College Football Betting Picks: #14 Stanford Cardinal at #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

#14 Stanford Cardinal at #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame Stadium – South Bend, Indiana

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Opening Line: Stanford -2 1/2
Current Line: Stanford -3
Opening Total: 41 1/2
Current Total: 46
Opening Money Line: Stanford -145 / Notre Dame +125
Current Money Line: Stanford -150 / Notre Dame +130

Notre Dame is a 3 point home underdog against rival Stanford Saturday in battle of top 15 teams.
Notre Dame is a 3 point home underdog against rival Stanford Saturday in battle of top 15 teams.

The Stanford Cardinal and Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet for the 29th time Saturday in a battle of top 15 teams. Notre Dame is 4-0 but this is the first true test as the Fighting Irish have beaten four very mediocre at best teams, including a Michigan team that is a mess right now. Stanford is 3-1 this season.

Notre Dame leads the series 18-10 against Stanford, including 11-3 in Notre Dame. Stanford has won 4 of the last 5 games in the series including 27-20 last year in Stanford. The series dates back to the 1925 Rose Bowl.

Stanford is coached by David Shaw. The only loss came at home to USC 13-10. The Cardinal have home wins over UC-Davis 45-0 and Army 35-0, plus a road win last week at Washington 20-13. Stanford has held 27 straight opponents under 30 points. The Cardinal are 2-2 this season and all 3 games with a posted total have gone under the total. Stanford was a 7.5 point favorite at Washington last week and the total was 48.5.

Notre Dame is coached by Brian Kelly. The Fighting Irish have home wins over Rice 48-17 and Michigan 31-0, along with neutral site wins over Purdue 30-14 in Indianapolis and last week against Syracuse 31-15 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Notre Dame is 3-1 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season. The Irish were 9.5 point favorites against Syracuse and the total was 52.

Stanford is outscoring teams 28-7 this season. The Cardinal are #1 in points allowed nationally. The Cardinal are averaging 413 yards per game on offense including 248 passing and 166 rushing yards. On defense, Stanford is allowing 198 total yards per game, including 74 passing yards and 124 rushing yards. The Cardinal are #1 in pass defense and #1 in total defense nationally. Stanford is -4 in turnovers with 5 takeaways. Stanford is 19/47 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 20/68. Stanford averages 56 penalty yards per game and opponents average 59. The Cardinal have forced 11 sacks and allowed 7 this season. Stanford is 12/19 scoring in the red zone with 8 touchdowns and opponents are 2/3 with 1 touchdown. The Cardinal have a punt return for a touchdown, and have allowed a defensive touchdown.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan has completed 71% of his passes for 883 yards with 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, plus 2 rushing touchdowns and 87 yards. Running back Barry Sanders, Jr. has 21 carries for 153 yards. Remound Wright has 29 carries for 151 yards. Kelsey Young has 26 carries for 144 yards. Receiver Ty Montgomery has 26 catches for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also has a rushing touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown. Austin Hooper has 15 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown. Devon Cajuste has 11 catches for 155 yards but 3 of them went for touchdowns.

Notre Dame is outscoring teams 35-12 this season. The Fighting Irish are #4 in points allowed nationally. Notre Dame is averaging 444 yards per game on offense, including 286 passing and 159 rushing yards. On defense, Notre Dame is allowing 344 yards per game including 236 passing and 108 rushing yards. The Fighting Irish are #37 in total offense and #28 in rush defense. Notre Dame is +4 in turnovers with 10 takeaways. The Irish average 38 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 52. Notre Dame is 31/60 on third and fourth conversions and opponents are 23/68. The Fighting Irish have forced 8 sacks and allowed 7 this season. Notre Dame is 17/18 scoring in the red zone with 12 touchdowns and opponents are 6/9 with 4 touchdowns. The Fighting Irish have allowed a defensive touchdown this season.

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has thrown for 1,142 yards with 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and also has 39 carries for 104 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Greg Bryant has 33 carries for 174 yards and a touchdown, plus 2 catches. Tarean Folston and Cam McDaniel will also get a lot of carries and some catches. Receiver William Fuller has 25 catches for 344 yards and 5 touchdowns. Corey Robinson has 13 catches for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Amir Carlisle is out indefinitely with a knee injury. He had 11 catches and 2 touchdowns. Five Notre Dame players are suspended indefinitely because of academics including 3 defensive backs.

Stanford is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 20-7-1 in road games, 14-5 after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 13-5 in non-conference games and after allowing less than 275 total yards, 10-4 in October, 27-12-1 on grass, 11-5-1 against teams with winning home records, 22-10 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 34-16-1 after a straight up win, and overall, 2-5 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 after allowing less than 20 points. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Notre Dame is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records, in October and against Pac 12 teams, 4-1 against teams with winning road records, on grass and after allowing less than 20 points, 3-1-1 after passing for more than 280 yards, 5-2 overall, and 2-5 after allowing more than 280 passing yards. The last 4 games in this series have gone under the total, and the under is 6-1 in the last games at Notre Dame in the series.

This will be a rock fight between two defensive minded teams. Notre Dame has given up a lot of yardage but not a lot of points. Stanford has been dominant on defense in all phases. I think Stanford will be able to slow down Golson and the Notre Dame offense enough to pull out a close road win.


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