Notre Dame Football: Fighting Irish Take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Betting Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Saturday, 11/5/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Notre Dame -13.5
Current Betting Line:  Notre Dame -13.5
Opening Total:  55.5
Current Total:  55.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Notre Dame is a terrible 6-16-2 ATS as a favorite

Notre Dame comes in off a 56-14 blowout win over the Navy Midshipmen as 23.5-point home favorites and now travels on the road to face Wake Forest for the first time in the 123-year history of the football program.  “A week for us where we want to build on playing very well last Saturday,” commented Irish second-year coach Brian Kelly about the team’s performance versus Navy.  “We’re excited about carrying that over for this week.”  The Fighting Irish own a 117-20-3 record when facing an opponent for the first time.  Notre Dame is 2-4 ATS as a road favorite and the ‘under’ is 3-2 in those contests.

The Fighting Irish are very balanced offensively in ranking 46th and 32nd in the nation respectively in rushing and passing.  Notre Dame is led by the running back duo of Jonas Gray and Cierre Wood, who make up the only backfield tandem with at least eight rushing touchdowns each.  Sophomore quarterback Tommy Rees is coming off a solid game, connecting on 16-of-22 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown with an interception.

Wake Forest returns home off a two-week road trip and committed five turnovers in a 49-24 defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels as seven-point road underdogs.  The Demon Deacons have been out-gained in four consecutive games.  “We just have to get back to our bread and butter,” commented Demon Deacons wide receiver Terence Davis.  “We have a lot of talent out there.”  He comes into this week’s game with 9265 receiving yards.  The offense will likely start with the ball first, receiving the opening kickoff in all eight games this year.  Wake Forest is 13-18 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, while the ‘over’ is 16-14 in those contests.

The Demon Deacons still have to be thrilled with their 5-3 record, as the mark already exceeds their win total from a year ago (3-9).  Sophomore quarterback Tanner Price gives the program plenty of optimism moving forward, completing 152 of 249 passes for 1,967 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions to this point.  He has thrown a score in seven of eight games and already eclipses his 1,349-yard mark from a year ago.

Bettors will likely back the Demon Deacons due to their 13-6 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Fighting Irish are 6-16-2 ATS as a favorite.

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