Notre Dame vs. Massachusetts NCAA Football Spread Preview

Posted by Daniel Strum on Friday,September 25, 2015 4:05, EST in

The eighth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their fans will almost assuredly remain unbeaten when they host the UMass Minutemen in an apparent Week 4 mismatch, making the only real question surrounding this contest whether or not the Irish will cover the college football odds spread as four-touchdown favorites. Let’s find out.

How To Bet the Minute Men @ Fighting Irish NCAA Football Odds & Game Info

When: Saturday, September 26, 3:30 PM ET
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
NCAAF Odds: Notre Dame -28.5
Over/Under: 56.5

Why Bet on the UMass Minute Men

Massachusetts was on the wrong end of a narrow 25-23 loss against Temple although the Minutemen easily covered the spread as 13-point home dogs. UMass got a solid performance from quarterback Blake Frohnapfel. The senior signal-caller completed 29 of 55 passes for 393 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Unfortunately, the Minutemen gained just 45 rushing yards in the loss while going a pitiful 3-for-17 (18%) on third downs.<

Why Bet on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame picked up a hard-fought 30-22 win over Georgia Tech in Week 3 to cash in as a 1-point favorite in young quarterback DeShone Kizer’s first career start. Starting in place of injured former starter Malik Zaire, Kizer completed 21-of-30 passes for 242 yards with one a touchdown and one interception.

The sophomore signal-caller directed four scoring drives for the Irish that resulted in touchdowns and only made one costly mistake when he was picked off in the end zone in the first half. Running back C.J. Prosise rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns while Notre Dame’s defense kept the Yellow Jackets’ powerful rushing attack in check. “Our defensive plan was outstanding,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “Our team executed it up until maybe the last couple of minutes, where we probably lost a little focus, but just a tremendous performance by our football team.”

My Expert Game Analysis, Prediction & Pick:

Two-thirds (67 percent) of the betting public likes Notre Dame to cover the huge spread at home, but I disagree despite the fact that the Minutemen have already suffered a 20-point home loss to middling Buffalo and a 34-point road loss to a so-so Colorado team. Notre Dame has reached the 30-point plateau in all three of their games this season, but they’ve also allowed at least 22 points in each of their last two games and simply don’t seem quite explosive enough to beat UMass by four-plus touchdowns.

I like the fact that Massachusetts has gone 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in the month of September. Notre Dame is just 3-6 ATS in its last nine games and 1-5 ATS in their last six versus a team with a losing record. Again, there’s no doubt that the Fighting Irish will win this Week 4 matchup, but for me, I’m thinking this is a classic ‘trap game’ that the Minutemen will somehow manage to cover.

58 percent of the betting public likes the Over and I believe that will turn out to be a winning wager. The Over is 6-1-1 in UMass’ last eight road games and 5-1 in their last six games in September. The Over is also 7-2 in Notre Dame’s last nine games and 6-2 in their last eight non-conference games.

The Picks: UMass +28.5 Points/Over 56.5 Total Points