Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Normally Michigan State at Notre Dame is one of the top games on a September college football schedule. Even if the teams aren’t in the top 20 at the time…you know you’re going to get rivalry intensity and a big time football atmosphere. This 2013 meeting presents a confusing composite for fans, and maybe even sports bettors.
*Some consider this THE BEST TV MATCHUP on a surprisingly quiet Saturday in the national poll picture.
*It’s possible that both Michigan State and Notre Dame are putting surprisingly BAD teams on the field!
Would you pay any attention to a game like Western Michigan at Purdue? Michigan State needed cheap points to beat Western Michigan. Notre Dame had to rally to beat Purdue!
It’s too early in the season to run meaningful stat comparisons because of the small sample size. Let’s run a quick review of what’s happened so far…starting with last week…
Last Week’s Results
*Michigan State (-23) beat Youngstown State 55-17
*Notre Dame (-21) only beat Purdue 31-24
Michigan State finally snapped out of their offensive doldrums. But, that came against a small college team that may have been more concerned about staying healthy and cashing their paycheck. At least it was a pointspread cover…the only game this season that either MSU or Notre Dame has covered.
Notre Dame seemingly came out flat off the Michigan loss. Michigan played so poorly earlier in the day vs. Akron though, that you have to wonder if both ND and Michigan were overrated entering the season. Akron and Purdue didn’t cover easily in near-miss upsets because of a big game letdown. They did that because everyone’s overrated the media teams!
Last Week’s Yardage
*Michigan State outgained Youngstown State 547-172
*Notre Dame outgained Purdue 400-294
We probably won’t know until the second quarter of Saturday’s game whether or not Michigan State really solved their offensive issues against Youngstown. Notre Dame might look impressive with a +106 yard differential. That’s not very good for a 21-point favorite. And, it’s not very good considering that Cincinnati outgained Purdue 425-226 earlier this season (almost 200 yards). Notre Dame was supposed to be better than Cincinnati. Purdue was outgained by lowly Indiana State!
The offense was horrendous in a 26-13 season opening win vs. Western Michigan, and then even more horrendous the next week in a 21-6 win against South Florida (remember that South Florida has been badly embarrassed in their other games). It took cheap points from non-offensive means to average low 20’s against weak opponents. If THAT version of the Sparty offense shows up in South Bend, it’s going to be a long afternoon for State fans.
The Irish could barely score the spread as 28-point favorites over Temple in a 28-6 season opening win. That performance looks worse now because Temple’s been awful since (losing to Fordham last week). The Irish were clearly outplayed by Michigan…who then couldn’t outplay horrible Akron. That was followed by the surprisingly close game against what looks to be a bad Purdue team.
Current Vegas Line: Notre Dame by 5.6, total of 41
There have been rumblings through the week that the Wise Guys are interested in the road dog and the Under in what looks to be a defensive struggle. Those numbers may have dropped by the time you read this, and are likely to drop by kickoff. If weather becomes an issue (remember to check game day forecasts), that would influence the market even more.
JIM HURLEY knows everyone wants to bet Notre Dame games in Las Vegas. If there’s an edge to be found in the major TV game of the afternoon slate, he’ll post it for clients. Maybe it will be a major release. Maybe it will be part of his patented TV Parlay. Be sure you check with the website early Saturday morning for the final word. Additional assistance is always available during normal business hours and on weekend mornings at 1-888-777-4155.
Back with you early Saturday to discuss the top TV prime time game, which is Arizona State at Stanford. Sunday and Monday are always devoted to the prime time games in the NFL. This week, that’s Chicago at Pittsburgh on NBC and Oakland at Denver on ESPN. Be sure you’re with us in the NOTEBOOK every day of the week!
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