The #18 overall Virginia Cavaliers (4-0) travel to South Bend this weekend to battle the #10 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 28th at Notre Dame Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on NBC.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a 11.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -11. The total for the game is sitting at 51 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Notre Dame vs Virginia
Virginia stayed perfect in Week 4, beating ODU 28-17 at home to improve to 4-0 on the season overall. The Cavaliers had a terrible first half, as they actually trailed the Monarchs 17-7 at the end of the second quarter. However, they really turned it on over the final 30 minutes, scoring 21 unanswered points to escape with the win. QB Bryce Perkins was average at best, going 15/24 for 175 yards and a touchdown. However, he did also have 14 carries for 35 yards and a score to lead the way on the ground for the Cavs. WR Joe Reed also chipped in with a touchdown, catching four passes for 40 receiving yards. Overall, Virginia gained under 250 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns against a feisty Old Dominion defense.
The Cavaliers defense played pretty well in Week 4, holding the Monarchs offense to just two touchdowns on well under 300 total yards. Virginia was very strong against the run, as ODU could only manage to gain 64 net rushing yards on the ground all game long.
Notre Dame lost a 23-17 heart-breaker on the road in Georgia their last time out to drop to 2-1 on the season overall. The Fighting Irish clung to a 10-7 lead at the half but couldn’t manage to hold on down the stretch, allowing the Bulldogs to outscore them 16-7 in the second half. QB Ian Book certainly wasn’t at his best, going 29/47 for two touchdowns but also throwing two costly interceptions. Notre Dame also really struggled to get the running game going, generating just 46 yards on the ground the entire game. The receiving duo of Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool certainly did their part, combining for 15 receptions, 174 yards, and two touchdowns. As a whole, the offense barely gained over 300 total yards and found the end zone just twice against a very tough Georgia defense.
The Fighting Irish defense was pretty solid in Week 4, holding Georgia to just 187 passing yards and one touchdown through the air. However, they did allow RB D’Andre Swift to rush for 98 yards and a touchdown on a game-high 18 carries.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Notre Dame -11
This looks like it could be one of the best games on the schedule here in Week 5, as both of these AP Top 25 will be in desperate search for a victory. Notre Dame has to be crushed after losing such a close game against Georgia, especially since they were actually ahead after the first two quarters. While Virginia will certainly battle hard and could keep this one close for two to three quarters, I don’t think their defense will be able to come up with enough stops to stay within double-digits of the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon. Of course, Ian Book hasn’t seemed to play his best football against above average opponents, so it will be interesting to see how he performs at home in this matchup.
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Notre Dame is a very solid 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games overall. They are also 6-1 ATS over their last seven home games against opponents who have a winning road record. Virginia has also performed quite well against the spread, going 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings with opponents above .500. Ultimately, I’m not 100% sure that there is enough value with the Fighting Irish in this particular spot, but I still would rather take the home team to cover than take a shot with a Cavaliers squad that had a tough time getting past Old Dominion and Florida State. Give me Notre Dame!