Duke +8 3.3% play
77% of the tickets on Notre Dame here as many are expecting them to bounce back. Notre Dame in November with nothing to play for is almost an automatic fade, and with 2 losses they are clearly out of the playoff discussion. This team appears to be mailing it in the way they have played the last two weeks now they get a Duke team who beat them in 2016 at Notre Dame. Duke gets them in their own building which is a very big deal and they are expecting a sell out crowd. Duke has 9 Jr’s and Sr’s on the defense which is TOP 50 across the board, 31st in YPP, 30th run defense, and 50th vs. the pass, and they have a 31st pass rush. Notre Dame is 0-2 on the road this year vs. a top 50 defense, and their only win vs. a top defense was against Virginia, but I believe they had 2 defensive scores in that game and were +4 in TO margin.
The key for Notre Dame is running the ball, not the passing game. Can Tony Jones stay healthy? He’s probable for this game, but it’s a stiff test going up against Duke who held Alabama to less than 150 yards and less than 3.5 yards per carry. Notre Dame when held under 150 yards rushing are just 8-10 straight up, and in their wins have come by just 5.5 points in 7 of those 8 wins have been by less than the spread here.
Duke is also off the bye, and Cutcliffe is an excellent coach. My concern is Duke’s offense and that’s why we don’t have a larger play here. Duke has turned the ball over far too much. 20 turnovers in their last 9 home games dating back to last season. That is bound to regress. When they had a bye earlier this year they had 0 turnovers, and Notre Dame’s defense really hasn’t been forcing turnovers. I also think Duke’s QB Quenton Harris can run the ball. Notre Dame faced a few different rushing QB’s Virginia Techs’s Quincy Patterson had 77 yards on 19 carries, Louisville’s Jawon Pass had 67 yards and 2 TD’s. That will be a huge X-factor in this game, and if Harris can have a big day Duke will pull the upset.
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