College Football Week 2 Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan Wolverines

No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 17 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, 9/7/13, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan -4
Current Betting Line:  Michigan -4
Opening Total:  51
Current Total:  52
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan Wolverines are 13-6 ATS as favorites since 2011
The Michigan Wolverines are 13-6 ATS as favorites since 2011

Notre Dame picked up a 28-6 victory over the Temple Owls as 27.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 53.  The Fighting Irish won the statistical battle by 181 yards, which can’t be ignored when making your college football betting picks Saturday night.  The program has played 17 games decided by a touchdown or less since the arrival of head coach Brian Kelly—posting a 2-5 record in the first seven games of that nature, but winning nine of the last 10.  Notre Dame is 9-3-2 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points in its last 14 opportunities.

The Fighting Irish are 11-0 under Kelly’s direction when playing an entire game without committing a turnover, which could come in handy in this matchup, considering 18 of the last 28 meetings in this series have been decided by seven points or less.  Notre Dame still possesses one of the best defenses in the country—a unit that has allowed fewest rushing touchdowns nationally over its last 31 games of action.  In 40 all-time meetings in this series, the average margin of victory has been 4.1 points.

Michigan’s 59 points in last week’s win over Central Michigan was the most by the program in a season opener since 1905, which is important to consider when looking over the college football odds page.  Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner is one of the more dynamic players in the country, as he’s recorded at least two touchdowns in six consecutive contests.  The team has won six of its last seven meetings against Notre Dame in Ann Arbor.  Michigan is 13-6-1 ATS as favorites the last two-plus seasons, with no edge in terms of the betting total (10-10 Over/Under).

The Wolverines have won 18 consecutive games at Michigan Stadium in the month of September, while Brady Hoke became the school’s first head coach to go undefeated at home in his first two seasons since 1901-02.  Under the guidance of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, Michigan has finished back-to-back seasons ranked in the top 20 in total defense for the first time since 1997-98.

Sports bettors will likely back the Wolverines due to their 12-5-1 ATS mark in their last 18 non-conference games.

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