Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Miami Hurricanes Expert Picks with Odds and Predictions
Notre Dame Irish at Miami Hurricanes, 8 p.m., Saturday Nov. 11
It's Catholics vs. Convicts, Part Two.
Miami and Notre Dame will resume a longstanding feud this week in a game with enormous national ramifications. The No. 7 Hurricanes will host No. 3 Notre Dame at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 in a game that is perhaps a de facto playoff for the right to get into the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame, which already has one loss to No. 2 Georgia, would essentially be eliminated with a defeat. Miami enters this one at 8-0 and on a 13-game winning streak. But nationally there is a lot of skepticism based on a perceived weak strength of schedule. To wit, the Hurricanes have just one victory against teams currently ranked in the Top 25.
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The visiting Irish have been installed as three-point favorites , and the total is set at 57.5.
Notre Dame at Miami Betting Storylines
Do you know the last team to beat Miami? That would be Notre Dame, who beat Miami 30-27 last Oct. 29 in South Bend. But these are two very different teams than they were just over 12 months ago. For Notre Dame that win was a bright spot in an ugly 4-8 overall campaign that really created the chip on their shoulder that they've been playing with while pummeling foes this season.
For Miami, last year's loss was their fourth straight to squander a promising start to the Mark Richt era. However, the Hurricanes won their final four ACC games and then blasted West Virginia in their bowl game. Miami does have most of their talent back from last year's squad. But it is the emergence of dual-threat quarterback Malik Rosier that has really made a difference for the Miami offense.
Rosier is completing just 56 percent of his passes this season and has been held below 50 percent in each of his last two games. He also has just five touchdowns to go with four interceptions in his last two games. But Rosier has made plays when it has counted, including throwing the game-winning touchdown at Florida State and leading the game-winning drive against Georgia Tech.
Miami isn't the only team that has been sparked at a change in quarterback from last season to this season. Brandon Wimbush is everything that last year's quarterback, DeShone Kizer, isn't. That isn't to say that Wimbush is a winner. Like Rosier, he completes barely over 50 percent of his passes (51.5). But Wimbush is a key part of Notre Dame's dominating No. 5 rushing game, which is averaging 325 yards per game. Wimbush and stud running back Josh Adams have combined for more than 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging 7.7 yards per rush.
This game really pits strength against strength as the Irish bring the No. 7 scoring offense in college football, averaging 41.3 points per game, down to South Beach to face the No. 12 scoring defense of the Hurricanes. Miami is allowing just 17.6 points per game.
However, the Irish defense isn't too shabby, either. Thanks to a solid front seven the Irish are allowing just 18.4 points per game, No. 17 in the country.
Notre Dame at Miami Odds and Betting Trends
The odds on this game have moved slightly since opening at -2.5 with a total at 56.5. Naturally, public money on the favorite and the 'over' have pushed the numbers to -3.0 and -57.5. But what is surprising is the imbalance in the betting, with Notre Dame taking a hearty 75 percent of the action in this one.
The Fighting Irish have gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven games, failing to cover last week against Wake Forest to snap their streak against the books. Notre Dame has gone 9-4 ATS the week after failing to cover a spread and they are a solid 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
Miami has been just as hot at the window. Dating back to last year they are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games. Granted, they are just 1-3 ATS in their last four games. But the Hurricanes are 5-2 ATS in their last seven nonconference games and they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record.
Notre Dame has gone 'over' in 8 of their past 11 games overall, and the 'over' is 12-5 in the Irish's last 17 road games. The 'under' is 25-12 in Notre Dame's last 37 games against teams from the ACC, though, and Miami has gone 'under' in six straight games. The 'under' is also 44-20 in Miami's last 64 nonconference games.
In regards to this series, the Irish are 3-0 both straight up and against the spread since this rivalry was renewed in 2010.
Notre Dame at Miami Predictions and Picks
This is a brutally tough game to make a pick in. But with a gun to my head I would have to go with the Irish. I think that they are favored on the road for a reason. I also give them the edge in experience and overall toughness. Miami's schedule can't be ignored. And while they have done everything they needed to in order to get themselves to this spot, I don't think that the Hurricanes are legitimate national title contenders. I think a worse Notre Dame team handled a comparable Miami team last year, and I expect them to do it again this time around. I see a back-and-forth game. But I think Notre Dame's rushing attack will take over in the second half, and I have the Irish winning this one 27-21.
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