Mother Nature a Player in Navy-Notre Dame Matchup

Notre Dame Fighting Irish players in field

Willie Bee

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 3:25 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 3:25 PM UTC

Disappointed following a crushing defeat at Miami, the Fighting Irish return home as double-digit favorites on the NCAA football odds against Navy.

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 60½Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Navy Midshipmen vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish  

Dreams of a National Championship squashed in a rout at the hands of Miami last Saturday, Notre Dame turns its attention to getting back in the good graces of top-tier bowl selection committees with the renewal of the longest-running intersectional rivalry. Up next for the Fighting Irish are the Navy Midshipmen who are seeking consecutive wins in the series for just the second time in more than 50 years.

The Notredame Broadcasting Company has the 3:30 PM (ET) broadcast from South Bend, and most of SBR’s top sportsbooks have Notre Dame as -17½ point chalk. Playing the scoreboard means a decision on a total that has fallen to the 59-60½ range.

Irish Struggle Against Run For 2nd-Straight Week

Ken Niumatalolo brings Navy to the Land of the Golden Dome off a walk-off win over SMU. Favored by 1 at home, Malcolm Perry stepped in for injured quarterback Zach Abey (shoulder) and delivered a memorable performance with 282 of the 559 rushing yards the Midshipmen ran up on the Mustangs. The sophomore out of Tennessee attempted just one pass, and it was picked off. Perry left the game with an ankle injury, leaving 3rd-string QB Garret Lewis to direct the winning drive that culminated in a field goal as time expired. Both Abey and Perry are listed as questionable for this week’s contest.

Giving up 3½ on the NCAA football odds at Miami, Notre Dame was all but finished in the first quarter against the Hurricanes. The Fighting Irish never could establish their run game against quicker Miami defenders, and four turnovers contributed to the 41-8 whipping, one of Brandon Wimbush’s interceptions returned for a touchdown late in the first half. The Hurricanes rolled up 237 yards on the ground, the second consecutive week Notre Dame surrendered more than 200, and converted all three of their 4th-down tries.

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

As lopsided as this series has been for ND (74-13-1), it’s Navy with current bragging rights after a 28-27 victory last year in Jacksonville. Touchdown underdogs, the Midshipmen ran off the final 4½ minutes of the game to hold their lead, converting two 4th-down plays to prevent the Irish from getting the ball back, The final stayed ‘under’ 63, stopping a string of six ‘over’ winners in the series, three of those affairs taking place under the gaze of Touchdown Jesus.

The long-range forecast isn’t a pleasant one with rain and wind in the South Bend area on Saturday, most of the game played in the low-to-mid 40s. That forecast is no doubt behind the early drop in the total, and I’ll go that same direction with my free college football pick.

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