College Football Pick
Both of these teams went to overtime in the opening weekend, with one losing and one winning. The large favorite in this Game is the one that came out on the losing end. And that loser is Notre Dame, who are already out of the title hunt just one Game into the season, something no Irish fan wanted to see.
But the season continues on and ND opened as -26.5 point favorites against Nevada as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and were quickly bet up to -27.5. Note that several sportsbooks hadn’t posted lines as of this early week writing, due to several questional players for both teams.
Notre Dame didn’t know its quarterback going into the opener, but the offense did just fine en route to 47 points, 37 in regulation. DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire split series early on, but it was Kizer that held onto the job for most of the Game, finishing with 215 passing yards and five touchdowns to go with 77 rushing yards and another TD on the ground. Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, their defense was brutal against a Texas team that no one expected to be much of a threat.
But Notre Dame should turn things around against Nevada this weekend. The Wolf Pack were large favorites against Cal Poly, but needed overtime to win 30-27. They allowed a ridiculous 383 rushing yards and three TDs, which is not going to cut it against most teams. Expect the trio of Tarean Folston, Josh Adams and Kizer to have huge rushing days once again for Notre Dame, similar to what they did against Texas.
While Brian Kelly still didn’t name Kizer his full-time starter, all signs point to him being the guy. Either way, the Irish shouldn’t have any trouble scoring against Nevada if they easily moved the ball on Texas.
The other end, it seems, will be the question for Notre Dame this year. Shane Buechele is only a freshman, but he did just fine against the Irish, tossing for 280 yards to go with a ground Game that went for 237 yards. Obviously, Nevada isn’t at the same level as Texas, but with how the Irish played in that first Game, you never know.
The Wolf Pack have an experienced offense that will likely aim to get the ground Game going with James Butler and Akeel Lynch. Butler went for 123 yards and a couple touchdowns in the opener. Tyler Stewart also brings experience at quarterback, so the Wolf Pack aren’t a team to discredit immediately. against bigger teams last season, they scored 20 points against Arizona and 27 at Texas A&M.
To cover this Game, they’ll need to reach those amounts because it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Notre Dame dropped close to 50 points again. Nevada’s front seven is almost completely new and that showed in the opener. If they allowed two 100-yard rushers against Cal Poly, what will Notre Dame do?
Expect plenty of points here with Notre Dame’s defense the main question. Are they really as bad as they showed in the opener, or will they step up and hold down the viable offense of Nevada? The Irish may be a popular bounce-back candidate, but that may not turn out well if their defense is as bad as they looked against Texas.
Our Pick – Hate to go with the obvious, however, we think that’s the correct way to go here. Notre Dame should bounce back with a vengeance in an attempt to impress the pollsters and hang on to hopes of being in the big picture come January. Notre Dame -27.5 and OVER 60.5