Notre Dame Opens as One Possession Favorite Over Northwestern

Notre Dame opened up as a touchdown and two point conversion favorite over Northwestern on Sunday on the heels of their 22 point win over Navy and Northwestern’s upset of Wisconsin.  The two face each other on Saturday evening at 7:15 PM on ESPN as we found out officially on Sunday as well.

Notre Dame has been hit or miss against the spread this year with the Irish covering four times and failing to cover the other.  The four covers for Notre Dame were Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.  The four times the Irish didn’t cover include the close calls against Ball State, Pitt, and Vanderbilt, and then this past weekend as well.  Despite the 22 point win, the Irish were 24 point favorites.

Northwestern is also 4-4 against the spread this year like the Irish.  They are 2-3 straight up as well against the spread though.  The game will be played in the friendly confines of Ryan Field – the first time the two schools will face off there in over 40 years.  The Wildcats covered the 14.5 point spread in their matchup with Michigan earlier this season as well.  The Wolverines are the only other currently ranked opponent Northwestern has faced this year though we know from Notre Dame’s head to head win, the Irish are hands down the superior team.

The 8 point spread is probably right about what you would expect in this one.  Notre Dame has been a 20+ point favorite four times this season and they failed to cover all four times.  In every other game this season, the Irish were a less than 10 point favorite and they covered every time.

Notre Dame has fared better on the road against the spread this year where they are 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread.  Notre Dame has won by an average of 24.3 points in their three road games this season.

Northwestern lost their first three games at home this season to Akron, Duke, and Michigan before winning their last two against Wisconsin and Nebraska. Northwestern is a solid program who already gave Michigan a scare and just knocked off a weak Wisconsin team.  This game will be their “super bowl” though.

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  1. If Notre Dame is not dominant in this game, they have no business playing Alabama or Clemson. Time for a dominant performance in all phases. Wisconsin really isn’t that good. So, Northwestern, a team that lost to Akron, shouldn’t be much of a challenge for a Playoff caliber team.

  2. Concerned, yes always with Northwestern. However, lets look at the facts. Wisconsin was overrated and they were playing without their starting quarterback. Still weary of them, but ND is solid and they have showed this year that in tough games they show up.

  3. NORTHWESTERN is playing its best ball of the season right now!! This game has ” ALWAYS ” been a huge rivalry for NW!! Ever since NOTRE DAME TOOK ARA away from NW they’ve never forgotten or forgived!! This will be a tight game till the very end, NW upset us back in ” 14 ” hope KELLY hasn’t forgotten!!!!

  4. Hands down this is the toughest remaining game on the schedule. I think Syracuse is a little over-rated at this point. The Clemson game was a wake-up call for the Tigers, and they’ve been on fire since. USC will be emotionally charged up for us in the first half, but once we get up on them they will give up. A win against us WILL NOT save Helton’s job, and his players will realize that.
    So many demons to exercise in this Northwestern game. First game in November and all the pressure is on us. It’s a meaningless game for Northwestern as they control their own destiny in their division regardless of this outcome. So look for ND to be tight and the Wildcats to be loose.
    Look for a lucky bounce to save the Irish in this one.

    1. I agree that Syracuse is over rated but all teams must be approached as s threat. Kelly having this team eat up the clock for the Navy game was ridiculous!
      I don’t know why he is not more confident in his teams abilities, they are an awesome team that needs to fight until the clock ticks down! Kelly should let Long call the plays and stay out of it

  5. I saw Northwestern live a few years ago at Army. What a trek walking up the steps to get in that stadium. Northwestern was favored lots of their purple clad snooty fans. but Army prevailed with their fight song. It was gratifying to see Patriotism alive and well. I am a product of Vietnam war era when Patriotism died. I was in end zone and no Jumbotron. I expect Thornton ( wonder if He is related to Sean Thornton in the Quiet Man) come out flinging the ball and I expect our defensive backs to pick him off. Our run game will control this. Irish 38-24

    1. When did Patriotism die? When I served in Vietnam and got a
      Bronze Star?

      When the Orangutan ducked out like the 1-Y coward he was with vaporware bone spurs?

      When the Orangutan demeaned John McCain and ridiculed his 5.5 years in the (sheesh) Hanoi Hilton?

      When Bonespur boy said he knew more about Isis than the Generals?

      1. Congratulations to you Duranko, Sir, for the hard earned and much deserved Bronze Star. I am very much in awe. I missed ‘serving in ‘Nam by about 100 ping pong balls.

    2. For those five who disliked, let me double down.

      Look up REMF.

      And if you DODGED THE DRAFT WITH PHONY BONE SPURS you don’t get to make up for it with standing with your draftdodging hand over your faint heart for 90 seconds (go ahead, time it) of “Oh Say can you see.”

      That is false equivalence, or what Catholics call “cheap grace.” And you don’t make up for your preexisiting and well documented cowardice by cracking on that burrhead (and mediocre quarterback) Colin Kaepernick.

      Swamps, night patrols, hostile fire, , leeches, shrapnel, discomfort, a year in the jungle.

      McCain an American hero, subjected to the gratuitous disrespect of a documented, recidivist draftt dodger.

      What the guys in my company did (over 20 died in Vietnam) was chump change to the abuse McCain got in 5 years at the Hanoi Hilton.

      There are cowards, draft dodgers.
      There are those who served.

      The twain do not meet.

      If you didn’t serve, if you were a pacifist, that is just fine. If you think war is foolish, that is fine.

      But don’t play Harry Hero when you are a chickenbleep coward. That, to revert to Christian parlance, is pharasaic, phony, whitened sepulchrism.

  6. The spread is probably what you’d expect when you look at both teams resumes. On paper ND has the players to win this game handily. But in games where they’re expected to dominate (Ball State, Vanderbilt & Pittsburgh) they have fall flat and were even in danger of losing. WF was the only team where we were expected to win handily and we did. Navy was a very odd game in the sense that when you just look at the score you’d think we won handily, but when you see the game it had a much different feel. In the 2nd half especially they never were really able to shake off Navy.

    On the flip side on games where ND is expected to have to tough it out more (Michigan, Stanford, VT) ND seems to win more the blow out style. Almost like they play to the level of their opponents. So who knows? This ND team is undefeated, but they defy expectations on both ends.

  7. More than a little concerned about this one, but with so much at stake it’s hard to imagine the Irish will be flat on Saturday night. ND 31 NW 17

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