Dame has a good idea of what’s coming at it Wednesday night, as this team is loaded with upperclassman experience. That foundation will be tough to rattle, even if SU brings pressure again. The Irish average less than 10 turnovers per home stand and will recall last year’s collapse in the Carrier Dome.

As for Cuse, its interior issues have been compounded by the loss of junior center Jesse Edwards earlier in the month. The 6-foot-11 native of Amsterdam was averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks before suffering a season-ending wrist injury on February 8.

That leaves plenty of space for Notre Dame to run cutters to the high post and have options on offense, with guys like Dane Goodwin able to knock down foul line jumpers, kick out to shooters, or find backdoor cutters.

Pick: Notre Dame -5 (-110)

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