Stanford @ Notre Dame College Football Week 7 Picks
The Stanford Cardinal and Notre Dame Fighting Irish staged one of the most exciting games in 2015 and look like they could combine to produce another thriller when they square off in their annual showdown this coming season. Sure, both teams will be a bit different from a year ago, but this Week 7 NCAA football odds match up looks like another exciting affair just waiting to happen.
How To Bet the Cardinal @ Fighting Irish NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info
Bet The Notre Dame Fighting Irish at +1 Because…
The Irish (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS) finished the 2015 season ranked inside the top 35 in almost every significant offensive category including total yards (466.7 ypg, 26th) and scoring (34.2 ppg, 34th). The bad news is that Notre Dame lost six starters on offense including a trio that will be playing a the next level in star running back C.J. Prosisse, tackle Ronnie Stanley and wide receiver Will Fuller. The good news is that Brian Kelly has two gifted quarterbacks in DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire that he can turn to at a moment’s notice, no mater which one is deemed the starter. Kelly needs to find two new starters on the offensive line, but the Irish are stacked at the wide receiver position and shouldn’t have much trouble replacing Fuller.
Notre Dame finished the 2015 campaign ranked 45th in total defense, 372.6 ypg) and a respectable 40th in points allowed (24.0 pg). Unfortunately, they also lost an absolute stud linebacker in Jaylon Smith and another very good linebacker in Joe Schmidt. The Irish also need to find replacements for tackle Sheldon Day, end Romeo Okwara, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and strong safety Elijah Shumate.
The good news is that Notre Dame has a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball and on the defensive line in particular. Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish could struggle with a defensive backfield that lost three starters, including both safeties from last year’s squad.
Bet The Stanford Cardinal at -1 Because…
The Cardinals (12-2 SU, 10-4 ATS) have the best player in the nation in my opinion and what should be another powerful defense in 2016. If you didn’t know before, you should know that, in four out of head coach David Shaw’s five seasons, Stanford has managed to win at least a share of the Pac-12 North title. Unfortunately, 2016 is going t be a season of change as the Cardinal look to replace four-year starting quarterback Kevin Hogan and a handful of other key contributors from last season’s playoff-contending squad.
The good news is hat Stanford has a player that I believe is the best al-around football player in al of collegiate football in hybrid running back/wide receiver/returner Christian McCaffrey. The son of former NFL star Ed McCaffery, the younger McCaffrey set the NCAA single-season all-purpose record last season with 3,864 total yards, including a school-record 2,109 rushing yards. If Stanford can find an answer to replacing Hogan, they could very well challenge for a berth in the four-team playoff. The quarterback job is currently up for grabs between two inexperienced signal-callers in Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns. In addition to replacing Hogan, the Cardinal also have to find three new starters on the offensive line including Outland Trophy winner Josh Garnett.
Defensively the Cardinal have just six returning starters but they do have plenty of talent starting with defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (10.5 tackles for a loss). The Cardinal also have a nice blend of youth and experience in the secondary, so expect them to be solid at the very least.
My Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I know the Cardinal recorded a thrilling 38-36 home win over the Fighting Irish last season despite failing o cover the spread as a 4-point home favorite, but these two rivals have split the last four meetings evenly and the Irish are playing at home this time around where they’ve won two straight against Stanford.
More importantly, Notre Dame’s quarterback situation is far more stable than Stanford’s and that will be the difference in this contest.
My Pick: Notre Dame 28 Stanford 24