The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are feeling certain emotions right now that are associated with their very disheartening loss to Ohio State last week. Meanwhile, the Duke Blue Devils stamped themselves as an ACC contender with a big win over Clemson in the early stages and fine themselves in the Top 25.
And now Duke gets to play host to the Irish at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham on Saturday night at 7:30 PM ET (ABC). This is unquestionably one of the biggest games in program history, right up there with an ACC championship game they played in 2013 against Florida State.
In the NCAA football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Irish are laying points on the road:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -5.5
Duke Blue Devils +5.5
Over 52 points -110
Under 52 points -110
Notre Dame lost to Ohio State on the last play from scrimmage, with just three seconds left. It was later revealed that ND coach Marcus Freeman had just ten men on the field for the last two plays of the game. That really hurt.
And now they must recover from that, and travel to lay points on the road against a team that is ranked 17th in the latest AP poll.
The game is big enough that ESPN's "GameDay" program has headquartered itself in Durham this week.
Freeman brought Sam Hartman, no stranger to ACC opponents like Duke, to the South Bend campus. He came into the 2023 season as the active leader in passing yards, and he has done what Notre Dame was hoping he'd do, which is to make this a multi-varied, explosive offense. Hartman has completed 70%, with 14 TDs and NO Intercpetions.
Duke has posted some great defensive numbers, and Mike Elko assumed his head coaching job with a reputation as a great defensive mind, as he was the coordinator at Texas A&M, Wake Forest, and yes, Notre Dame. Duke has allowed just 9.3 points and 297 yards a game. Most notably, they have yielded just 4.4 yards per pass attempt and 44.4 % points in the red zone. That's second and first, respectively, in the nation.
And that's impressive. So is Duke's quarterback, Riley Leonard, who's a 68% thrower who is also potent on the ground, with 238 yards. He's a projected first-round pick by some draft prognosticators. And he has one of the nation's premier left tackles in Graham Barton, who is rated only slightly lower than his counterpart, Notre Dame's Joe Alt.
Duke gets a real challenge for its defensive line against the Irish, who come with a very formidable ground attack. Audric Estime has thus far run with more authority than anybody; he's averaged 7.7 yards per carry, and the Blue Devils, according to Pro Football Focus, have the third highest missed-tackle rate among the Power 5 teams.
With the kind of balance they exhibit, the Irish could dictate what they do, as they are by far the toughest offense Duke has faced. Clemson was rather ineffective with Cade Klubnik at quarterback.
Ultimately we're going to opt for Notre Dame's size and depth. This Duke team isn't the one we've usually known, but Hartman's presence makes the Irish smarter on offense. We'll lay the points.
BetOnline brings you so many great ways to win in NCAA football betting, as there are features like Live Betting, Odds Boosters and Prop Builder available............. And it is SO easy to open up an account - all you have to do is use your credit card or any of their many (16, to be exact) crypto options. Of course, that includes Bitcoin!