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Notre Dame once won 43 games in a row in the rivalry with Navy, but the Midshipmen are working on turning that tide, winning three of the last nine meetings outright, going 6-3 against the spread over that same span. Can Navy make a splash when it battles the Fighting Irish on Saturday night in San Diego?
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 22-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.5-22.2 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game)
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame reached 7-0 on the season with a 19-14 victory over Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The Irish then had last week off to prepare for this one.
Notre Dame spotted the Panthers the first seven points of the game two weeks ago, and trailed 14-6 after allowing a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter. But the Irish pulled to within two points with a touchdown of their own late in the third, then took the lead for good with another score midway through the fourth and held on from there.
On the day Notre Dame out-gained Pitt 344-242 and held a 23-14 edge in first downs. But the Irish also turned the ball over twice inside Panthers territory, which helped keep that game close.
Notre Dame is now 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS since inserting Ian Book as the starter at quarterback.
Why the Navy Midshipmen can cover the spread
The Midshipmen started 2-1 this season but now seek to stop a four-game losing skid, after falling to Houston last week 49-36. Navy actually led that game 10-7 after one quarter and 24-14 midway through the second but faded from there. In the end the Midshipmen scored with six seconds left in the game but failed on a two-point conversion and just missed pushing the spread as 11-point dogs.
On the day Navy racked up 522 yards of offense, 344 on the ground, made 26 first downs and dominated time of possession by a 43/17 tilt. Unfortunately the Midshipmen defense just could not slow down the Cougars’ high-powered offense.
Two weeks ago Navy led Temple 17-7 in the third quarter but gave up the last 17 points of the game to lose 24-17.
The Midshipmen have now out-rushed six of their seven opponents this season, the last two by a combined 348 yards.
Smart betting pick
These teams have played some close games over recent seasons, but this one might be a blowout. The Irish are coming off a flat performance two weeks ago against Pittsburgh but should rebound this week. Meanwhile, Navy’s defense is a pretty porous unit at the moment. Smart money here gives the points with Notre Dame.
College football betting trends
The total has gone over in six of Notre Dame’s last eight games vs Navy.
Navy is 0-5 SU in its last five games in October.
Notre Dame is 8-0 SU in its last eight games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.