Upcoming Match-ups

(14) Michigan vs (12) Notre Dame Week 1 Game Preview

SBD Staff Writer

by SBD Staff Writer in College Football

Updated Apr 1, 2020 · 1:06 PM PDT

Notre Dame vs Air Force
Put your hands up if you think Notre Dame will defeat Michigan during Week 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Raymond Hoy)
  • One of college football’s oldest rivalries renews itself this Saturday as Michigan takes on Notre Dame
  • Can the Wolverines cover the spread?
  • Will Brandon Wimbush win the QB battle against Shea Patterson?

As college football fans there isn’t much more we can ask for to debut a season than the return of one of the NCAA’s most historic rivalries. The #12 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will host the #14 ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, September 1st at Notre Dame Stadium with kick-off slated for 7:30 p.m.

Since affiliating with the ACC in 2014, Notre Dame decided to put the Michigan rivalry on hiatus until now, with a 2019 game also in the plans.

The Fighting Irish crushed the Wolverines in their last meeting, 37-0, but it’s been four years and Jim Harbaugh now leads Michigan into battle.  Michigan is still the underdog, but if the spread has any indication, this one won’t be a blowout.

Michigan vs Notre Dame Odds

Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Michigan 0 (-110) Michigan (-105) Over 47 (-105)
Notre Dame 0 (-110) Notre-Dame (-115) Under 47 (-115)


Since the 2007 season, the home squad has gone 7-1 against-the-spread, out-scoring their rivals by an average of 15.5 points-per-game. But, Michigan has won six of the last three meetings between the two, going 6-3 ATS.

Seven of the eight non-conference games Michigan has played since 2016 have gone over the total.

Seven of the eight non-conference games Michigan has played since 2016 have gone over the total. And Notre Dame has seen their totals go over in six of their last seven September-played games. Though the defenses are expected to be strong, these numbers indicate we may be in for a barn-burner in this one.

An 8-5 straight up record and a 5-7-1 ATS record with major offensive struggles was not the goal in 2017. So, expectations will be even higher than usual in 2018 for the Wolverines.

Notre Dame returns in 2018 after going 10-3 straight up with an 8-5 ATS record in 2017.

Notre Dame
8-5 Record in 2017 10-3
25.2 Points-Per-Game 34.2
18.8 Points-Against-Per-Game 21.5
-0.3 Turnover Margin +0.2

The Competitors

Dual-threat QB Brandon Wimbush returns for ND behind a strong offensive line. While nine starters return to a sturdy defense.


Newly-named Michigan starting quarterback Shea Patterson will be looking to sling fastballs from the pocket as opposed to the mound on Saturday. The former baseball player and top-ranked QB of the entire 2016 recruiting class only transferred to Michigan in January, but his request to play immediately was granted by the NCAA rather than having to sit out a year.

For the second straight season, Michigan 6’3″ 215 lb wide receiver Tarik Black has suffered a broken foot and will miss this game, but the Wolverines also return nine starters to their defense in what should be one of the nation’s stronger units all season.

The Outcome

With such a tight spread and similarities in talent both on the field and on the sideline, this renewed rivalry should come down to the wire.

Michigan has a new offense and a great defense, but the Fighting Irish are stacked on both sides and roll over to no-one.

As displayed above, the turnover margin could end up playing a huge role in the outcome of this game. One big play on either side could flip the script no matter the total and decide a winner.

Notre Dame seems to have more to prove, although the Wolverines are hungry. ND with the spread and the over is my advice.

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