The best of the First Four matchups was saved for last. On Wednesday night, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-13) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-10) will meet to determine who gets a shot at Alabama in the first round of the West region.
Rutgers and Notre Dame are two teams that often played above their rank this season, which makes this an interesting matchup. Each team took down a handful of giants this season, including Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Purdue.
Notre Dame comes into the tournament off of a loss to ACC Tournament winner Virginia Tech, while the Scarlet Knights will enter Wednesday night’s game having dropped four of their last six.
Entering this meeting, Notre Dame ranks 52nd in KenPom’s ratings, while Rutgers ranks considerably lower at No. 74.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers Odds
These March Madness odds are provided by BetMGM Sportsbook and current as of 4 p.m. ET on Monday, March 14.
- Moneyline: Notre Dame (-120) @ Rutgers (+100)
- Spread: Notre Dame -1.5 (-105) @ Rutgers +1.5 (-115)
- Over/Under: Over 131.5 (-110) / Under 131.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Notre Daem 66.5, Rutgers 65
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Notre Dame vs Rutgers Prediction
This is a classic battle pitting a strong defense against a strong offense. Rutgers has been forced to ride their effort on the defensive end for the majority of the season, and has found themselves in this position because of it.
On the other hand, Notre Dame possesses one of the strongest and most efficient offenses in college basketball. The Fighting Irish rank 29th in adjusted offensive efficiency.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers Score Pick
Notre Dame 75, Rutgers 65
Notre Dame’s offense should blow this one open early. Rutgers has capable defenders across its roster, but the Scarlet Knights might not be strong enough to keep up with the Fighting Irish here.
- Print your 2022 March Madness bracket.
Expect a solid showing from Notre Dame early and a Rutgers comeback in the second half to get it to a more respectable margin of defeat.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers Best Bets
Notre Dame Moneyline (-120) at BetMGM
Wager: 2 Units
As my final score prediction indicates, I see this game going entirely in the direction of Notre Dame. The Notre Dame moneyline can be had at near-even odds, and with a double-digit winning margin, that is as much of a steal as you’ll find in the First Four.
Notre Dame -1.5 (-105) at BetMGM
Wager: 2 Units
I love the moneyline wager here, but it is hard to pass up on the spread for just a tad less juice.
As we all know, March Madness can be thrilling, and games are often decided by a single possession. This option presents a nice alternative if you want the extra point and a half.
OVER 131.5 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM
Wager: 1 Unit
I’m predicting a total of 140 points being scored. While this is not a massive difference from the line total, I believe it still presents some nice value.
With a projected 8.5 points to work with, this should be a solid bet. If Notre Dame takes the reins offensively a little too much, though, this bet could be in jeopardy early.