Notre Dame vs. Virginia Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds: Weather Will Play a Factor
Matt Cashore, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Brian Kelly
Notre Dame vs. Virginia Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds
Spread: Notre Dame -11
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Virginia at Notre Dame Line Movement
For the second-straight week, Notre Dame isn’t the public darling that it usually is. Even on the heels of a six-point loss to No. 3 Georgia, the Irish are still drawing the minority of bets (45%) on Saturday.
The line movement, however, hasn’t reflected any lack of popularity. Since opening, the Irish have gone from -10.5 up to -12.5 and then back down to -11 across the market.
The total After being released at around 51, 65% of bettors have taken a liking to the under, causing steady downward movement to the current number of 48.5. — Danny Donahue
Collin Wilson: Is This Total Too Low?
The biggest question coming into this game is Notre Dame’s ability to avoid a hangover from a national showcase game, in this case a close loss to Georgia on the road.
The loss against the Bulldogs will end Notre Dame’s longshot playoff hopes, but in year’s past Brian Kelly and his team have rebounded impressively.
- In 2017, the Irish responded to a loss against Georgia with a 49-20 victory at Boston College.
- In 2016, Notre Dame blew out Nevada, 39-10, following a double-overtime loss against Texas.
- In 2015, Kelly and the Irish defeated Navy by 17 after losing at Clemson.
Kelly is one of the best coaches in college football, and should have the Irish prepared to avoid a hangover in this spot.
Virginia got a scare from Old Dominion in its last game. The Cavs were down 17 against the Monarchs but scored 28 unanswered points to close the show.
Virginia’s offense continues to have life thanks to Bryce Perkins. The senior quarterback has over 1,000 yards from scrimmage with 8 total touchdowns through four games this season.
Notre Dame has taken on a dual-threat quarterback already this season. The Irish limited Louisville’s Jawon Pass to 134 yards through the air and just 66 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. The Louisville signal-caller was restricted to just three rushes over 10 yards.
The Irish had similar success against Georgia, holding one of the best rushing attacks in the country to just 4.6 yards per carry.
After reviewing the advanced stats, I was impressed with how Notre Dame limited Georgia’s success rate and explosive runs.
As noted above, the Over/Under is moving down thanks to some weather in the forecast. That may put a damper on Notre Dame’s passing attack, which is its biggest edge in the game. Virginia ranks 87th in scrimmage plays over 20-plus yards and Notre Dame ranks 11th in the nation with 18 passing plays of at least 20 yards.
That does not bode well for a Virginia defense that is top 15 in havoc, but 80th in limiting passing plays of 20-plus yards.
The spread is north of my projected number of Notre Dame -8.5, but my bigger edge is on the total. At the time of writing, the total is 48.5 at most shops but we could see some more under money as we get closer to kickoff. I’m not deterred by the weather and think there’s value on the Over in a game where the Irish should rebound and find success going over the top of the front seven of Virginia.
Pick: Over 48 or better, 1st half Over 24 -120
Stuckey’s In-Game Betting Strategy for Virginia-Notre Dame
We will have a pace clash in South Bend on Saturday.
Virginia was 125th in Adjusted Pace last year and not much has changed in that area so far this season. Meanwhile, Notre Dame was top 25 and playing fast once again.
The ‘Hoos may not get as much national attention as they deserve but their defense is legit. Virginia leads the country in sacks with 20 (tied with Florida and Ohio State) and ranks in the top 5 in tackles for loss per game.
UVA also has limited opponents to only 2.2 yards per carry (top 10 nationally) and rank 11th overall in yards per play. And while they did play two cupcakes, they do also have wins over Pitt and Florida State.
It’s an aggressive, well-coached defense that will bring pressure from all over and benefits from having one of the nation’s best corners on the outside in Bryce Hall, who will eventually play on Sundays. Hall vs. Irish wideout Chase Claypool will be one of the most entertaining matchups of the weekend.
It’s a different story on the other side of the ball where Virginia has struggled, averaging a pedestrian 5.6 yards per play (outside of the top 80). The offensive line is very inexperienced and Perkins has been hobbled with a knee brace that has limited his mobility a bit.
Those factors have really hurt a run game that really hasn’t got going. I also don’t expect Virginia to do much through the air against an excellent ND secondary. The Notre Dame defensive backfield has allowed the 10th-lowest completion percentage.
It could also be a day where the speedy, talented edge rushers for ND break out. The Irish also rank in the top 20 in tackles for loss per game. And keep your eye out on LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (assuming he clears concussion protocol) as he’s a star in the making.
Notre Dame was extremely impressive in Athens against Georgia last week. Their struggling run defense fixed some issues and held its own against one of, if not the best, offensive line and rushing attacks in the country.
The performance is even more impressive when you consider the pieces Notre Dame was missing on offense. The Irish lost their top two backs, Jafar Armstrong and Jahmir Smith to injuries in its opener against Louisville. As a result, its run game has been almost nonexistent.
Well, Brian Kelly expects Smith to return this week, which should give ND a boost on the ground.
Notre Dame has also played without a few key pieces on the outside to start the year. It recently got back star tight end Cole Kmet back for the Georgia game; Kmet had 9 catches for over 100 yards and a TD.
And it’s now set to add projected starter Michael Young into the fold for the first time this year. Wideout Braden Lenzy should also be available after missing the Georgia game with a concussion.
The point is don’t read too much into any Notre Dame offensive struggles to start the year. The Irish still are one of only 19 teams to average over 7 yards per play but this offense has yet to play at full health. It’ll be as close as its been since the opening kick against Louisville.
In a game where I think both teams may struggle to run the ball consistently, I like the matchups down the field much better for ND. I don’t see a ton of value in the current number, so may wait to grab the Irish live at a number below 10 (ideally below 7).
For those into trends, since 2005, when two top 20 teams meet during the regular season and one is favored by more than 10 points, the favorite is 51-37-1 ATS (58%) for a healthy ROI of 13.2% — covering by an average margin of over 4 points per game.