- #16 Notre Dame (7-2) is a 7-point favorite against #23 Navy (7-1)
- The Irish opened as 9.5-point favorites before the line dropped
- Navy has won 5 straight, while Notre Dame just finished their toughest stretch of the season
One of Week 12’s most intriguing games comes in the South Bend showdown between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2) and the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday, Nov. 16 (2:30 PM ET). It’s a matchup that features two teams that are playing well, but two teams that have done it in very different ways.
The Irish are the favorites in the Navy vs Notre Dame odds, but the spread has come down over two points since opening at ND -9.5.
Navy Midshipmen vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds
|Navy Midshipmen||+7 (-105)||+240||O 54 (-110)|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-7 (-115)||-290||U 54 (-110)|
Odds taken November 14th.
This line is sitting at -7 as of Thursday. That isn’t extremely surprising, however, as Navy is ranked just seven spots behind the Irish in the College Football Playoff rankings, and holds a 7-1 straight up record and a 6-2 mark against the spread, as well as a 2-1 ATS mark on the road.
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) October 29, 2019
Navy is a strong team, and when they were available at +9.5, it was an obvious choice. Now at just +7, this line may not see much more movement in that direction. Navy getting over a touchdown was enticing, but with the line where it is now, the movement is likely to settle down.
Midshipmen Have Had Smooth Sailing Lately
Navy has been on an absolute tear in recent weeks. They’ve won five straight, and during that run, they went 4-1 against the spread. They’re winning in classic Navy fashion, running for 358.3 yards per game while putting up 40.1 points per game.
The Midshipmen are 7-1, and that lone loss to Memphis feels like it was ages ago. Navy finished 7-6 two seasons ago and 3-10 last year, but in 2019, things in Annapolis have turned right back around.
Irish Finally Found Breathing Room vs Duke
With a 38-7 win at Duke on Saturday, the Irish finally exited what had been a tough three-game stretch. In consecutive weeks, Notre Dame won a 30-27 game against USC, lost a 45-14 game blowout to Michigan, and won another tight affair by a score of 21-20 over Virginia Tech. Even going 2-1, it was a run of games that took a lot out of the Irish. Dominating Duke gave Brian Kelly’s team a chance to exhale.
Javon McKinley didn’t post a catch last night, but he’s developed into a reliable blocker in the run game. Helped free Ian Book for the game-winner last week. Helped Jahmir Smith get loose here. pic.twitter.com/Kxr8rPWhTw
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 10, 2019
That bit of breathing room was important for Notre Dame, because Navy is more than capable of pulling off the upset here. If this was an Irish team coming directly off of that difficult stretch, meeting the Midshipmen would be an even scarier prospect.
Irish Play Another Team Off a Bye
This season, eight of Notre Dame’s opponents are coming off a bye. That is, by far, the highest total in the nation. On Saturday, they’ll once again meet a team that has had two weeks to prepare. Navy’s last game was a 56-10 blowout of the 2-8 UConn Huskies, so they’re basically coming off a double-bye in terms of physical exertion.
No. 15 @NDFootball clinches the win on the road against Duke thanks to 5 touchdowns starring Flemister, Claypool, Finke, and Takacs with the help of the one and only, Ian Book!#GoIrish☘ pic.twitter.com/D1i4ONXHDZ
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) November 10, 2019
Notre Dame may be the higher-ranked team, but a big factor in this line moving towards Navy is the fact that the Midshipmen had, essentially, three weeks to get ready for this one.
The Irish, conversely, have just a week to get ready for Navy’s triple option. This may be a yearly matchup, and Notre Dame may know how to defend the option better than most teams, but it is still an attack that is different than the 11 other games on the schedule.
Navy vs Notre Dame Head-to-Head History
What’s the Best Bet?
Notre Dame just finished a grueling stretch, and on the other side of it, they looked rejuvenated against Duke. They gashed the Blue Devil defense, with Ian Book averaging 11.6 yards per carry on 12 rushes, and the team as a whole averaging 6.9.
The defense was dominant, as well, holding Quentin Harris to a 14.2 QBR, and the team to 3-of-16 on third down and under 200 yards of total offense.
Navy has been playing well also, but at home, with the spread now at just -7, the Irish are the way to go. This will be the most talented team that the Midshipmen have played all year, and while they’ve been good on the road, Notre Dame Stadium will also be, by far, the most difficult environment that Navy has been in all year.
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