College GameDay is heading to one of the most historic rivalries in the country this weekend when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish face the Michigan Wolverines. Both teams are looking to prove something after disappointing losses in bowl games to end last season.
Michigan is a 3.5 point favorite playing at home here, with a total of 51 points.
NOTRE DAME – MICHIGAN WEEK 2 BETTING LINE:
OPEN: MICHIGAN -3.5 | CURRENT: MICHIGAN -4 | O/U: 51
[NOTRE DAME vs. MICHIGAN EXPERT BETTING PICKS]
1. Why Notre Dame will cover the spread: Notre Dame dominated last year’s game against Michigan thanks to a suffocating performance from the defense. They have lost Manti Te’o but bring back something special in DT Louis Nix. Nix has the talent to single-handedly wreak havoc and shut down the Michigan run game, and Michigan is all too familiar with what one player can do to an offensive line after the Clowney Monster ravaged them in the Capital One Bowl last year.
Despite losing QB Everett Golson for the season due to academics, Tommy Rees is more than capable of leading his team to victory. Rees dominated Temple with 346 yards passing and three touchdowns and should have success against the Michigan secondary as well.
2. Why Michigan will cover the spread: For as much love as Michigan fans had for Denard Robinson, his inaccuracy submarined the Wolverines’ chances against the Fighting Irish last year. Robinson threw four interceptions to give the Irish the 13-6 win despite Notre Dame only having 239 total yards of offense. Denard’s erratic play led HC Brady Hoke to replace him with Devin Gardner who proved to be more than capable.
Gardner was not as dynamic of a runner as Robinson, but was much less prone to turn the ball over and played well for a sophomore. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Derrick Green also provide solid support in the run game for the Wolverines.
3. Total Talk: In Notre Dame’s last five games against Big Ten opponents, the ‘Under’ is 4-0-1 and last year’s contest only had 19 points. The ‘Under’ is also 23-9-1 in the Fighting Irish’s last 33 road games and 34-16-2 in their last 52 non-conference games played. For Michigan, the ‘Over’ is 4-0 in its last four games in the Big House and games have gone over the total five of the last six times overall. However, the ‘Under’ is 5-2 in Michigan’s last seven games following a straight-up win.
4. Betting Trends for the game: Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games and 4-1 ATS in its last five games against Big Ten opponents. Last year, the Irish got the cover at home against a solid Wolverine defensive effort. The Wolverines are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games against teams with a winning record, but stand 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 non-conference games.
Head to head, Michigan is 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings against Notre Dame and the Irish have only covered one of their last five games in the Big House.
Michigan 23 – Notre Dame 17