Michigan State,Notre Dame,Charlie Weis
9/22/2007 3:30:00 PM
No team has ever won six in at row on the hallowed gridiron at South Bend, and Touchdown Jesus won't let that happen now. Take the points and Notre Dame vs. Michigan St.
After watching Michigan St. struggle with Pittsburgh last weekend, there is no way the Spartans should be favored by double digits on the road. Granted, they have won five straight games in this series at Notre Dame, but those were games they should not have won so the pressure was not there. The Spartans are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games as a favorite of 10½ or greater and they are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
There is no doubt that Notre Dame is not a good team this season, but this game is their first winnable game of the year. The Irish are catching an incredible number at home and one that is rarely this high. Since 1980, Notre Dame has gotten double digits as home only four times, going 3-1 against the number. The four teams involved were Nebraska, Florida St., Michigan and USC. The Spartans hardly fall into that category. The underdog has covered seven of the last 10 meetings in this series.
Pittsburgh was without its starting quarterback last week so it struggled to move the ball, though the Panthers still had the ball with one last shot to win the game. On the other side, the Michigan St. offense was not very productive as the Spartans had five possessions that ended in Pittsburgh territory but resulted in no points. All three of the Spartans scores came by way of Panthers turnovers. The previous week, Michigan St. struggled against Bowling Green as it outgained the Falcons by just 50 total yards.
It their first three games, Notre Dame has been blown off the line on defense while the offensive line has struggled with opening holes and pass protection. The Irish catch a break here however as the Spartans offensive line is banged up, thin on depth and struggling more as the opposition gets progressively tougher. The Panthers had six sacks last weekend and even Notre Dame, despite its well-chronicled struggles, has some athletes up front that can get to Brian Hoyer.
This series has heated up to become a pretty big rivalry and Notre Dame will be more than ready for this one. Head coach Charlie Weis is said to have promised boosters the Fighting Irish would never again lose to Michigan State while he was head coach. That is a bold promise. Each game since 2000 has been decided by a touchdown or less so the Irish have a very good chance of winning this one and snapping the Spartans four-game winning streak in South Bend. No team has ever won six in a row at Notre Dame. Play Notre Dame Fighting Irish for one unit.
Free Pick: Notre Dame +11 (-103)