Sharps Bet Home Underdog Michigan
Current Odds Favor Notre Dame by 3
Notre Dame and Michigan hook up in a pivotal Game Saturday that will go a long way towards towards the futures of Rich Rodriguez and Charlie Weis. The current odds favor Notre Dame by a field goal, making Michigan a home underdog ,with a total 48. The Game opened Notre Dame -4 at 5dimes.com and it was wiseguy action, not the public, that took those +4’s off the board.
The first Game of the year couldnt have gone any better for Michigan and #18 Notre Dame. Michigan beat Western Michigan easily by a score of 31-7 at home. The Fighting Irish took down Nebraska at home, winning the Game 35-0. That was Notre Dame’s first shutout since 2002. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will now be traveling to play the Michigan Wolverines on the road in the Michigan Stadium that seats 107,501 fans. Both teams are out to prove something and a win will be a huge confideNCe boost for either team. Notre Dame took last years event 35-17 after Michigan turned the ball over 6 times and trailed 21-0 in the 1st quarter!
Rich Rodriguezs first year certainly did not go smoothly. The Wolverines set a school record for losses. However, they looked like a legitimate contender in their first win over a team that finished 9-4 last year and played in the Texas Bowl. Freshman QB Tate Forcier looked excellent in his collegiate debut. He completed 13 of 20 passes for 179 yards and 3 TDs. Four different QBs took snaps in that Game, but Rodriguez has since turned starter duties over to Forcier, and rightfully so. Freshman RB Denard Robinson also looks to be a stud for the Wolverines. He had 11 carries for 74 yards and 1 TD.
While it was only one Game, the fact that Michigan was able to keep an above average Western Michigan offense to only 7 points could mean good things. New coordinator Greg Robinson looks to have them in a groove, but we wont really know for sure how good they are until after this Game. The Notre Dame offense has been very potent recently and this Game should give us a preview of how Michigans defense will hold up for the rest of the year. Leading tackler LB Obi Ezah leads the defense.
Jimmy Santa Clausen has been phenomenal in his past two Games for the Fighting Irish. He passed for 401 yards and 5 TDs against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl last year. He started this year by going wild on Nevada with 15/18 passing for 315 yards and 4 TDs. The scary thing about this kid is that he is only a junior and he will continue to get better. He has plenty of good WRs, iNCluding Michael Floyd, Golden Tate, and Duval Kamara. Any one of those three are capable of making big things happen. If the Michigan secondary isnt prepared then he will tear them to pieces just like he did Hawaii and Nevada.
The Notre Dame running Game looked strong against Nevada and I would like to see that trend continue in their Game against Michigan. They picked up 178 yards on the ground. The defense did a good job, picking up 3 turnovers and holding Nevada to 3-11 on 3rd down and 0-1 on 4th down attempts. It will be very interesting to see how they handle the very talented but also very inexperieNCed Tate Forcier at QB. If they are able to blitz him well and keep the pressure on it would go a long way towards helping them to get a win on the road.
Notre Dame has a huge edge at Quarterback in this one. Jimmy Clausen has played like Joe Montana in his past two Games and the defense is starting to come to life. The defense looks like it should hold up and make problems for the inexperieNCed QB Tate Forcier. But we’re going to side with the home dog Wolverines in this one. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the sharps took =4 on this Game earlier in the week. We’d anticipate that Notre Dame “public” money will come in on this one as the kickoff nears, hopefully pushing this number back up to +4 where we can play it at the same number as the sharps.
If not, though we don’t make it a habit of taking the worst of the number, we’ll still play it at +3. Take away 6 turnovers a year ago and this ones much closer. Revenge is sweet for Michigan! Enjoy the Game.