Early Money on Irish, Notre Dame Favored Over Stanford

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

When the first betting lines for this weekend’s Notre Dame – Stanford contest came out, the line was even at most sports books.  A few days later, the line has moved pretty heavily in Notre Dame’s direction making the Irish a three point favorite over Stanford despite a 2-4 record heading into what should have been one of the more anticipated games of the year.

In August, this weekend’s game would have been described as a showdown, a potential playoff eliminator with both teams in the top 10 and coming off New Year’s Six bowl games.  Instead, Notre Dame has had a disastrous start to the 2016 season and is headed towards sitting home this holiday season unless they turn their season around immediately.  Stanford meanwhile started the season with playoff hopes, but has had their doors completely blown off by the state of Washington with back to back blowout losses at the hands of Washington and Washington State.

No one saw these two teams coming into this mid-season contest with a combined 6 losses.  At most, prognosticators thought the two might come in with two losses, but instead these two programs have tripled that total.  Notre Dame has lost four close games to weak opponents, while the Cardinal have been embarrassed back to back weeks 44-6 two weeks ago to now #5 Washington and then 44-16 to unranked Washington State.

Complicating matters for Stanford, the Cardinal might be without star running back Christian McCaffrey.  Even when healthy, however, McCaffrey was held under 50 yards in back to back games by the Washingtons.  On the season he is averaging just 5.3 yards per carry in 2016 after averaging 6.1 a carry in 2015.

Notre Dame, of course, has its own host of problems.  The Irish offense couldn’t get anything going last weekend when Brian Kelly inexplicably decided to throw the ball over and over again in driving rains and winds from Hurricane Matthews washing out their first ever trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Last year two points separated these two teams in Palo Alto when Notre Dame scored what looked like a potential game winning touchdown with 30 seconds remaining only to allow Stanford to march down the field in seconds to kick the game winning field goal.

The last time Stanford visited Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish used some heroics of their own when Everett Golson found Ben Koyack in the back of the endzone on fourth and goal in the games final seconds to give the Irish the victory.  Stanford’s 2012 trip to South Bend ended in epic style as well with Notre Dame’s dramatic goal-line stand in overtime – perhaps the high water mark for the Brian Kelly Era – propelling the Irish to victory.

If this line holds, this will be the 6th time this year Notre Dame is favored despite its 2-4 record.  The only time Notre Dame was not favored this season was last weekend in Raleigh against North Carolina State.

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31 Comments

  1. I think ND will have their hands full tonight. I also think the way this game ends up being executed via on-the-field play will speak volumes as to how this team feels regarding the coach. I would prefer a day game versus a night game but that is how it is. I would like to see Sanford actually run the offense. Kelly could take a cue from Auburn’s head coach who gave up play calling and turned it over to the OC, they are now playing much better ball. I am sure that will not happen nor would an attempt to play a more run oriented offense and a QB under center a little bit more happen either. How about this, just go flatten these guys tonight ND and win, that would be great.

  2. “Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
    There was something, in everything about you…
    Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
    We were wrong, and we just can’t live without you”

  3. The season was over the moment BK announced that he didn’t have the stones to tell Zaire he’s second string.

    1. Can we count on you to still watch Saturday night?
      We’re down a viewer this week so ND nation needs you George.

  4. Oh, I wanna watch…. want to see the mighty, arrogant head coach suffer another loss and see who he blames it on this week. Only way they dump him is for things to continue to get worse. I hope it boils down to another one of his dumb two point conversion decisions.

  5. Hopefully it will be a dry Saturday! My feeling is if McCaffery doesn’t play and the Cardinal wins, then BK must go! If he plays I wouldn’t beat one dime on the irish to win. Let’s face it between the weather and the horrible, unexplainable play calling the Irish had no shot last weekend. The Irish have 3 capable running backs and a QB that could easily become a running back and they, aka Kelly, decide to throw the ball all day! The season for all intensive purposes is over and if they lose Saturday, you will probably be looking at a new coaching staff and Wimbush at QB next season. Why would Kizer or Zaire take a chance and come back to play for a 5 and 8 team? Possible injury and just not wanting to play for a loser seems reason enough to get out of South Bend. I know everyone will have a year under their belt, but they are so bad defensively, a year will probably not be enough. I love offense and if this year proves nothing else……..you cannot be a winner without a good or at least decent defense. It pains me to say this but defense wins ball games unless you can score 70+ like Michigan did against Rutgers. LOL! Go Irish!

  6. A moment of silence for it appears we’ve lost a ND viewer today. Hold it together and raise a glass tonight in his honor. Do yourself a favor and have a Plan b always at the ready. After all, he would’ve wanted it that way.
    Gone but not forgotten!

    1. Seems that “not being forgotten” means a helluva lot more to you than me.

      Never an original thought, just predictable bullying.

      A real hero.

    2. Burgundy, it will be a fine day when we raise a glass at your mortal departure from this earth. A fine day indeed.

    3. Rondo, did you get that impotency issue resolved yet or are your gonads like your brain, puny and rotten?

  7. I understand the frustration but a true fan has to hang in tete good or bad. This comes from a Torontonion – home of the Maple Leafs hockey club. Nobody understands pain and frustation like a Maple Leafs fan

    So… ( He says with a heavy heart) Go Irish!!!!

    1. I’m a Vikings fan so I’m a glutton for punishment. ND has not been as heart breaking as the Vikings in the past.

  8. In 1925 We beat the Stanford Indians in the Rose Bowl. They were without the Great Ernie Nevers. When I saw We are now favored I was shocked. Then after hearing the great” Christian McCafferey “would miss the game I understand why.

    1. Whaty if ND beats Stanford….however that might occur?

      Does that make Brian Kelly any better at coaching, gameplanning and strategizing than he has demonstrated over the last 7 seasons ?

      Nope. He’s the same clueless shmuck.

    2. King, my Man!, say it ain’t so!

      Nevers was the co-MVP of the game. But the Irish romped. Rockne? The Four Horsement?

      Stanford’s last two games have been bleak, as the Harbaugh effect has finally worn off.

      Washington (an outstanding team) 44-Stanford (retired Native American mockers) now Cardinal 6
      Washington State (a mediocre team, not top 25,) 42-Leland Stanford’s train men `16

  9. @ david…understandable. However, my pleasure now is to (hope for) and watch Kelly exposed as the grade “C” coach that he is. If ND loses to Stanford (at home as favorites) I believe he and the administration will work out a face saving exit before Miami demolishes him. Tune in and…stay tuned.

    1. Kelly was exposed long ago. Regardless of whether I watched or not.
      So beginning last season, I chose to look elsewhere for my Fall Saturday entertainment.

      In the area of disclosure: I’m not a masochist.

      1. David, Burgundy will soon be departing this earthly realm for his reward in hell. He is the epitome of the “Fool’s Gospel.”

    1. No one will remember Burgundy in a few short years. However his idiotic and inane putrid stench will remain for a time.

    2. Man, Burgundy, why did you do that.

      “The Candy colored clown they call the sandman,,,,,,,,,”

      from Roy Orbison, but lip synched by Dean Stanton for the the amusement of Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper’s darkest turn) in David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.” that was a film as creepy as some of these posters.

  10. I will not be watching this, or probably any other ND game until Kelly is replaced.

    There are more than enough competently-coached, entertaining college football teams on TV to find a game worthy of my time. And ND is not one of them.

    1. I’m an ardent fan but foremost a discerning Alum of this great university. I get the disappointment of the “fan” base but I never lose sight of the fact that football is a “game.” Games results are never a given, despite all the chalk that predicts outcomes. If you are an Irish fan who takes losses so personally as to hyperventilate with vitriol towards one and all, please find another outlet. Be disappointed your adopted team lost (or revel in a win) but for God’s sake, and your own, get a grip. There should be more significant life issues for which you want to expend your energies. If not, at the very least, go adopt a different team and move on.

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