Notre Dame vs. Michigan to go UNDER: College Football Picks

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:36 AM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 5, 2013 11:36 AM GMT

Notre Dame will be making their last trip to Ann Arbor for ‘at least awhile’ as the Irish have scheduling obligations to the ACC in 2014 and beyond. Michigan will play in South Bend next season, but that will be the final game in this series in the indefinite future.

This game will be featured on Saturday night at 8 pm ET on ESPN with the GameDay crew on hand. The Big House will be packed with more than 115,000 fans so the atmosphere will be electric.

[gameodds]6/238983/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish come in off a ho-hum home win over Temple last Saturday. The Irish won 28-6, and while the final score may not impress, don’t be fooled. Notre Dame thoroughly dominated Temple as the Irish racked up 543 yards of offense while holding the Owls to 362 total yards. Notre Dame ran for 188 yards on 5.4 yards per rush with five different players gaining double digit yards. Quarterback Tommy Rees completed 16 of his 23 pass attempts for a career-high 346 yards with 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

College football bettors did not like Notre Dame on Saturday as the Irish dropped from a 29.5-point favorite to a 28-point favorite at the majority of sportsbooks. The underdog was an easy winner since Notre Dame never had the pointspread covered at any point in the game. 

#17 Michigan cruised in their opening game with a 59-9 blowout win over Central Michigan. The Wolverines won yardage 463-210 with 242 of their yards coming on the ground; they averaged 5.1 yards per rush. Quarterback Devin Gardner went 10 for 15 and 162 yards, but he threw 2 interceptions and just 1 touchdown pass. Michigan’s defense held the Chippewas to only 3 field goals and just 66 yards rushing.

Bettors who laid the 31.5 points with Michigan easily cashed with their sports picks as the Wolverines had the game covered at the 12-minute mark of the third quarter.

Michigan is 15-0 at home under HC Brady Hoke and the Wolverines opened as a 4-point favorite over Notre Dame with a total of 51.The current line sits at 3.5 with a total of 52.

Notre Dame escaped with a 13-6 home win last season, barely covering the 6-point line. This series has seen its share of upsets in Ann Arbor as the underdog has won three of the last four games played in Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines were home dogs in 2011 and in 2009, and they won both of those games in high-scoring shootouts. 

HC Brian Kelly is 12-8 ATS on the road in three years at Notre Dame. Away from South Bend, the Irish are 4-4 SU and 5-3 ATS as an underdog under Kelly. 

HC Brady Hoke is 9-5 ATS at home in his two seasons with Michigan. The Wolverines have been good in the favorite’s role under Hoke going 11-6 ATS overall, including 9-4 ATS as a home favorite. 

Notre Dame’s offense did put-up a lot of yards on Temple last week, but that was expected. But the fact the Irish did not convert those yards into points is troublesome, especially against an inferior opponent. The Irish are taking a major step-up in defensive class in this game, and with the way Michigan’s defense played last week, it’s hard to envision Notre Dame scoring a lot of points.

Michigan’s offense had it easy last week against a terrible defense. But the Wolverines will face a stout Notre Dame stop unit in this game. QB Gardner cannot be careless with the ball and get away with it against the Irish. Despite looking so good last week, we expect Michigan’s offense to stall against the Irish. 

HC Kelly knows he doesn’t have the firepower to trade points with Michigan, so we expect to see a conservative game plan from the road underdog. Notre Dame will have to win this game with ball control and defense, and because of that, we’ll recommend adding the 'Under' to your College Football picks the total on Saturday night.

Play UNDER 52

Check out Doug Upstone's College Football Picks: Noter Dame vs. Michigan for a free pick on the spread.

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