Betting 'Big Monday' games

Mike Brey and Jamie Dixon's teams are both coming off of losses. Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports

With football season now over, college basketball has taken the spotlight for gamblers. That means it's time for your weekly chaser columns to turn to hoops, which has games every night across the country, so there are plenty of opportunities to try to beat the lines.

Every Monday, we'll take a look at the two games airing on ESPN from a gambling perspective, with a pick on the game from Teddy Covers here on Insider.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Pittsburgh Panthers

Spread: Pitt -10.5

PickCenter breakdown

Notre Dame's magical play of late ran into a bump with a surprising 17-point loss at Providence on Saturday. Prior to the loss, the Irish had won five of six games and three in overtime, including a five-overtime thriller over Louisville.

The question is whether Notre Dame's loss to Providence is cause for concern or whether it just came as a natural letdown after so many intense recent games. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey even alluded to this fact in his news conference after the Providence loss, saying that his team had been though a lot emotionally and physically, and needed to get its energy back for Monday's game.

Pittsburgh is also coming off a loss, falling to Marquette for the second time this season. It's been a typical Pittsburgh season thus far. The Panthers are the Big East's top defensive team, holding opponents to 55.4 points per game. They also lead the Big East in field goal percentage and scoring differential, shooting 48.0 percent on the season and outscoring opponents by 15.6 points. The second stat, obviously, is somewhat a function of a soft nonconference schedule.

Teddy Covers says: