Notre Dame and Stanford to ‘Under’whelm Scoreboard Operator

stanford notre dame

Willie Bee

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 11:29 PM UTC

Notre Dame still has playoff aspirations and is a slight favorite on the NCAA football odds for Saturday’s skirmish at Stanford in the regular-season finale for both.

NCAAF Season Record: 39-42-5 (-4.05)

Free NCAA Pick: Under 57Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Cardinal

Given how crazy things can still play out for the College Football Playoff over the next couple of Saturdays, we can’t blame Brian Kelly and Notre Dame for holding out hope for one of the four coveted slots. After all, if a two-loss Ohio State team can still dream of playing for the National Championship, why shouldn’t the Fighting Irish?

It’s a long shot, most certainly, and before Notre Dame can even think about that there’s this little matter of a West Coast trek to play the Stanford Cardinal. Saturday night’s contest gets underway at 8 PM (ET), and the Irish are giving up 2 at 5Dimes, where the total is 57.

 

Both Sides Failing To Cover Spreads In Recent Weeks

While it was a win, Notre Dame didn’t exactly impress the selection committee with last week’s 24-17 triumph over Navy. Favored by three times the final margin and coming off a butt-kicking at Miami the week before, the Irish failed to cover for the third consecutive game and also failed to stop the Midshipmen's ground game with a third consecutive game allowing 237+ yards rushing. They will be facing a Stanford ground game that is 26th in the country (215.7 ypg), and Notre Dame might be without standout receiver Equanimeous St. Brown as the junior left the Navy contest early with a head injury.

Stanford had a similar win last week with a 17-14 decision vs. California. The Cardinal were favored by 13½ on the NCAA football odds, the third time they dropped the cash in the last four contests. David Shaw’s toughest task this week will be to get his team focused on Notre Dame and not thinking about the Washington-Washington State game (same kickoff time) that will determine if Stanford goes to the Pac-12 Championship Game or not. Stanford will ifWazzu loses. 

 

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

The Irish might own an 18-12 advantage against the Cardinal over the years, but it’s Stanford that has won the last two, and the fans who have been the real winners in recent meetings with the last five no more than seven points apart at the final gun. Cardinal backers never needed the 3 points they were getting in Stanford’s 17-10 upset at South Bend last, the 5th straight encounter to result in underdog bettors returning to the pay window. Six of the last seven were ‘under’ winners, the lone ‘over’ occurring two years ago in Palo Alto.

There is a possibility of rain showers in the area Saturday night when the thermometer should stay in the mid-to-upper 60s for most of the contest, which boots at 5 PM local time. That and the trend in the series have me on an ‘under’ with my free college football pick.

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