Indiana weekend football betting primer: Notre Dame in tough spot vs. Navy

By Joe Rodgers, BetIndiana News

Early money is on Navy for Saturday’s game in South Bend, as Notre Dame opened an 11-point favorite and was bet against to -9 in the first 24 hours of wagering.

The Midshipmen boast a rush offense that can exploit the Irish’s weakness on defense. They bring a 7-1 straight-up record (6-2 against the spread) into Saturday’s contest and are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games dating back to last season.
Ken Niumatalolo’s offense has earned the respect of quantitative football analysts, and the triple-option attack should worry Notre Dame, considering the Irish defensive line ranks poorly in advanced metrics. One advanced data set, SP+, makes Saturday’s spread just 4.2 in favor of Notre Dame, even factoring 2.5 points for homefield.

Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT kickoff is one of several matchups on the Week 12 college football card pitting ranked teams against each other. That list also includes a pair of Big Ten games. Indiana, a team few expected to be ranked, visits Penn State off the Nittany Lions’ first loss of the season; and still-unbeaten Minnesota is an underdog at Iowa.
Indiana at Penn State (-13, 53.5)

The Hoosiers (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 1994 and face a favorable passing matchup against the Nittany Lions (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS), who allowed over 300 passing yards to Tanner Morgan and the Golden Gophers in Saturday’s upset loss. While Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr. had season-ending surgery last week, backup Peyton Ramsey and wide receiver Whop Philyor are as capable as Morgan and Rashod Bateman of connecting on explosive passing plays. Penn State has been outgained this season by Buffalo, Pitt, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.
Minnesota at Iowa (-3, 45.5)

Controlling its own destiny in the Big Ten, Minnesota (9-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) moves into the national top 10 after upsetting then-No. 4 Penn State 31-26 as a 6.5-point home dog. It’s fair to wonder if a let-down spot is in the cards against a Hawkeyes team (6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS) that boasts a highly-rated defense, and early bets on Iowa pushed the line up from an opener of -2.

Michigan State at Michigan (-14.5, 43.5)

Michigan State uncharacteristically allowed 27 fourth-quarter points to Illinois last Saturday, culminating with a last-second TD pass from Brandon Peters, to drop to 0-5 ATS in its last five conference games. The Spartans are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings with Michigan, but you can expect public bettors to be hot-and-heavy on the home favorites after cashing with Illinois (+15.5) in a 37-34 outright win in East Lansing.

Wisconsin (-13.5, 51.5) at Nebraska

“Such a disappointment,” Las Vegas oddsmaker Ed Salmons lamented about Nebraska, echoing the sentiment of plenty of college football observers. The Huskers were a trendy national championship bet this summer but are now 4-5 SU and 1-8 ATS, as injuries and poor play have derailed their season. Nebraska is coming off a bye and catching points at home to a Wisconsin team that has tailed off this season and is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following a straight-up win.
Ohio State at Rutgers (-52, 58.5)

As Ohio State (9-0 SU, 8-1 ATS) covered 42.5 points against Maryland on Saturday, we pondered just how big the opening spread would be against one of the worst Power-5 teams in the country. The answer? 50.5 points, which is remarkably in-line with the Buckeyes’ 54.2-5.4 average score against Rutgers the past five meetings. The Scarlet Knights are just 2-7 SU and ATS.

More: College football betting coverage at BetIndiana News

Around the NFL

Colts starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett (knee) is expected to return to the field Sunday against the Jaguars, and bookmakers have priced the Week 11 game accordingly.

The Colts opened -3 in Las Vegas as Sunday’s Week 10 action was wrapping up, a number posted based on Brissett, not backup Brian Hoyer, starting, oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told BetIndiana News.

Early action came in on Jacksonville, shortening the line to between -3 (even) and -2.5 on various oddsboards.
With Hoyer under center, the offense struggled mightily in Sunday’s 16-12 loss to Miami. Hoyer threw three interceptions, and the loss dropped the Colts to 5-4 straight up and 4-4-1 against the spread on the season.

The Jaguars are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight meetings with the Colts and will have Nick Foles back under center following a bye week.

Elsewhere in pro football this week, the Rams are laying 6.5 points at home against the Bears as they seek revenge from last year’s loss in Chicago.

Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles this season are well documented, but Rams QB Jared Goff hasn’t proven to be much more reliable for the reigning NFC champions.

Including an upset loss to the Steelers on Sunday, Goff’s performance over his last 16 games have been compared to that of a “high-volume” Mark Sanchez. During that span, the Rams QB owns a 79.2 passer rating with a 17:16 TD:INT ratio, 28 sacks and 16 fumbles. He’s particularly struggled against strong pass rushes this season behind a make-shift offensive line.

In last season’s 15-6 loss as a 3-point road favorite in Chicago, Goff was 20-of-44 passing for 180 yards and four interceptions. That game on a cold Sunday night in December easily went UNDER the total of 51, and bettors early to the window pushed Sunday’s total down from 42 to 40.5. UNDER has been a hugely profitable bet in Bears games, going 11-3 in their last 14.

Should the 6.5-point spread hold, it will the most points Chicago has been spotted since Week 1 of last season, when they cashed as 6.5-point dogs in a 24-23 loss at Green Bay.

Posted on 2019 Nov 14