Tennessee State vs Notre Dame Odds, Prediction | NCAAF Betting Pick (Sep. 2)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame running back Audric Estime.
Tennessee State vs Notre Dame Odds
Week 1 begins as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish host the Tennessee State Tigers. The Irish are coming off an impressive 42-3 victory over Navy in Dublin, Ireland, in Week 0, so they’ll be locked in.
Last year, head coach Marcus Freeman had a rocky start in his first full season as head coach, losing his first two games. Ultimately, Freeman got the Fighting Irish to respond by winning nine of the remaining 11 games played.
For Tennessee State, the Tigers will look to get their season off to a solid start. They didn’t fare well last year, going just 4-7 in a rather weak Ohio Valley Conference.
In his first two seasons, head coach Eddie George has yet to have himself a winning season, and starting off against a powerful Notre Dame, may not be the start he’s looking for.
Let's jump in and see if we can find any value in this game, with everything you need to know about Tennessee State vs. Notre Dame odds and picks in this NCAAF betting preview for September 2.
Inconsistency has been the name of the game for the Tigers. They started off last season 0-3, won three in a row, then lost three in a row, and then won their final game. George’s squad has yet to feel any sustained success.
After a win over Eastern Illinois in late October, George showed faith in his team, appreciating the fight they’ve been showing… only for them to post six points in their next three games. Not ideal.
The opposition drastically outplayed Tennessee State in 2022, averaging 24.7 points per game to the Tigers’ 18.3.
Senior quarterback Draylen Ellis had a poor showing last year, throwing for 1,807 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions. It looks like he’ll be the starter this season, but he’ll need to be better if this program has any chance of being successful.
Tennessee State ranked 84th out of 130 FCS teams with a 36.15 “Power” score, or the strength of a team, according to College Football Poll. For reference, first-ranked South Dakota State had a score of 64.17.
It’s a vanilla team and has an awfully strong chance of getting blown out — especially against a powerful Notre Dame team that has its eyes on the College Football Playoff this year.
The Irish have their eyes set on much bigger things than what they achieved last year. Sixty-five percent of their offense has returned this year, led by two of the top offensive tackles in the country in Joe Alt and Blake Fisher.
That elite protection gives Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman plenty of time to excel. Hartman got off to an exceptional start against Navy in Week 0, throwing for 251 yards and four touchdowns after a storied career that includes writing his name in the ACC record books.
It's a very small sample size, but the receiving corps of Jaden Greathouse, Jayden Thomas and Deion Colzie contributed heavily to the throttling of Navy.
As it demonstrated last week, Notre Dame is going to want to run the ball a ton. Audric Estime led the charge running for 95 yards with a touchdown, and Jeremiyah Love averaged 10 yards per carry. Last season, the Irish ranked 23rd in Success Rate last season on the ground, which coincides with what to expect from the Irish.
We saw some phenomenal defense from the Irish last week. Although Navy utilizes a run-heavy attack, the Irish limited the Midshipmen to just 43 passing yards, two sacks and one forced fumble. This is a defense that struggled to contain explosiveness and generate Havoc last season, so Week 0 was a great indicator that things are on the upswing.
Tennessee State vs Notre Dame
Betting Pick & Prediction
There’s always a chance that Tennessee State ends up being a better team than it's been. However, if that happens, it may have to wait a week. The metrics don’t exactly feel great about the Tigers’ prospects this year, and facing a Fighting Irish team with momentum won't help their cause.
Notre Dame had its way with Navy in Week 0, and I don’t see a situation where it struggles in this week's outing. While Navy is not a team that will break down walls, it managed to hold its own against a stronger schedule last season. Tennessee State is not Navy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of last week’s performance from the Irish.
I was impressed with what I saw from Notre Dame. The O-line protected Hartman incredibly well, the run game was clicking on all cylinders and the pass defense was suffocating.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t see a world where the Tigers put the Irish on upset alert. Notre Dame looked very good last week, and I only see that continuing into Week 1.
Our internal projections have the spread at Notre Dame -55.5, giving value to the Irish here.
This will be a mauling.