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College Football Week 9 Upset Pick: Michigan Beats Notre Dame at the Big House

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Oct 23, 2019 · 8:41 PM PDT

The Big House in Michigan
Michigan is listed as slight home underdogs when they host No. 8 Notre Dame at the Big House in Week 9. Photo by Steven Depolo (Flickr) [CC License].
  • No. 19 Michigan plays No. 8 Notre Dame at the Big House in Week 9 (Oct. 26th)
  • Michigan has won seven of last eight meetings in Ann Arbour
  • Can the Wolverines upset the Fighting Irish as a small home underdog?

No.1 9 Michigan opened as slight home favorites against No. 8 Notre Dame in Week 9, but the line has now shifted to make the Wolverines the underdog.

Michigan vs Notre Dame Week 9 Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Notre Dame (#8) -1.0 (-115) -120 O 51.0 (-110)
Michigan (#19) +1.0 (-105) EVEN U 51.0 (-110)

Odds collected Oct 23.

Michigan has a history of beating Notre Dame at the Big House and have, overall, been very effective at home in recent years.

Shea Patterson goes head-to-head with Ian Book as he looks to build off a strong outing against Penn State last week. Well, a strong second half, anyway.

How should you bet on the Michigan vs Notre Dame odds?

Michigan’s Big House Advantage

Michigan has underwhelmed compared to preseason expectations, but this is still a very talented team with a history of earning big wins at the Big House. The Wolverines are 15-2-0 at Michigan Stadium since 2017, with their last defeat at the Big House coming at the hands of Ohio State on November 25, 2017.

Notre Dame hasn’t visited Michigan Stadium since 2013, but history isn’t on their side. The Irish have lost seven of their last eight on the road against the Wolverines and are searching for their first victory in Ann Arbour since 2005.

The atmosphere on Saturday is going to be electric. We saw the advantages of a passionate home crowd in Week 8 when Michigan had their backs to Penn State’s 21,000-seat student section and were forced to take a timeout before their first snap because they lost track of the play clock.

It’s never easy for any team playing in Michigan’s electric stadium.

Wolverines Have Potent Pass Offense

QB Shea Patterson leads a Michigan offense that, while full of talent, ranks a disappointing 67th in the nation. They haven’t played up to their potential this season but there’s reason to think the tide is turning.

Patterson had a strong outing in Week 8 against Penn State, passing for 276 yards with one interception and rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown. He did the bulk of his damage in the second half and his numbers would’ve looked even better had his wide receivers not dropped six passes in the game, including two early by Donovan Peoples-Jones and one in the fourth quarter by Ronnie Bell that would have knotted the score.

Michigan’s offensive line has been improving and is giving Patterson more time in the pocket. The Michigan QB has been criticized for not being able to make plays under pressure, but that hasn’t been an issue with the recent play of the offensive line. Michigan held Penn State’s strong pass rush to just one sack and three tackles for loss.

As long as the offensive line continues to give Patterson time, the Wolverines QB can go toe-to-toe with Notre Dame’s Ian Book on Saturday. The Wolverines have the better group of receivers led by Peoples-Jones, Bell, Nico Collins, and Tarik Black. All four have dealt with injury troubles in the past, but they were fully healthy against Penn State. Had it not been for the dropped passes, Michigan could have won that game.

Jim Harbaugh Statement Game

This is the chance for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines to really make a statement. The coach has taken heat for Michigan’s inability to beat the best teams in college football, as the Wolverines are 1-10 vs top-10 teams under Harbaugh.

The team has been virtually eliminated from the playoff race after road losses to Wisconsin and Penn State, but there are positives from Week 8. In addition to the play of Patterson, Michigan outgained the Nittany Lions 417-283 in total yards and held Penn’s State offense to just one score after the opening 23 minutes.

The energy and atmosphere at Michigan Stadium makes this game a great bounce back candidate for Harbaugh and the Wolverines. They typically bounce back well from losses; the last time they suffered back-to-back defeats was in 2017 versus Wisconsin and Ohio State. With the criticism Harbaugh is facing right now, expect an even bigger rebound performance than usual for Michigan.

Take the Points

Michigan opened as favorites in this game for a reason. As good as the Fighting Irish have been, beating the Wolverines at the Big House isn’t’ an easy task for any team.

Michigan proved in Week 8 that they can compete with a strong defensive team. Notre Dame’s defense is very similar to Penn State’s, and the Wolverines were able to gash the Nittany Lions for a season-high 417 yards.

Expect Patterson to continue his strong play and the receivers to bounce back and lead Michigan to victory.

Pick: Michigan (EVEN)

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