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Steelers-Panthers Odds & Spread Picks

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Sunday Night Football in Week 3 will head to Bank of America Stadium, where the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to hope to put their best foot forward against the Carolina Panthers. The defending NFC South champs are -3.5 at home against a team that has to be reeling after getting smacked last Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens. The ‘total’ is set at 41.5.


STEELERS – PANTHERS SUNDAY NIGHT WEEK 3 LINE:

OPEN: PANTHERS -3.5 | CURRENT: PANTHERS -3 | O/U: 41



1. Why the PANTHERS will cover the spread: The Panthers are going to be in great shape in this game because they have all of the factors that the Steelers just can’t stop. Pittsburgh still has one of the worst offensive lines in the game, and that’s really going to show against LB Luke Kuechly and one of the best defensive front sevens in all of football.

On top of that, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the weapons in its front seven to be able to slow down QB Cam Newton. Newton is healthy, and he is ready to take the Panthers back to the postseason this year. Yes, we’re a little worried that RB Jonathan Stewart might end up being the only healthy running back on this roster with both RB Michael Tolbert and RB DeAngelo Williams hurting, but we still think there is more than enough here for Carolina to win this game.


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2. Why the STEELERS will cover the spread: The Steelers could be in a lot of trouble in this game, but the one thing that we have to remember is that Carolina really hasn’t played anyone yet this year. Sure, the argument could still be made that the Panthers haven’t played anyone including this week, as the Steelers really might not be all that good either.

What Pittsburgh does bring to the table though, is RB LeVeon Bell, who will be the best and most dynamic back that Carolina has seen so far on the young season. It’s tough to find running room against this Panthers front seven, but if it’s doable, Bell will figure out how to do it.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: ‘Under’ has been the word for the most part for these two teams this year. Only Pittsburgh’s 30-27 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 made it past the ‘total’, and all three games aside from that that these two teams have played have seen between 31 and 34 points scored.

That’s obviously not even good enough to make it to a teased ‘total’, something that has been tough to do this year (blindly teasing either side of the ‘total’ by seven-points would have yielded a 52-12 record so far through two weeks in the NFL). The ‘under’ is 11-1 in Carolina’s last 12 games overall.

4. Betting Trends for STEELERS/PANTHERS: These two teams have only met each other five times, and the Steelers have won and covered each of the last four, winning all four by at least 10 points. They also covered the first meeting ever back in 1996, losing 18-14 here in Charlotte. Pittsburgh is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 following a loss either SU or ATS, and it is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 games played in September.


STEELERS – PANTHERS WEEK 3 SCORE PREDICTION:

Panthers 20 – Steelers 13






NFL Upset Picks Week 3 2014

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There are a few big underdogs every week who seem to bark in the NFL, and Week 3 certainly won’t be an exception. There will be a few pups at the start of the season that look like ridiculous steals by the end of the year, and we’re going to highlight a few of those on the NFL betting odds in Week 3.
 

Cleveland Browns (+105) vs. Baltimore Ravens – We were spot on with the Browns last week and +230, and though this won’t be nearly as big of a payday, we do think that this is a great shot to take on them once again. Cleveland just feels touched this year. It feels like this defense is a lot better than statistics say that it is, and it feels like this offense is moving the ball better now with QB Brian Hoyer than it did before with any of the other garbage quarterbacks that were trying to lead the team. This is a bet against Baltimore, though.

Torrey Smith is nowhere to be found, and the running game with Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett just won’t cut it the way that it would have with Ray Rice. We honestly think that the Browns are the better of these two teams, and they’ll declare themselves legitimate contenders with a second straight home win.



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Oakland Raiders (+825) @ New England Patriots – Alright, it’s a shot in the dark, we’ll admit. However, we’ll bet that anyone holding a Denver ML ticket last week was sweating, while we were wondering if we were going to cash a big payday there. The Raiders aren’t very good, and we know that, but we really think that the Patriots have some problems right now. They aren’t running the ball well, they aren’t blocking well, and they aren’t throwing it well.

QB Tom Brady looks as bad as he has in his entire career, and the defense is the only thing holding this team together. QB Derek Carr is improving with every drop back that he takes. The kid can do this, and he only has to do it one in eight times to make it worth our while.


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Denver Broncos (+200) @ Seattle Seahawks – Is it just us, or have the Seahawks been exposed just a bit? The safeties and linebackers weren’t able to keep up with Antonio Gates last week against the Chargers, and now, Peyton Manning is going to be all over that with Julius Thomas, who has four TDs already this year. It’s literally hell to try to play in Seattle, but remember that the Broncos have back Ryan Clady and others whom they didn’t have in the Super Bowl, and they’ll get back to full strength in the receiving corps this week as well with Wes Welker being reinstated.

On top of that, the defense has brought in Aqib Talib to help at the back end as well as Demarcus Ware to help up front. We think the oddsmakers have grossly understated just how good the Broncos are in spite of the fact that they haven’t covered either of their first two home games.





Jets vs. Bears MNF Vegas Odds & Spread Picks

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The Chicago Bears and the New York Jets both won games in Week 1, and they both blew leads of at least two touchdowns in Week 2. One will get off of the mat in Week 3 when the two close out the week on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Not surprisingly, the oddsmakers are having a really tough time lining this game, putting New York at a slender -3 with a ‘total’ of 45.5.


BEARS – JETS MONDAY NIGHT WEEK 3 LINE:

OPEN: JETS PK | CURRENT: JETS -3 | O/U: 45.5



1. Why the BEARS will cover the spread: WR Alshon Jeffrey and WR Brandon Marshall were both able to play last week against the San Francisco 49ers even though both were considered questionable going into the game. Marshall scored three TDs, and he looked the part of a totally healthy man. Now, Chicago gets to face off against what is turning out to be one of the worst secondaries in the league.

If WR Jordy Nelson and WR Randall Cobb combined for over 250 yards and three TDs last week against the Green Bay Packers, are the Jets are going to have any answers for Jeffrey and Marshall?


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2. Why the JETS will cover the spread: RB Chris Ivory and RB Chris Johnson have to be licking their chops over this one. The Bears might have slowed down the 49ers just a bit on the ground, but they have allowed at least 120 rushing yards in four straight games dating back to the end of last season, and they have allowed an average of over 200 yards per game in that stretch in rushing. Ivory and Johnson are both going to get the ball in their guts at least 10 times apiece, and if that’s the case, both are candidates for over 100 yards.

On top of that, QB Geno Smith has been much, much stronger this year than most probably figured he would be, so the Jets have a much better offense than most give them credit for.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: The Bears have played five of their last six games past the ‘total’, and that really shouldn’t be considered all that surprising, knowing that they have been terrible on defense, and both Jeffrey and Marshall (and TE Martellus Bennett, for good measure) have been lighting it up. The Jets have proven to be able to score some points this year, putting 43 up in two games, and we have to think they are going to trend towards a higher number this week, knowing that this is the worst defense that have faced all year long.

4. Betting Trends for BEARS/JETS: The Bears have covered seven of their last 10 games on Monday Night Football, which really debunks the myth that QB Jay Cutler can’t play in primetime games any longer. The Jets are 3-1-2 ATS in their last six games overall, but they have failed to cover four straight duels in this series against the Bears.


BEARS – JETS WEEK 3 SCORE PREDICTION:

Jets 28 – Bears 24






College Football Upset Picks: Miss. State Over LSU!

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We are three weeks into college football betting action, and our FREE BetVega upset picks are 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS YTD! Join us for our teams that are on upset alert for Week 4 of the campaign.
 

UPSET #1: Akron (+10) vs. Marshall – The Herd probably aren’t going to be tripped up this year, but this is a really dangerous game in Akron. The Zips aren’t bad at all, and Head Coach Terry Bowden has them playing their butts off. They didn’t end up getting outplayed badly by Penn State a few weeks ago as most though, and they are going to have to play the defensive game of their lives in this one. That said, Marshall was sloppy last year on the road, losing to Rice, Middle Tennessee State, Virginia Tech, and Ohio, and Florida Atlantic nearly got the job done as well.

The Zips feel like they could be poised for an upset to us in this one, especially if the defense can’t keep up nearly as well as we know that QB Rakeem Cato will manage to on the other side of the field.


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UPSET #2: Army (opened +3, now -2) @ Wake Forest  – Again, it’s not the prettiest play in the world, but when we get the chance to fade Wake Forest as a favorite, we’re going to do it. The Demon Deacons are just really, really bad. They were killed by Utah State last week, and they never really got their act together against Weber State the week before. Louisiana Monroe destroyed this club on the opening night of the season to boot.

Are the Black Knights good? No, they aren’t. They’ve only thrown the ball 12 times the whole season, and though some of the base runners like RB Larry Dixon are having good years, there just isn’t enough offense to go around to beat most good teams. However, there’s a big difference between playing Stanford last week and Wake Forest this week. We’ll take our shot on the Cadets.


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UPSET #3: Mississippi State (+10) @ LSU TigersHere’s a much sexier game, but it isn’t going to be a popular big. This would be the upset of the year in the SEC, and that’s saying something considering the two South Carolina games we’ve already seen. QB Dak Prescott might be the best player on the field when he is out there, and when you’ve got the best player, and that player happens to be a quarterback, you’ve got a fighting chance.

We’ve seen Mississippi State come so close to winning so many of these games against SEC West teams, and it never seems to finally get the job done. This might be the team’s lucky day. It’s tough to go into the Bayou at night and win at Tiger Stadium, but if there’s a team that can get the job done, the Bulldogs might be just that team.




Bears vs. 49ers Line, ATS Spread Picks, Score Prediction

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Levi’s Stadium will open its doors to the NFL regular season for the first time on Sunday Night Football this week, as the San Francisco 49ers play host to the Chicago Bears. The Niners are laying a touchdown against a very good Chicago team that is in bad need of a victory after losing last week to the Bills.


BEARS – 49ERS SUNDAY NIGHT WEEK 2 LINE:

OPEN: 49ERS -7 | CURRENT: 49ERS -7 | O/U: 49



1. Why the BEARS will cover the spread: Are we really all that sure that the 49ers are that good? They beat up the Dallas Cowboys last week, but just how good are the Cowboys? We sure as heck know that the defense for Dallas isn’t all that good, and QB Tony Romo was chumping up picks left and right. The Bears also aren’t nearly as bad as they showed last week in their loss to the Buffalo Bills.

They have an explosive offense, and if QB Jay Cutler can figure out how to get the ball down the field in this one, a very thin San Francisco back seven could be exploited. This is a game that is certainly there for the taking for the Bears, but they are going to have to play a lot better on both sides of the ball to take it down.


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2. Why the 49ERS will cover the spread: Forget about the fact that Chicago just got beat at home by the Bills. That’s bad enough in and of itself. What really has us in this one is the fact that the Niners are probably going to keep the ball on the ground 35-40 times like the Bills did. Buffalo had all sorts of success with RB Fred Jackson, RB CJ Spiller, and RB Anthony Dixon. If that’s the case, we don’t see how RB Carlos Hyde and RB Frank Gore don’t end up posting at least 120-150 yards between them.

QB Colin Kaepernick had himself a good start to the season last week against Dallas, and he could be in line for a good day here against Chicago as well. There also has to be a lot of emotion in place with this being the first game ever at Levi’s Stadium. Cutler also doesn’t exactly have the most sterling of records in primetime games, and we have to expect that he is going to be under a lot of pressure in this duel.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: The 49ers have played four straight ‘under’ games overall dating back to the playoffs last year, and they could be a good candidate for an ‘under’ game in this one as well if their defense can hold up. Chicago’s last five games of last season all went past the number, but last week’s game against Buffalo, but the offense didn’t do the job for either team to get past a lofty 47.

4. Betting Trends for BEARS/49ERS: The Bears have failed to cover four straight games here in San Fran, and the home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Chicago is also just 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games overall, and it is 7-20-1 ATS dating back three seasons. The 49ers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 September games.



BEARS – 49ERS WEEK 2 SCORE PREDICTION:

49ers 30 – Bears 17






Eagles vs. Colts MNF Line, Spread Picks, Score Prediction

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The Philadelphia Eagles have already knocked off one AFC South team this year, and they are going to be looking to claim a second game against this division on Monday Night Football when they face the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck and the gang are giving a field goal in this battle of former division champs in what should be a nice additional stanza in what used to be a Pac-12 battle between Luck and Eagles coach Chip Kelly.


EAGLES – COLTS MONDAY NIGHT WEEK 2 LINE:

OPEN: COLTS -3 | CURRENT: COLTS -3 | O/U: 53



1. Why the EAGLES will cover the spread: If there is a man in the NFL that should be familiar with what Luck and Colts OC Pep Hamilton are doing, it should be Kelly. These men did battle with one another when they were at Stanford and Oregon respectively, and Kelly was generally able to control Luck. We’ll see whether it translates to the pros or not. The Indy defense just looked horrid in the first half against the Denver Broncos last week, and Kelly had to be watching that tape and smiling. His offense isn’t anywhere near as good as that of QB Peyton Manning and the Broncos, but it should be good enough to at least put up four TDs in this duel.


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2. Why the COLTS will cover the spread: For as bad as the first half was for the Colts last week, the second half was tremendous at Invesco Field at Mile High. WR Reggie Wayne is clearly back and healthy, and that should help out this offense quite a bit. On top of that, the defense was much better in the second half, though there was still a lack of a pass rush for sure. QB Nick Foles turned the ball over almost as many times in one half against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week as he did the whole year in 2013, and that’s a bad sign with this being his first home game. The Colts will have to figure out how to get pressure on Foles to make this work, but if that turns out to be the case via blitzes as was the case against Manning in the second half, the Eagles could struggle.


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3. Take the Over or Under?: The Eagles have gone OVER the ‘total’ in seven of their last nine games played on the road, and there are trends on the other side as well that suggest this one will get past the number. Indianapolis has played six of its last eight games beyond the ‘total’ following an ATS win. The ‘over’ is also 9-4 in the Colts’ last 13 games overall.

4. Betting Trends for EAGLES/COLTS: The Colts have been a dynamo ATS team from just about every aspect you can think of. They are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Monday Night Football games, and they are 4-0 ATS in their last four played at home. More importantly, they are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 games following an SU defeat. The Eagles are just 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 September games.


EAGLES – COLTS WEEK 2 SCORE PREDICTION:

Colts 27 – Eagles 14






Oklahoma vs. Tennessee Line, Spread Picks & Score Prediction

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The Oklahoma Sooners are very likely to be double-digit favorites every step of the way this year on the college football betting lines, and their path to the first college football playoff should be relatively clear. In spite of the fact that this game against the Tennessee Volunteers is another in which the Sooners are double-digit favorites, there are definitely some concerns that perhaps an upset could be in the cards.


OKLAHOMA – TENNESSEE WEEK 3 BETTING LINE 2014:


OPEN: OKLAHOMA -20 | CURRENT: OKLAHOMA -20.5 | O/U: 56.5



1. Why TENNESSEE will cover the spread: It really seems to happen to Oklahoma a lot. The Sooners have had several seasons wrecked at home. In 2012, they were beaten by Notre Dame and Kansas State. In 2011, it was Texas Tech. In 2009, it was BYU. Could 2014 by the year of the Vols? We know that QB Justin Worley is playing with a lot of confidence right now, and there is a lot of talent on this defense as well.

The key for our money though, is the trick play. Head Coach Butch Jones has already pulled a ton of tricks out of his bag early in the year, and he is going to have to do more of that against the Sooners to pull off this upset. The talent is here for this team, but Tennessee remains a raw unit.


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2. Why OKLAHOMA will cover the spread: Talent means a whole heck of a lot. The Volunteers might be off to a 2-0 start this year, but they haven’t played against a team with the physicality of the Sooners. Oklahoma has dominated and overwhelmed its first two foes this year with its strong offensive line, and that could be how this one plays out as well.

Three backs are already over 100 yards in just two games for the Sooners, and the team has nine rushing TDs already as well. If the Sooners rush for 200-250 yards in this one, it’ll be all over but the crying for the Vols.


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3. Total Talk: Four straight Tennessee games have failed to reach the ‘total’, but the ‘over’ is 7-3 in UT’s last 10 road games. Games have come relatively close this year for the Volunteers, and it has been their defense that has kept games ‘under’ the number, not the offense. The Sooners have had games flying past the ‘total’ of late. They are 5-0-1 for ‘over’ backers in their last six, and they are 5-2 for the ‘over’ in their last seven games following an SU win of at least 20 points.

4. Betting Trends OKL/TENN: There isn’t a lot to support backing either of these teams in this game. The Volunteers are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine out of conference, and every time they run up against a team like this outside of the SEC, they seem to get flattened. Oklahoma though, is just 1-5 ATS in its last six against the SEC.



OKLAHOMA – TENNESSEE WEEK 3 PREDICTION:

Oklahoma 34 – Tennessee 24





3 College Football Upset Picks For Week 2

Last week we nailed down 2 HUGE +300 moneyline dogs to kick off the season! Three teams have caught our eye on the early Week 2 college football betting lines who might be poised to pick up big time upsets. Join us today as we break down those ugly dogs that could end up providing big time paydays for you.
 

UPSET #1: USC Trojans (+135 @ Stanford Cardinal) – We really wish that the Trojans were bigger dogs in this game, but either way, we have a lot of confidence that they can get the job done on the road down on “The Farm.” USC blew out Fresno State last week, and though Stanford also disposed of UC-Davis, we just love the look that Head Coach Steve Sarkisian has provided to the Men of Troy.

QB Cody Kessler looks like he could ultimately be the real deal, and his defense behind him could be one of the best in the Pac-12. For the past few years, we have been hearing about how the Trojans are done now that they have gotten their NCAA sanctions from the Reggie Bush fiasco. Just as Stanford got on the map by winning a game at USC, USC might ultimately put themselves back on the map by turning around and upsetting Stanford in Palo Alto.


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UPSET #2: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+220 @ Illinois Fighting Illini)  – Every year, we see Big Ten teams struggle against MAC and Conference USA squads, and this could be no exception. One of the games that flew under the radar last week was the Western Kentucky/Bowling Green duel. The Hilltoppers put up 59 points in that game against a very good Bowling Green side to pull off a mild upset. For our money, the Illini aren’t nearly as good as Bowling Green is, and the offense behind QB Brandon Doughty isn’t going to have to be anywhere near as good this week as it was last week to win.

This could be the biggest day in the history of the Western Kentucky football program, as this team is well on its way to becoming one of the better teams in mid-major football.


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UPSET #3: BYU Cougars (+145 @ Texas Longhorns) – The Longhorns are going to be better this year under Head Coach Charlie Strong than they were under Mack Brown in all likelihood, but we still don’t know if they can stop the run. Remember that UT gave up over 500 yards on the ground to the Cougars last year, and QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams ran wild against it. Williams was suspended for the opening game of the season, but he is back, and he and Hill should once again have a field day.

Playing in Austin isn’t quite like playing in Provo, but the Cougs, for our money, still have a team capable of winning this game and perhaps winning it handily. We are a bit surprised that BYU is a dog of this magnitude in a game which means a ton to both of squads.




Oregon vs. Michigan State Line, Spread Picks & Score Prediction 2014

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The Michigan State Spartans spent the end of last season clamoring that they should have had their shot to play against the Florida State Seminoles for the National Championship. They could make it to the college football playoff this year by running the table, but their biggest hurdle is going to come early in the season in Week 2 when they have to travel to Autzen Stadium to take on the Oregon Ducks, who are also favorites to win it all this year.



MICHIGAN STATE – OREGON WEEK 2 BETTING LINE 2014:


OPEN: OREGON -11.5 | CURRENT: OREGON -12 | O/U: 56



1. Why OREGON will cover the spread: The Ducks will cover the spread if they play like the Ducks we have come to know and love. They can run up and down the field with ease, and games like this are what QB Marcus Mariota came back to school for. Mariota though, didn’t end last season on a high note.

Remember that Oregon finished out the regular season going 2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS in its last four games, and when the Ducks ran into the strong defenses of Texas and Stanford, the team scored just a total of 50 points in the two games combined. The offense can do better than that, but will it? That’s the difference between a cover and what could be an outright upset.


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2. Why MICHIGAN STATE will cover the spread: Thirteen starters are back from last season’s team which won the Rose Bowl over Stanford, and these men are hungry to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke whatsoever. QB Connor Cook has now been here and done this, and he is going to be counted upon to play a fantastic game against an Oregon team which will surely score some points.

Remember that Cook is 13-1 as a starter in his career. LB Taiwan Jones and DE Shilique Calhoun legitimately could be leading one of the best five defenses in America, and this could be the toughest task that Oregon’s offense has to face all season long.


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3. Total Talk: The Ducks traditionally have totals in the 60s or higher, and in fact, this is going to be the lowest ‘total’ in an Oregon game in three full years. Michigan State has pushed three straight games past the ‘total’ dating back to last year, and it has proven time and time again that it could end up doing just enough offensively to push games past the number.

4. Betting Trends MSU/OREGON: The Spartans are out to prove that they belong, and they did go 2-0 SU and ATS last year against teams ranked in the Top 10 in the country. However, both of those games came in neutral venues. The Ducks have had a great history going against power conference teams outside of the Pac-12. They’re a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS dating back to the 2012 Rose Bowl when they beat the Wisconsin Badgers 45-38, but this is as tough of a test as they will face early in a season since getting beaten by the LSU Tigers to start off that 2011 campaign.


MICHIGAN STATE – OREGON WEEK 2 PREDICTION:

Michigan State 28 – Oregon 26





Notre Dame vs. Michigan Odds, Spread Picks, Score Prediction Week 2

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines both have to think that this is a year where they can contend for a spot in the college football playoff, and each made their case in Week 1 to be big time players for that honor. However, both are going to be facing much stiffer competition this week, and this is where the rubber will meet the road for the two clubs in a rare night game at Notre Dame, where the Irish are currently 5 point favorites.



NOTRE DAME – MICHIGAN WEEK 2 BETTING LINE 2014:


OPEN: NOTRE DAME -5.5 | CURRENT: NOTRE DAME -3.5 | O/U: 56.5



1. Why Notre Dame will cover the spread: QB Everett Golson looks really darn sharp. Granted, it was a game against Rice, but Golson threw for 295 yards and two TDs, and he rushed for three scores as well. If there was any fear of him having rust after a year away from the game, that fear has since been squashed. Golson is the real deal, and he has a strong team around him as well.

The Golden Domers don’t have that one receiver or that one back that can prove to give the Wolverines fits, but they do have a number of different players who can light it up. Heck, WR CJ Prosise only had one catch against Rice, but it went for 53 yards and a TD. Golson will use all of his weapons, and that will spread this Michigan defense all game long.


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2. Why Michigan will cover the spread: Save for the year that the Fighting Irish ran the table in the regular season and were a touched team, Michigan has had its way in this series. QB Devin Gardner has had some great games against Notre Dame, and he has a tremendous offensive line in front of him as well. Gardner went 13-of-14 against Appalachian State last week, and he was really never harassed by a Mountaineer defender.

TE Devin Funchess causes matchup nightmares all over the field, and we would be surprised if he didn’t find holes in this edition of the Notre Dame defense. Keep an eye on both RB Derrick Green and RB De’Veon Smith. These two could be the next big thing for the Wolverines, who are much faster and stronger than they were in years past.


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3. Total Talk: With all of the talk of how good these two offenses are, you’d figure that this is going to be a high scoring game. Indeed, the betting trends suggest just that. Five of the last seven these two have played at Notre Dame Stadium have gone past the ‘total’, and we have seen some wild endings to games in this rivalry that have produced tons of scores in the closing moments as well. Do keep in mind though, that Notre Dame has played six of its last eight games ‘under’ the closing number.

4. Betting Trends for the game: Notre Dame is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games overall, but it didn’t have a great season from a betting standpoint when Golson was the quarterback two seasons ago. The Wolverines are 5-2 ATS in the last seven in this series, and they could be poised for a big upset on the road.


MICHIGAN – NOTRE DAME WEEK 2 PREDICTION:

Michigan 33 – Notre Dame 28





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