BY COREY LONG | Home Field Sports
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish head back to Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday for a prime-time showdown against the Stanford Cardinal.
Notre Dame (3-2) won its third straight game last week, 28-20 over BYU in Las Vegas. The Irish jumped out to a 25-6 lead through two and a half quarters before BYU rallied at the end to make the score a little more respectable.
One of the big reasons for Notre Dame’s turnaround has been the play of quarterback Drew Pyne. The sophomore was 22 of 28 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Notre Dame had the running game working as well, with running backs Audric Estime, Logan Diggs and Chris Tyree combining for 237 yards on the ground.
The Irish defense continued to set the tone and held BYU’s high-powered offense to just 276 total yards.
Stanford (1-4) put together one of its best games of the season for three quarters against Oregon State. The Cardinal led 24-10 and looked to be heading to a big conference win, but the Beavers rallied for 18 points in the fourth quarter and pulled out a 28-27 win.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Notre Dame as a 17-point favorite with an over/under of 53.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Notre Dame -17
Money line: Stanford +550; Notre Dame -769
Analysis: This line opened at Notre Dame -15 and has continued to climb daily, so it could be at -17.5 or -18 by kickoff. It is easy to wonder where Stanford is mentally after such a crushing loss last week, while Notre Dame continues to gain confidence with each win, especially on offense.
Where this game really favors the Irish is up front. Stanford is giving up over 200 yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry. Notre Dame is going to continue to establish the run early and wear down another opponent on its way to a fourth straight win and possible return to the top 25.
The big spread will be tough to cover, however, and if the line climbs any further it’s going to be a risky play.
Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Stanford 17