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After a couple early season losses, Notre Dame is going under the radar and has won three straight. It wouldn't be surprising if the Fighting Irish won their next three games leading up to the road finale at Stanford. They get Navy this week, who as usual, has been a feisty team to play. No matter, Notre Dame is sizable -16.5 point favorites at betonline.
This game could easily be a replay of the Air Force game from last weekend when ND won 45-10 in dominating fashion. The bigger Irish controlled the line of scrimmage on both ends and easily won. And while Navy beat Air Force this year, they have similar offenses. The Midshipmen use a power rushing attack that has garnered 2,024 yards this year compared to only 727 yards through the air. Without that threat, the Fighting Irish can stack the box and should be able to contain Navy. That's what has happened the last two times these teams have played at least, with the Irish winning by a combined 106-24 score.
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds leads the Midshipmen through air and ground, although he's not all that efficient. He completes just over 50 percent of his passes and gains only 3.7 yards per carry on the ground. In their last two losses, Reynolds totaled 45 carries and only 68 yards. He could be in for a similar game in this one. If Reynolds can't find room to run, Navy will be in trouble.
Notre Dame's defense has stepped it up in recent weeks and should do the same here. There's no reason why they can't stop this rushing unit that was contained by other teams like Duke and Western Kentucky.
The Fighting Irish find themselves at No. 25 in the BCS Standings and will try and pile the points on here. Against lesser opponents this year, Tommy Rees has had some great games. Last week, he torched Air Force for 284 yards and five touchdowns. It's unlikely Navy will have anyone that can bottle up both receivers TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels.
Against better offenses like Indiana and Duke, the Navy defense has struggled and that's probably what will happen here. Even if Rees has a bad game for some reason, Notre Dame should be able to run with Cam McDaniel a bit using their advantage on the offensive line.
The Midshipmen are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games, but 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The road team is 15-3 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these teams and the Midshipmen are 8-1 ATS in the last nine contests played in Notre Dame.
The betting trends at sportsbook.com show 77% of the wagers have come in on the Irish in this one.
Notre Dame has won this game in blowout fashion the past two years. While we think it might me a little closer this year, we think the Irish can cover the 15 point spot here. Notre Dame -15
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