No. 25 Notre Dame is hosting unranked Navy in a rivalry game that could be quite interesting. Although the Fighting Irish won 43 straight contests between the two leading up to the 2007 showdown, the Midshipmen won three of the four matchups between then and 2011.
However, a recent Irish resurgence has seen Notre Dame win two straight against its longtime foe and the oddsmakers say it will be three straight after Saturday’s action.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest line, and make some predictions for the winner and more.
*Point spread and odds via ScoresAndOdds.com
Spread: Notre Dame -14.5
The Irish are unsurprisingly favored by over two touchdowns, considering their recent string of success against not only the Midshipmen, but also the rest of the nation.
Notre Dame is sitting at 6-2 and has beaten the likes of Arizona State, Michigan State, USC plus more heading into this one. The Irish are on a three-game winning streak and seem to be firing on all cylinders heading into bowl season.
Which team will cover?
Navy isn’t nearly as hot, posting a 4-3 record on the year and suffering losses to lowly Duke, Toledo and Western Kentucky. It’ll fall back to .500 after the Irish are through on Saturday, as it seems the Midshipmen don’t manufacture points consistently enough or get the stops to win against top-tier opposition.
While Notre Dame is far from an offensive juggernaut, the defense has been stout and the team has been doing enough to pick up wins—often by large margins against inferior competition.
Back the chalk in this one, as the Irish will punish Navy for making mistakes and limit the one-dimensional, rushing attack-based offense to a high volume of three-and-outs.
Lean toward the under here, as it should be a defensive affair that Navy especially struggles to put points on the board in.
The Midshipmen average a respectable 28.9 points per contest, but those figures don’t tell the true story. The WKU Hilltoppers managed to hold this group to just seven total points, as did the Duke Blue Devils.
Neither of those defenses are anywhere near the level of the Irish's defense, which makes it conceivable that Notre Dame actually shuts out Navy from scoring completely.
While that hasn’t happened since the 1998 season, the Midshipmen mustered just 10 points last year during a meeting with the Irish in Ireland.
Unless you feel Notre Dame is going to have an explosion of points, which isn’t that likely—you should take the under.