Rutgers Scarlett Knights (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Date and Time: Saturday December 28, 2013 12pm EST
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx NY
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Rut +15/ND -15
Over/Under Total: 52.5
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Big Line Move in this game! Opening as -17 ND favorite and finding very little takers from the Golden Domers, this game is now -15 with a modest interest from the Emerald Isle ex-pats! Face it: Rutgers is about as predictable as a wife with an estrogen imbalance. From beating Arkansas 28-24 early in the season to getting Chumped by an absolutely TERRIBLE Connecticut team 28-17 November 30th, Rutgers is somewhere between a decent Patriot League Team and Alabamas Scout team! Notre Dame iswellmuch better than Rutgers but hardly worth the following they receive. ND has been smacked around by the likes of Michigan before being run out of their own building by a nominal Oklahoma team 35-21. Is it Head Coach Brian Kellys fault? Yes! Kelly gets the big bucks to winhe doesnt get the big bucks to be Bob Davie. Of course that might be an insult to Davie since Kelly has time and again fudged to go along to get along (Michigan Rivalry), intentionally misled (see: U of Cincinnati exit), or may in fact influence distrust (see: QB Golson academic cheating). Notre Dame deserves what they get because of the manner they used to get himripping him from UC like rum runners driving across the state-line. Lets take a look at who might have the advantage in this Bronx battle for the ages!
Notre Dame is 3-3 against the spread on the road or playing at a neutral site. When favored, Notre Dame is 2-5 against the spread and opponents .500 or under the Fighting Irish are 1-2 against the spread. The last two times Notre Dame has been the favorite, they are 1-1 straight up and 0-2 against the spread losing to Pitt 28-21 as a 4 point favorite and getting by Navy 38-34 as a 16.6 point favorite. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Notre Dames last 12 games. 60% of the betting public has their money on Rutgers to cover the spread in this game.
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Rutgers is 2-3 against the spread away and 0-2 against the spread away. As an underdog, Rutgers is 2-1 against the spread in their last 3. But Rutgers concern for this game is not how theyve performed in the past, but how they will set up a defensive scheme with Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator Chuck Martin leaving for the Miami of Ohio Head Coaching job December 3rd , 2013? This particular departure is ultimately going to settle who has been, in fact, holding the reigns of the Notre Dame offense. If it was Martin who controlled the offense—and many speculate it was—then Kellys jump to OC is going to be an interesting transformation in the Pinstripe Bowl. Notre Dame plays a derivative of the Spread Offense that I like to call The crossed legs Spread. Maybe Martin was the problem this year for all the dull, predictable, and boring play-calling for the Irishmaybe it was Kelly checking off to his own plays? Maybe that is why Martin left? The speculation makes for fantastic drama but not a clear consensus of who owns the edge in this game. Rutgers has struggled against teams that pop the Spread (the real Spread) against the Scarlett Knights like Houstonfor instance.
Im willing to gamble thaton the one hand, Martin left for Oxford, Ohio partly because of Kellyon the other hand, Kelly is left naked on the sidelines with nobody to yell at for calling a bad play! I see Kelly being stuck, finally, with whom he is–truly–and finding out, in the Bronx, he isnt ALL THAT and a bag of chips. Rutgers can be awful certainly but I believe this Pinstripe Bowl will be The Man in the Mirror moment for Brian Kelly and the rest of the Irish faithful.
Tims Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Rutgers +15
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