College Football Week 8 Predictions: BYU Cougars vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

BYU Cougars at No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, 10/20/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  Notre Dame -13.5
Current Betting Line:  Notre Dame -13.5
Opening Total:  41.5
Current Total:  41
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

BYU Cougars QB Riley Nelson has failed to deliver in 2012

BYU is 2-4 all-time in this particular series, including a 1-3 mark when playing inside Notre Dame Stadium, as the squad looks to bounce back from a disappointing 42-24 setback to the Oregon State Beavers as six-point home favorites.  Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson has failed to put things together this year, throwing three interceptions last week, but head coach Bronco Mendenhall really has no other options with true freshman signal-caller Taysom Hill out for the year.  BYU is 3-0 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 3-0 in that situation.

The Cougars have won four games against top-five opponents in school history, with the last victory coming over the Oklahoma Sooners in 2009.  BYU had its 12-game streak of holding opponents under 300 yards snapped against the Beavers, while Nelson completed 28 of 51 passes for 305 yards.  Heading into this particular week, the defense still ranks fifth nationally for the third consecutive week, allowing just 260.9 yards per game.

Notre Dame earned a 20-13 overtime win over the Stanford Cardinal as 7.5-point home favorites last week, while going UNDER the total for the fifth consecutive game.  The Fighting Irish have limited each of their past five opponents to under 300 total yards, which is the first time that’s happened since the 1989 season.  Three of the team’s six wins have been over opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.  Notre Dame is 4-7 ATS as a home favorite over the last two-plus years, with the UNDER going 11-3 in that situation.

The Fighting Irish defense has allowed zero touchdowns over the last four games, which is the school’s longest streak since 1980.  Notre Dame will be searching to improve its record to 7-0 for the first time since 2002, while improving upon its 233-49-4 all-time record at home in October.  Part of the team’s success this year can be attributed to its fast start, considering it has blanked five of its six opponents in the first quarter this season.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 7-1 ATS mark on the road versus winning home teams, while the Fighting Irish are 3-6 ATS off a home win.

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