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Air Force vs. Notre Dame Football Prediction with Analysis
Notre Dame has won 3 in a row moving their record to 3-2 on the year after back to back losses to South Florida and Michigan to open the year. There should be little doubt at this point that the Irish will be Bowl bound this year as the schedule the rest of the way is very cooperative. The only loss the rest of the way that you can pencil in, (actually, use a pen) is Stanford to end the year.
This week they host Air Force and are a good sized -16.5 point home favorite with a total of 54.5. Air Force was 9-4 a year ago and extremely competitive against the upper class teams they faced with the exception of their loss to TCU. So far in 2011, the jury is still out. They once against lost to TCU, this time by 16. They beat two teams they should have beaten, South Dakota and Tennessee State and last week, they beat a Navy team that lost to South Carolina by just 3 the week before, 35-34.
If Notre Dame were a stock, and we were the brokers for our readers, we wouldn't exactly be sending out the buy signal. The reason being, we feel their are better investment opportunities out there and still enough reasons to tread lightly with the Irish. They took a step in the right direction last week in blowing out Purdue, but hey, it was Purdue. Notre Dame didn't turn the ball over, which is a big plus, but they still rank among the worst, maybe the worst in that category at -9 on the year and they still continue to commit stupid penalties, ranking 104th in the nation.
Listen, it may be beating a dead horse, but when you wager you're money, you're making an investment on a team, trusting them to protect your investment with their performance on the field. You'd likely fire your broker if he recommended a stock, saying he thought the company had promise, it's just that the CEO is a hack, comes in late every day, and has a drinking problem. Penalties and turnovers are football fundamentals. You can't trust your money with a team that ranks towards the bottom of those categories. Simple as that.
There's other reasons to shy away here, especially if this number continues to climb to -17 and higher. We know Air Force is going to run the ball, but the Irish are going to do their share as well, trying to take advantage of the 113th ranked run defense of Air Force. This will make the game move along quickly, possibly keeping the margin down. Air Force is also no pushover. Not much to go on this year, at this point, but Air Force has quite a few players on their roster that were there last year, in a year that saw them come within 5 points of Utah, Oklahoma and San Diego State.
Our model has a predicted score of 32-21 and we'll agree. It's simply too many points in a game that has the potential to be much closer. Air Force +17 or more
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