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Predictions For Betting On Stanford Notre Dame – Notre Dame Tries To Shore Up Its BCS Position

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/11/2012 6:48:51 PM

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are still unbeaten this season. They can take yet another step to a top-tier postseason game if they can win this Saturday against a muscular squad from Stanford.

Stanford Cardinal @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Saturday, October 13    
Betting line: Notre Dame -9

Why Stanford Will Win

Legal online sports betting analysts are expecting this to be a 1920s-style slobberknocker affair with little in the way of style points. This plays into Stanford's hands in multiple ways.

The best reason to take the Cardinal is that they can shut down Notre Dame and wind up on the positive side of a 10-3 or 13-6 scoreline. Stanford's defense matches up really well with Notre Dame because the Irish are better at running the ball than throwing the ball, and Stanford's defense has a front seven that is extremely physical and rugged. The Cardinal are not going to get pushed around in the trenches. They dominated USC's offensive line when they beat the Trojans on Sept. 15. Stanford is vulnerable to offenses that possess speedy skill-position players, establish a fast pace of play, and use zone-read or spread-option concepts, with Oregon being a typical example.

Modernized offenses such as Oregon's pose all sorts of problems for Stanford's defense, because coach David Shaw has recruited and inherited (from former coach Jim Harbaugh) the kinds of players that are equipped to play old-school smashmouth football between the tackles. Notre Dame, instructively, uses this kind of offense. The Irish do not go outside the tackle box with most of their plays. They currently possess a straightforward offense that should be easy for Stanford to defend. Quarterbacks Everett Golson and Tommy Rees have not produced at a high level this season, and if Stanford's pass rush can rattle them, the Cardinal might be able to get the turnovers they'll need in order to capture a victory.

Why Notre Dame Will Win

When NCAA football betting gurus put aside other work and evaluate this particular matchup, they're going to realize that Stanford's lack of quality on this side of the ball that should give the Irish the edge.

Notre Dame's best chance of winning is provided by the realization that Stanford's offense has performed poorly this season. The Cardinal couldn't score more than 21 points against USC on a day when the Trojans' offense was awful, thereby giving Stanford great field position on numerous occasions. Stanford did not score a single offensive touchdown in its 17-13 loss to Washington on Sept. 27. This unit has simply held back the Cardinal this season, proving that the loss of quarterback Andrew Luck has been as important as everyone initially thought it would be.

New quarterback Josh Nunes has struggled with his accuracy this season, bouncing a lot of passes to receivers under pressure. On the occasions when Nunes has hit the open man on a downfield route, his receivers – usually Ty Montgomery – have dropped passes and robbed Stanford of game-changing touchdowns.

Notre Dame has no reason to respect Stanford's passing game. The Fighting Irish should put eight or nine men in the tackle box to stop the Cardinal's rushing attack and running back Stepfan Taylor, the best player on Stanford's offense. By squeezing Stanford the same way it smothered Michigan State in a 20-3 win a few weeks ago, Notre Dame can win this game despite scoring only 10 or 13 points.

Who Will Win

It’s going to be a close game, which means that Stanford will cover the number. However, Notre Dame's defense is playing at such a high level right now that it will not be denied... again. The Irish will win by a field goal or two.

College Football Betting Pick: Stanford

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