Notre Dame is coming off a bye week and feeling good, still undefeated and now ranked No. 3 in the AP Polls. The Fighting Irish have a chance to run the table and this may be the easiest remaining Game according to the spread. They were -24 point favorites with an over/under of 54.5 as of Monday at YOUWAGER Sportsbook with the Game being played in San Diego.
This matchup has been close the last couple years with Navy covering both times, but it will be hard to make it three straight. It’s been a rough season for the Midshipmen, losing their last Four Games and now sitting with a 2-5 record in danger of missing a bowl. They haven’t faced an easy opponent, but they also haven’t played well with the 35-7 loss to Air Force maybe being the worst result. If Notre Dame plays to its ability, this could be a quick blowout, but as seen in its last win against Pittsburgh, this team is often hard to trust.
The best news for Notre Dame is that Navy is giving up tons of points to everyone, allowing 420 yards and 34.3 points per contest. That should get quarterback Ian Book back on track after he threw a couple picks against Pitt. He led the offense to at least 38 points in his first three starts and then was held to 19 against Pittsburgh. Given how Navy has played, this is another spot for Notre Dame to put up 40 points. More helpful is that Jafar Armstrong could return from injury and join the backfield of Dexter Williams and Tony Jones. Those guys couldn’t get anything going against Pitt, but this is a much better situation.
To cover, Navy has to put points on the board and that’s what it’s done over the years. The Mids lost 24-17 last year, but had scored at least 24 points in the prior Four meetings. They ran for 277 yards in last season’s loss and that’ll be what Navy backers look to in this Game. As a positive, Navy seemed to figure things out against Houston, scoring 36 points against a good defense. Notre Dame hasn’t seen a triple option yet and could have trouble stopping Malcolm Perry, Garret Lewis and the rest, similar to last year.
The other problem for Navy is that it had a home Game last week, while Notre Dame was on bye. It normally wouldn’t be an issue, but having to travel across the country favors the team that rested the previous week. The Irish have beat up teams like Stanford and Virginia Tech, but the triple option presents something that has given this defense trouble in recent seasons.
The Fighting Irish are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and the Midshipmen haven’t covered in their last five Games overall. The over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these schools and Navy is 4-1 ATS in the last five.
Our Pick – Over 52.5