Notre Dame Michigan Odds
The No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0) travel to face the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines (1-0) on Saturday, September 7. The last time these two teams squared off in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines pulled off a stunning 35-31 victory by overcoming a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Fighting Irish would have their revenge last year, winning 13-6 at home. You can catch this rivalry on ESPN at 8:00 EST Saturday night. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed Michigan as a 3.5-point favorite over Notre Dame and a total set of 51.5 points.
Why Michigan Covers
Many believe that the Wolverines will make a run at a Big Ten Title in 2013. Brady Hoke finally has his system in place and doesn’t have to tweak it for Denard Robinson any longer. In Devin Gardner, he has the style of quarterback that is more fit to run his system. Gardner and the Wolverines dominated Central Michigan 59-9 as 31.5-point favorites in Week 1 to kick off their season in style.
Gardner completed 10 of 15 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 52 yards and two scores. The Wolverines amassed 463 total yards for the game, including 242 on the ground while averaging 5.1 per carry. The defense, which should be improved in 2013, allowed only 210 total yards to the Chippewas. This stop unit held Central Michigan to three field goals for the game.
The Fighting Irish were much less impressive defensively in their home victory over Temple on Saturday. They allowed 362 total yards and clearly miss the presence of Manti Te’o on that side of the ball. Temple quarterback Connor Reilly threw for 228 yards while also rushing for 65 yards. The Irish could struggle to contain Gardner, who is also a dual threat quarterback.
Michigan has won six of its last eight home meetings with Notre Dame. It went a perfect 7-0 at home last season, outscoring opponents 38.5 to 16.0, or by an average of 22.5 points per game. Plays on home favorites of 3.5 to 10 points (MICHIGAN) – after a win by 35 or more points are 65-30 (68.4%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Hoke is 13-4 against the spread in home games in the first month of the season in all games he has coached.
Michigan has won six of its last eight home meetings with Notre Dame. It went a perfect 7-0 at home last season, outscoring opponents 38.5 to 16.0, or by an average of 22.5 points per game.
Why Notre Dame Covers
The Fighting Irish are already competing for national titles entering head coach Brian Kelly’s fourth year on the job. They went 12-1 last season with their only loss coming to Alabama in the BCS Championship. With 14 starters back from that squad, there’s no question that this is going to be one of the strongest teams in the country in 2013.
Notre Dame is off to a nice start to the 2013 campaign with a 28-6 victory over Temple in its opener. While the defense did give up some yardage, it was once again stingy in the red zone, limiting the Owls to just one touchdown. I was extremely impressed with the offense, which amassed 543 total yards. Tommy Rees went 16 of 23 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. It’s clear that the Irish will not miss Everett Golson too much this season.
Amazingly, seven of the last nine meetings in this series have been upsets. That means taking the points has been a very profitable move over the past decade. Plus, you have to consider that Michigan went 0-4 against ranked opponents last season. The Irish held the Wolverines to just 299 total yards in last year’s meeting while forcing a whopping six turnovers. They would prevail 13-6 at home.
Notre Dame is 15-5 against the spread in its last 20 games as a road underdog of 7 points or less. Michigan is 22-42 against the numbers in its last 64 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. Brian Kelly is 9-1 against the spread after allowing 6 points or less last game in all games he has coached. Kelly is also 16-6 against the number as a road underdog in all games he has coached.
My Early Lean: Michigan -3.5 & UNDER 51.5