Notre Dame @


Sat, Nov 27
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 207
Odds: Stanford +20.5, Total: 53

Game Analysis

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2-Star Best Bet – **Stanford (+20.5)  24   NOTRE DAME  35

Stanford is 0-6 straight up and 0-6 ATS since upsetting Oregon and Notre Dame is 6-0 SU and 6-0 ATS since losing Cincinnati. However, the line on this game has really gotten out of hand, especially given that the Irish have been very lucky in regard to the quarterbacks that they’ve faced this season while Stanford played two recent games with inept quarterbacks while young star Tanner McKee was sidelined.

Notre Dame has faced 4 teams that were playing their worst quarterback, as they faced Toledo before they switched to Finn as their starter, faced Purdue when Plummer was starting instead of O’Connell (Plummer had 38 pass plays to O’Connnell’s 18 in that game), faced Virginia two weeks ago without Brennan Armstrong, who was leading the nation in total yards from scrimmage, and were lucky to face Georgia Tech last week with Yates at quarterback instead of Simms (Yates is 2.4 yppp worse). The adjustments made for quarterbacks faced is significant, as overall they’ve faced quarterbacks that are 0.7 yppp worse than if they had faced each team’s starting quarterback, which works out to 2.5 points in quarterback luck. Note Dame also faced Wisconsin early in the season before the Badgers rushing attack started thriving with Allen as the main runner.

Stanford, meanwhile, has an overall offensive rating of -0.1 yards per play (5.3 yppl against teams that would combine to allow 5.4 yppl to an average team) but the Cardinal averaged just 10.5 points on 205 total yards at 4.0 yppl in weeks 10 and 11 without Mckee. The Stanford offense played poorly last week in the Big Game against a solid Cal defense in McKee’s return to the lineup but for the season the Cardinal attack is 0.3 yppl better with McKee in the game, which equates to a couple of points. Notre Dame’s defense rates at just 0.4 yppl better tan average after accounting for the quarterbacks they’ve faced (and adjusting for facing Wisky early in the season when their run game was terrible). Stanford’s offense is not that much worse than the Notre Dame defense, which has been even worse without All-American S Kyle Hamilton (after adjusting for opposing QB’s faced). Notre Dame’s defense rated at worse than average against both USC and North Carolina (relative to how good those offense are) in the two games without Hamilton against competent offensive teams – the other games were vs Navy (1.2 yppl worse than average offense), Virginia without Armstrong and Georgia Tech with Yates at QB. I made a 0.2 yppl adjustment for Hamilton being out and Stanford is projected to gain a decent 357 yards at 5.8 yppl even with two of their receivers likely out (Tremayne, who has missed most of the season, and Humphreys), although Michael Wilson, considered their best receiver coming into the season, has played the last few games after missing the first 8 games.

Stanford’s defense was abused last week by Cal for 10.3 yards per play but even with that outlier the Cardinal stop unit is only 0.3 yppl worse than average for the season. Notre Dame’s offense has been 0.6 yppl better than average and should move the ball well in this game (I project 444 yards at 6.4 yppl). Notre Dame should score a good number of points but their overrated defense is likely to give Stanford enough scoring opportunities to keep this game relatively competitive.

You might think that Stanford may have thrown in the towel on their season given their long losing streak and no hope for a bowl game but teams playing their final game of the season that are on a losing streak, have lost 3 or more consecutive games to the spread, and are facing a team that is on a winning streak are 52-26-1 ATS, including 17-6 ATS for a team on a 5 games or more losing streak. So, there is certainly no historical evidence that Stanford is likely to lay down here. Stanford is a 2-Star Best Bet at +20 or more and a 1-Star down to +18.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Notre Dame
  • Stanford


  • Run Plays 32.0 31.8
  • Run Yards 171.5 157.8
  • YPRP 5.4 5.0


  • Pass Comp 20.4 18.8
  • Pass Att 31.5 32.0
  • Comp % 64.7% 58.8%
  • Pass Yards 256.6 215.6
  • Sacks 3.0 3.4
  • Sack Yards 18.4 21.5
  • Sack % 8.7% 9.5%
  • Pass Plays 34.5 35.4
  • Net Pass Yards 238.2 194.1
  • YPPP 6.9 5.5


  • Total Plays 66.5 67.2
  • Total Yards 409.7 351.9
  • YPPL 6.2 5.2


  • Int 0.6 1.4
  • Int % 2.0% 4.3%
  • Fumbles 0.5 0.6
  • Turnovers 1.1 2.0
  • Points 34.4 18.6
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