Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, 9/10/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Notre Dame -3
Current Betting Line: Notre Dame -3
Opening Total: 55.5
Current Total: 55
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Notre Dame looks to move past its opening week loss to South Florida and start anew during the 2011 season as a three-point road favorite over the Michigan Wolverines. The Fighting Irish have already made one quarterback change in 2011, benching starter Dayne Crist and moving forward with Tommy Rees. “We don’t come to this decision thinking, ‘Well, he’ll give us one game and then we’ll go back to Dayne,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly stated. Rees seems to have a better connection to star wide receiver Michael Floyd, as the two connected on 10 passes last week. Notre Dame is 3-12 ATS as a favorite and 2-6 ATS in September.
The Fighting Irish will be glad to participate in the first-ever night games at the Big House due to winning all three previous meetings with the Wolverines during prime time. Notre Dame also held a 508-254 total yards advantage last week that has many believing in a bounce back performance. It’s going to rely heavily on a defense that has allowed just five offensive touchdowns in the team’s last six games dating back to last season. The school is one of seven teams that ranks in the top 25 of both total offense and total defense.
Michigan leads the all-time series with Notre Dame, 22-15-1, and has won the last two meetings as underdogs. The Wolverines tallied a 28-24 win as 3.5-point road underdogs in 2010, as quarterback Denard Robinson set a school record with 502 yards of total offense. It’s also important to note that the program has won five of its last six games when hosting the Irish and the team is 7-2 when ESPN College GameDay has been present in Ann Arbor. Michigan is 6-9 ATS at home the last two-plus years.
The Wolverines expect to win this game by outscoring the Irish and a lot of the responsibility will be placed on the offensive line to protect Robinson in a more pro-style offense. Michigan allowed just 11 sacks a year ago and didn’t surrender one in the team’s 34-10 win over Western Michigan as 14.5-point home favorites. First-year head coach Brady Hoke is still disappointed in last week’s game being shortened due to rain, as the team had more things to work on prior to this rivalry clash. “There’s some things that we didn’t get to in the offense that maybe we would have liked to,” Hoke stated after the game.
Bettors will likely back the Fighting Irish due to their 7-3 ATS mark as road favorites, while the Wolverines are 11-27 ATS overall.
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