It could be a bit of letdown game for Notre Dame on Saturday when they face pseudo-ACC rival Duke in South Bend. Why could the Irish be on upset alert? They fell out of the polls following last week’s home loss to Michigan State and now have no chance to reach the College Football Playoff. MyBookie oddsmakers aren’t too worried as ND is nearly a three-touchdown favorite on NCAA football odds.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Duke at Notre Dame Expert Pick, Betting Odds & TV Info
— Duke Football (@Duke_FB) September 21, 2016
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 PM ET
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Irish -20.5 (60.5)
Why Bet on Duke?
The Blue Devils (1-2) lost at Northwestern 24-13 last week. NU capitalized on Blue Devils’ punter Austin Parker’s gaffe in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Duke was lined up to punt, Parker dropped the snapped and wasn’t able to get the punt away. Northwestern took over at the Duke 44. On the next play, Clayton Thorson found Solomon Vault wide open in the middle of the field for the go-ahead touchdown.
Duke redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 279 yards, upping his season total to 800, only 125 yards shy of the top-eight chart by a Duke rookie in a year. WR Anthony Nash continued his hot streak in the last two games with four receptions for 50 yards, bringing his two-contest total to 12 catches for 162 yards. RB Jela Duncan rushed for one touchdown to give him three this season. During the entire 2015 campaign, Duncan had four rushing scores. Senior cornerback Breon Borders registered his 12th career interception to take over the lead among NCAA active players.
Coach David Cutcliffe said his biggest concern after the loss at Northwestern is consistency. The Blue Devils won a majority of the plays in Evanston (and the week before against Wake Forest), but a succession of mistakes – turnovers, penalties, defensive busts and special teams errors – have proved fatal. The Duke defense is playing well – limiting opponents to a 42.5 percent completion rate, just 3.0 yards per carry on the ground, while recording 14 sacks and 16 QB hurries.
The Blue Devils enter the Notre Dame tilt having won 16 of their last 22 games against non-ACC opponents. On January 4, 2005, Cutcliffe was hired by then Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis to serve as assistant head coach/QBs coach with the Irish. but due to health reasons, Cutcliffe resigned from the position on June 1 of the same year. Cutcliffe ended up sitting out that 2005 season before returning to Tennessee as an assistant in 2006 and 2007 and then taking over at Duke in 2008.
Why Bet on Notre Dame?
The Irish lost 36-28 last week to Michigan State, allowing 36 straight points after leading 7-0. Notre Dame’s opening scoring drive covered 91 yards in 10 plays, taking 4:24 off the game clock. It was the longest Irish scoring drive of 2016, and the seventh scoring march of 75 or more yards thus far this season.
The Irish’s DeShone Kizer attempted to rally the Irish with three straight scores — two passing and one rushing — but the Irish defense could not earn the stop necessary at the end of the game to provide the offense an opportunity to tie. Kizer has scored a rushing touchdown in each of his last five games, and in eight of his last nine games overall dating back to a win over Temple in 2015. Kizer has thrown a touchdown pass in 14 of his 16 career games played. Kizer ranks 13th nationally in passing efficiency and rushing TDs. WR Torii Hunter finished with a career-high 95 yards on five receptions. He had missed the previous game with a concussion.
Notre Dame leads the Duke series 3-1, including victories in all three meetings at Notre Dame Stadium. The teams last met in 2007, a 28-7 Irish victory at Notre Dame.
There probably aren’t more than two players on Duke’s roster who could start for Notre Dame.
My Expert Pick
Blue Devils are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Take the points on NCAA football odds and go over the total.