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Notre Dame Football Predictions

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It will be hard for Notre Dame to match last year’s 12-1 record.  They faced four ranked teams during the regular season and finished at 12-0.  Their lone loss came in the BCS Championship game against Alabama.  It was an embarrassing 14-42 defeat.

Notre Dame had five games decided by a touchdown or less last year.  They caught a lot of breaks in their matchups against Stanford and Pittsburgh, with both of those games finishing in OT.  It took a goal line stand against Stanford and a missed field goal by Pittsburgh for the Irish to pick up those wins.

With 14 starters making their return this year and eight of them coming on defense, Notre Dame should be just as good this season as they were in 2012.  However, I don’t know that they will be lucky enough to catch all the breaks it took to post a 12-0 regular season record again.  They will also have another very difficult schedule to overcome this year.

Last Season
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
12-1
7-6
3-10
25.8
12.8
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
14
6
8
N/A
3rd
23rd
Head Coach Brian Kelly
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
 89-39
67-50-8
46-13
28-22-6
34-20
32-20-2
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
4-4
2-6
9-3
8-4
20-15
22-12
2013 Schedule
2013 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/31 Temple
-24
1
9/7 @ Michigan
PICK
.50
9/14 @ Purdue
-14
.85
9/21 Michigan State
-6
.66
9/28 Oklahoma
-2
.53
10/5 Arizona State
-4
.62
10/19 USC
-5
.64
10/26 @ Air Force
-18
1
11/2 Navy
-18
1
11/9 @ Pittsburgh
-10.5
.79
11/23 BYU
-11
.80
11/30 @ Stanford
+5.5
.35
Estimated Wins: 8.74

The Irish will open the season with an easy game against Temple.  The Owls had four wins last year and will likely come into this matchup as a 24-point underdog.  Temple scored an average of 24.7 points per game in 2012, so this game will be a good indicator of what we can expect from Notre Dame defensively this season.

One of the most difficult games of the season will come in Week 2, when the Irish travel to Michigan to take on the Wolverines.  Preseason odds list that game as a pick’em, and Michigan will be playing for revenge after losing to Notre Dame 6-13 last season.  That game will also indicate the outlook for Notre Dame as National Title contenders this year.

Games against Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona State and USC will all come at home, which should serve as a big advantage for the Irish.  Following that stretch of games, they should be able to pick up an easy win on the road against Air Force.  Notre Dame will play back-to-back games against military teams when they return home to take on Navy.  Neither the Falcons nor Midshipmen have enough offensive talent to score the amount of points it will take to pull off an upset, and preseason odds list the Irish as 18-point favorites in both games.

The end of the season will get a lot harder for Notre Dame.  They face a BYU team that played tough against the Irish last season in a 14-17 game.  The Cougars had four of their five losses last year come by a touchdown or less, and they should be a tough opponent with eight offensive starters returning.  The final game of the season is the only where the Irish are listed as an underdog according to the preseason lines.  They will be on the road against Stanford, and the Cardinal figure to be legitimate national title contenders this season.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
National Championship Odds
9.5
70 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

Notre Dame benefited from five close wins last year and they finished at +8 in turnovers.  History has shown us things have a way of leveling out after catching so many breaks in the prior season.  However, the defense should still be one of the best in college football with so many familiar faces in the huddle.

Everett Golson will not be in the lineup, at least for the start of the season, due to academic ineligibility.  The announcement was made May 26th, so the Irish should have time to prepare with probable starter, Tommy Rees.  Rees played in nine games last season, completing 57.6% of his passes and finishing with a 2:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.  That will be a major setback for this Notre Dame offense, and it is one of the main reasons I have the Irish picked to finish under their 9.5 game win total.

2013 Projections
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
9-3
UNDER 9.5
Notre Dame Football Resources
Notre Dame Football Predictions

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