The #7 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0) host the New Mexico Lobos (1-0) in Week 3 College Football action from South Bend. Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 14th at Notre Dame Stadium and the game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 3 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a massive 37-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has come down pretty significantly after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -34. The total for the game is sitting at 63 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Notre Dame vs New Mexico
New Mexico won their home opener 39-31 against Sam Houston State back in Week 1 and currently sits at 1-0 on the season after a bye week. The Lobos scored 13 unanswered points in the first quarter and never looked back, as they held the lead right up until the final whistle. QB Brandt Hughes didn’t have his best game, going just 12/29 for 218 yards and no touchdowns. Sheriron Jones was a little bit more efficient as a passer, completing 6/11 attempts for 122 yards. Jones was a big factor on the ground as well, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns. RB Ahmari Davis also was a key contributor on offense, rambling for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Davis also had some huge plays through the air, hauling in 2 passes for 58 yards. As a whole, New Mexico gained just under 500 total yards and scored four touchdowns against the Bearkats.
The Lobos defense didn’t have a great outing in Week 1, allowing Sam Houston State to score four touchdowns and gain well over 500 total yards of offense. New Mexico was especially poor against the pass, as Bearkats WR Dee Bowens torched them for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame also won their opening game of the 2019 regular season, beating Louisville 35-17 on the road before also heading into their bye week. The Fighting Irish held a 21-14 lead at halftime before really turning it on in the third quarter, scoring a fourth touchdown and holding the Cardinals scoreless. QB Ian Book was mediocre in the passing game, going 14/23 for 193 yards and a touchdown. However, Book was certainly excellent on the ground, rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. RB Tony Jones Jr. also had a strong game, racking up 110 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. Overall, the Notre Dame offense accumulated over 350 total yards and scored five touchdowns on the road in Louisville.
The Fighting Irish defense was pretty solid after surrendering 14-points in the first quarter, limiting the Cardinals offense to just a field goal the rest of the way. However, they did allow QB Jawon Pass and RB Javian Hawkins to combine for 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: New Mexico +34
There are a couple of reasons why I’m leaning towards taking New Mexico and the truckload of points in this particular spot. First, Notre Dame is only 2-8-1 ATS over their last 11 games as a double-digit favorite. Additionally, they have also shown a propensity to struggle to cover the spread when favored by a particularly large number – as in 30+ points. In Week 1, Notre Dame was favored by over 20 points against Louisville – a team that went just 2-10 overall in 2018. Not only did the Fighting Irish fail to cover the spread, they also were tied with the Cardinals after one quarter of play. While I certainly don’t expect that to happen again this week against a weak New Mexico team, 34-points is still way too rich for my blood despite the line opening at -37.
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The second reason why I like the Lobos against the spread in this matchup is because of who Notre Dame is playing in Week 4. It may be very difficult to run up the scoreboard with the Georgia Bulldogs waiting on deck. New Mexcio also prefers to attack on the ground, which should take some time off the clock and reduce the total number of possessions the Fighting Irish get during garbage time. Ultimately, this seems like it will end up being a 28-31 points home victory for Book and Co. – I’ll take the Lobos and all the points.