(3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Bitter rivals collide in what might be a significantly more evenly matched contest than records would indicate. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will lock horns with the Stanford Cardinal in college football betting action on Saturday.
There’s no ignoring the fact that the Cardinal have played significantly better ball than the Irish this year. The play of QB Andrew Luck has been fantastic, as he has thrown for 674 yards and ten scores without tossing a pick yet. The offense has been fantastic, coming in at 16th in the land this week with an average of 475.3 yards per game. This is also one of the few teams in America that can say it has topped 50 twice on the year already. The scoring average of 51.7 points per game is third in the land. Even defensively, Stanford has really excelled. Opposing teams are only averaging 90.0 yards per game through the air, easily the best mark in the nation, while the total defense ranks 6th overall in yards at 227.7 per game and 16th in scoring at 13.7 points per game. The only question is about the schedule. Facing Sacramento State, UCLA, and Wake Forest isn’t necessarily anything to be overly proud of. Missing WR Ryan Whalen in the lineup is going to hurt the passing game as well.
Then there is Notre Dame, who might be 1-2 on the year, but if not for that ridiculous fake field goal by Michigan State and the heroics of QB Denard Robinson for Michigan, it would be 3-0! QB Dayne Crist really had his coming out party last week against the Spartans in East Lansing, as he led the Irish back from a TD deficit twice on the day and ultimately threw for 369 yards and four scores against a pick. It was proven loud and clear that this passing attack is going to be brutal to try to stop this season with WR Theo Riddick, WR Michael Floyd, and TE Kyle Rudolph. All three might eventually be first round draft choices in the NFL Draft and are incredibly talented. Where the Golden Domers are really lacking is in their defense. This has been a problem for years at Notre Dame, and this season is no exception. The Irish rank just 102nd in the land through three games at 443.7 yards per game allowed, and the end result has been a woeful 24.7 points per game conceded, 75th in the game.
This is a predictable upset waiting to happen. The Irish are good enough to topple anyone remaining on this schedule, and though no one cares about potential in South Bend, it is clear to us that they have a team that is every bit as good as Stanford. Notre Dame has covered three straight NCAA football lines in this series. Make it four with the upset on Saturday.
Selection: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +4.5