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Notre Dame returns home from Ireland for a home game against the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday, in a game that can be seen at 3:30 pm est. on NBC. Notre Dame is a -14 favorite with a total of 52. The first sportsbook on the planet to post lines is Betonline. They opened Notre Dame -13.5 and the early money has been all Notre Dame pushing the number through -14 up to -14.5. No surprise there. Notre Dame attracts most of the money in all of their games. They are the New York Yankees of college football. The line is now settling in at -14 across the board as this is being written, Tuesday morning.
When you've spent close to 30 years handicapping college football, there are some games you can handicap with very little information other than the team names. That is because some things never change. Purdue is one of those things, or teams, that doesn't change much. This is a program that is going to win 5 to 7 games most years. Every now and then they'll overachieve and win 8. In real down years, they'll win 4 or less. But by and large, they are a 6 win team that will routinely get spanked by the upper class of the Big 10 with the occasional close game or upset thrown in every now and then. It will stay that way as long as the sun continues to rise.
These two teams are pretty much intact from a year ago, both returning most skill position players. Last year Notre Dame had to travel to Purdue for this one, but it hardly mattered. They had 551 yards of total offense, 264 through the air and 287 on the ground, while holding Purdue to just 84 yards rushing. Notre Dame is 21-1 that last 10 years when gaining 200 yards or more on the ground.
Both teams had their starting QB's serve suspensions last week. For Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be available to play but Sophomore Everett Golson will get the nod again. Purdue went into last years game with the Irish with two starting QB's and it looks like that trend will continue this week as Caleb TerBush is available after serving his one game suspension and Robert Marve will also likely see more action this week.
We'll try not to overreact to last weeks pummeling of Navy by the Irish. We did, however, expect that result and simply felt going in that this was going to be a big year for Notre Dame. Everything is in place for the Irish as Brian Kelly continues to put his stamp on this team, this being his 3rd year on the sidelines. Take a look at recent results in this series. 38-10 last year. 23-12, 38-21 in 2009. Purdue won in 2008 but in 07 and 06 it was 35-21 and 49-28 in favor of Notre Dame. Do you see a pattern here?
This is all worth mentioning because we feel this years edition of Notre Dame football is the best in many years. They have a tough schedule this year, so they'll really need to take advantage of the few "lower class" teams they face and there aren't many, but this is one. If you've followed us for any length of time, you know we hate to lay big numbers in college football. But it's the only way to look here. The only thing that's changed from last years mismatch, is that Notre Dame is even better than they were then. Notre Dame -14
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