Western Michigan Broncos
(2-3, 2-3 ATS)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(3-3, 2-3-1 ATS)
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be back in NCAA football betting action on Saturday afternoon in front of the watchful eyes of Touchdown Jesus, as they take on the Western Michigan Broncos.
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WMU has a great passing game, but that’s about all that we can say kind about this team. We’ll give QB Alex Carder some credit for throwing for 1,290 yards in just five games this season for ten scores. We could live without those seven INTs, but we know that a passing attack that is averaging throwing the ball well over 40 times per game is going to make some mistakes. The ground game has been totally inefficient, as the only two rushers with more than 25 carries, Carder and RB Aaron Winchester, are both averaging less than three yards per carry. Watch out for WR Jordan White, though. This is the most dangerous man on this roster. He has 37 catches for 535 yards and three TDs, the most of any receiver on the squad. Defensively, the Broncos have had two solid games this year, but we aren’t considering outings against Ball State and Nichols State worthwhile at all. Instead, we’re focusing in more on that 33, 37, and 38 point totals against the other three teams that they have faced in 2010.
Life without TE Kyle Rudolph begins on Saturday for QB Dayne Crist and the Irish. Rudolph was one of the best pass catching tight ends in the country before his injury, and his 28 catches, 328 yards, and three scores will surely be missed. Odds have it, this offense becomes a lot more aerial in nature, as WR Michael Floyd and WR Theo Riddick have the ability to push the ball up the field in a hurry. Expect to see them do that quite a bit, especially early on against this hapless Western Michigan defense. The two have combined for 72 catches and 862 yards this year. Crist has thrown for 1,600 yards thus far with 11 TDs, sterling numbers for a quarterback in his first year under center. Don’t be shocked if RB Armando Allen puts up good numbers in this one. He has been solid with 448 yards on 93 carries this year, but he has yet to put up that game that makes you go “Wow!” This could very well be that day in spite of the fact that he is nursing a bit of a hip injury.
Though we tend to believe that this is going to be a higher scoring game, we just can’t quite trust the Notre Dame offense all that much. Instead, we’re going to go against the fact that the Irish are 16-35-1 ATS in their L/52 games played at home. Western Michigan’s passing attack should be good enough to hang inside this type of a number, as 21 points should be enough to get the job done with ease.
College Football Free Pick: Western Michigan Broncos +24