The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0) will look to win their fourth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Wake Forest to take on the Deamon Deacons (2-1). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST at BB & T Field and the game will be televised on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 4 college football odds, the books opened with Notre Dame as a 7-point road favorite. That line has shifted slightly after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -8. The total for the game is sitting at 58 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Wake Forest vs Notre Dame
Notre Dame reeled off consecutive victories over Michigan and Ball State before topping Vanderbilt 22-17 last weekend to improve to 3-0. It was also the third straight time they had beat an opponent by 8 points or less while also scoring fewer than 25 points. QB Brandom Wimbush only threw for 122 yards all game long while barely completely 50% of his passes. The Fighting Irish actually got out-gained in total yardage 420-380 by the Commodores while also getting outscored 14-6 in the second half, which left head coach Brian Kelly scrambling for answers during the post game press conference. Kelly seemed relatively optimistic but still made it clear that the offensive line would need to play much better moving forward if Notre Dame hopes to stay in the conversation for the College Football Playoff over the next few months.
On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame is currently giving up an average of only 16.7 points per game which is 31st overall nationwide. The Fighting Irish have also looked extremely strong against the run, as they are giving up an average of just 107.0 yards per game on the ground (26th). However, their passing defense has been much weaker as opposing teams have averaged 251.7 yards per game through the air (94th).
Wake Forest suffered their first lost of the season last weekend, dropping a high-scoring game against Boston College by a score of 41-34. The Demon Deacons had previously defeated both Tulane and Tawson to get off to a fast 2-0 start that has made plenty of people take notice. QB Sam Hartman is definitely a dual threat for Wake Forest, as he is currently averaging 65 yards per game on the ground. Hartman has thrown for an impressive 834 yards and six touchdowns in his first three games, although he has struggled with interceptions as well. The offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the early season success on offense as well, as they had only allowed one sack over their first two games before coming back to earth a little bit against Boston College last weekend.
The Demon Deacons have been pretty mediocre defensively, as they’ve been allowing opponents to score an average of 26.0 points per game (76th overall). Breaking things down a bit further, the fact that they are giving up an average of 146.7 rushing yards per game (64th) isn’t all that troubling. However, Wake Forest is one of the bottom 10 teams in the entire country against the pass, as opponents have averaged 310.0 yards per game through the air (118th).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Wake Forest +8
Despite having to go up against an undefeated Notre Dame squad on Saturday, I think that this is a pretty good spot against the spread for the Demon Deacons. They get to play at home in front of a loud crowd that should be really fired up, especially with such a marquee opponent in town. It helps that Notre Dame has hardly been blowing teams away so far this year, as their three wins have been by an average of less than 7 points. The Fighting Irish have had their issues on both sides of the ball and although I still think that they improve to 4-0 on Saturday, I think that Wake Forest will keep things really close.
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Wake Forest is 7-3 ATS over their past ten games against independent opponents and an impressive 4-1 ATS over their past five home games against opponents who have a winning record. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is just 2-6 ATS over their past eight games overall and 0-5 ATS in their last five games after a straight up win. It is also notable that the Fighting Irish are just 1-6 ATS over their past seven games against teams with a winning record and 2-6 ATS in their past eight non-conference games.
The Demon Deacons should easily be able to score enough points on Saturday afternoon to stay within striking distance. I think the current line of +8 leaves a lot of value on the Wake Forest side, especially with the game taking place at BB & T Field. While it’s a bit of a stretch for me to say that I expect an upset, the line is simply too generous not to take the points and roll with the Demon Deacons at home.