Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Prediction & Game Preview -- 11/06/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
Where to watch: NBC

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Notre Dame -22; O/U 47
BetMGM: Notre Dame -20; O/U 46.5
Caesars: Notre Dame -20.5; O/U 47

Season record
Navy: 2-6
No. 8 Notre Dame: 7-1

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Navy - Notre Dame preview and analysis


Last week
Navy: won 20-17 at Tulsa on Friday
Notre Dame: won 44-34 vs. North Carolina on Saturday

On paper, this looks like a blowout. It probably is, at the end of the day. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish should win this game in comfortable fashion and move to 8-1 on the season.

My only word of caution is don’t discredit the Navy Midshipmen.

An outright upset? Highly unlikely. If Navy were to come into South Bend and knock off a top-10 team, we may never hear the end of it from Notre Dame alumni.

But college football can be a weird thing sometimes and while I firmly believe Notre Dame is going to win this game, a comfortable Navy cover seems plausible.

Notre Dame is coming off a 10-point win over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday in its sixth home game of the last seven. This matchup with Navy will be the seventh in eight weeks with only one week off for the Irish.

But outside of their loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Oct. 2, Notre Dame Stadium has played out to be one of the toughest places to play this season. North Carolina did go blow-for-blow with the Irish with Sam Howell throwing for 341 yards in one of his better passing days (24 of 31) with one touchdown and only an interception. The UNC running game, led by Howell, amassed 213 yards and three touchdowns.

But the Notre Dame offense, on a rare day, was better.

Kyren Williams ran for 199 yards and a touchdown, and Jack Coan threw for 213 yards and a touchdown, also without throwing an interception.

“Their blocking means everything to me because I know what they do every week,” Williams said. “I just appreciate all of my boys working collectively as a group.”

Notre Dame’s offense has come alive since its loss to Cincinnati by scoring over 30 points in each game. Until last week, Notre Dame held USC and Virginia Tech to under 30.

“We did some good things with good balance on offense running it and throwing it,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “I really love this team. I love their grit but I like that they are getting better.”

But Navy might be the only two-win team in the country that could give the Irish some trouble. You go as far back as their eight-point loss at Houston, five of Navy’s last six games have all been decided by one possession. Even against the SMU Mustangs and Cincinnati, the Midshipmen have been able to keep things close.

The option offense won’t generate much as far as an explosive attack, but Navy’s defense has been good enough to keep these high-powered offenses down a tad. Who’s to say they can’t do that against Notre Dame, especially an inconsistent quarterback like Coan?

Prediction


The 20-plus seems very generous and I like Navy to cover in this one. Notre Dame is going to win and keep any slim College Football Playoff hopes alive, but it’s going to be a tough matchup for the Irish. Notre Dame by 14

Betting trends


Navy has been an underdog in every game this season, going 5-3 ATS.

Navy is 10-3 ATS following a stretch of covering two of its past three games.

Notre Dame is 3-2 ATS as a favorite this season.

Notre Dame is 19-36 ATS in the past 30 seasons after scoring 20 points or more in the first half in consecutive games.

Statistical leaders


Navy:
Passing: Tai Lavatai -- 273 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Isaac Ruoss -- 437 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Mychal Cooper -- 160 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Diego Fargot -- 71 tackles

Notre Dame:
Passing: Jack Coan -- 1,610 yards, 12 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Kyren Williams -- 707 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Michael Mayer -- 465 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Isaiah Foskey -- 8 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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