The #21 overall Navy Midshipmen (7-1) travel to South Bend, Indiana this weekend to battle the #16 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2). Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM EST on November 16th at Notre Dame Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on NBC.

Taking a look at the Week 12 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a 9-point home favorite earlier this week. The spread has increased by half a point after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently available at -9.5. The total for the game is sitting at 54 points.

Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Notre Dame vs Navy

Navy has now won seven out of their first eight games on the season after crushing Connecticut 56-10 in Week 10 to improve to 7-1 overall. The Midshipmen scored four touchdowns in the first half and never looked back, crusing to an easy victory over the final two quarters. QB Malcolm Perry didn’t have to do much through the air, going 3/6 for 165 passing yards and a touchdown. Perry also led the way on the ground for the Mids, racking up 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on a team-high 11 carries. RB Jamale Carothers also chipped in, finding the end zone three times while also adding 65 rushing yards on eight carries. Mychal Cooper was on the receiving end of the only passing touchdown of the game for the offense, hitting pay dirt on a 58-yard strike from Perry. As a whole, Navy generated almost 600 total yards of offense and scored eight touchdowns in the win.

The Midshipmen also had a strong outing on the other side of the ball against Connecticut, holding the Huskies to only 313 total yards of offense and a single touchdown. Navy was especially strong defending against the pass, forcing two interceptions and surrendering only 205 yards through the air.

Notre Dame won their sixth game in a row last weekend, beating Duke 38-7 on the road to improve to 7-2 on the season overall. The Fighting Irish scored 14 unanswered points in the first quarter and dominated on both sides of the ball from there, holding the Blue Devils offense to just a single touchdown. QB Ian Book wasn’t at his best through the air, going 18/32 for 181 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air but also getting picked off twice. However, Book did add a team-high 139 rushing yards on 12 carries on the ground as well. Chase Claypool led the way for the receiving corps, making five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Overall, Notre Dame gained well over 450 total yards of offense and found the end zone five times in the win.

The Fighting Irish were outstanding defensively against Duke, giving up only 197 total yards of offense and one touchdown. Notre Dame really shut down the Blue Devils on the ground, as they only allowed 95 net rushing yards all game.

NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Navy +9.5

This is shaping up to be one of the better games on the schedule here in Week 12, as both of these schools are currently inside the AP Top 25. While I certainly don’t see a ton of value on either side against the spread, I think I’m leaning slightly towards taking the 9.5 points and rolling with the road underdog in this matchup. While Notre Dame should find a way to win this game outright, Navy has only lost one game all season long and is also a rock-solid 6-2 against the spread through their first eight games. Of course, they have also had an easier schedule than the Fighting Irish, playing only one other ranked team so far. If this spread moves down by even half a point, I will likely avoid this spot altogether. Still, as long as the Mids are available at +9.5, they do offer at least slight value against a Notre Dame squad that has given up some big games on the ground a couple times this year already.

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It is also important to note that Navy has really dominated against the spread in this rivalry as of late, covering the number in seven out of the last ten meetings between these two teams overall – including going a perfect 3-0 ATS over their last three meetings. The Midshipmen are also a very impressive 10-2 against the spread in their last twelve games overall. On the other side, the Fighting Irish have failed to cover the number in two out of their last three battles with Navy at Notre Dame Stadium. I’m going to take the 9.5 points and roll with the road favorite on Saturday afternoon in what should be a highly entertaining matchup – give me the Mids to grind out a tough cover!