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Navy vs. Notre Dame, 2:30 ET
College football is back my friends. Now until basically the middle of January, we get college football. We get tailgates, upsets, wild games, newly crowned superstars, and of course, the opportunity to bet on games. Sure, we have to deal with the constant conversation around the College Football Playoffs, but you have to take the good with the bad I suppose. Speaking of bad and good… we kickoff our college football betting season with a game between Navy (bad) and Notre Dame (good).
I suppose I should mention that this game is in Ireland. I’m not really sure that it matters that much or not, but it is important for people to know as they prepare to bet on the game. The Navy are a team that you can pretty much assume you know what they’ll do on offense. They aren’t going to pass the ball much, and instead rely on their ground game to get things done. They run a triple option and it is typically effective enough to keep them within most games. Last season they went 4-8 on the year, but they were in the majority of the games. My biggest question is how will their defense respond to the new look Irish team. They should be able to control the ball and move it somewhat effectively against them on offense, but will they be able to stop the Irish attack on defense? They now have a new coach and he was their defensive coordinator before so you’d imagine the focus for Navy will be on improving the defense overall.
The Irish also have some changes coming for them now that they have Sam Hartman under center after he transferred to Notre Dame from Wake Forest. He had a really nice year with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season, and now comes to a program with higher expectations. If you remember last year, Notre Dame’s season ended pretty quickly – well, at least their College Football Playoff hopes. Losing to Ohio State wasn’t much of a surprise, but the loss to Marshall, at home, was unacceptable. They ended up dropping a game later to Stanford that they should’ve won, and they lost a game to USC which wasn’t that much of a surprise. They did make a Bowl game and won that over South Carolina. That was head coach Marcus Freeman’s first year with the Fighting Irish. He needs to get off to a much faster start and I think the team is capable of doing that. The Irish defense needs to slow down the running game of the Navy. They’ve had plenty of time to prep for this, if they don’t come out ready and Navy pulls off an upset, Freeman will probably not be the head coach for very long.
I don’t think the upset will happen, but I think I have to take the Navy with the points here. The Irish have a new quarterback (not new to college football, but new to the system) and that might take a while to get on the same page as his offense. Could Notre Dame blow out Navy? Of course, but I think that they also should milk the clock enough to keep this game fairly close. I’ll take Navy +20.5 in this one.
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