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Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview

Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview

From Dublin, Ireland, the first College Football game of the 2023 season will feature the Navy Midshipmen and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Midshipmen struggled a season ago, with a 4-8 record. For Notre Dame, they went 9-4 under first-year head coach Marcus Freeman.

The Fighting Irish finished the season ranked 18th in the country following their 45-38 Sugar Bowl win over South Carolina. Notre Dame comes into this game as a big favorite. The Fighting Irish are -21 over Navy.

Navy Looking for Big Rebound

A season ago, the Midshipmen lost three of their first four games. In the first game of the season, they scored just 7 points in a loss to Delaware. In fact, in their first three losses of the season, they scored just 10 points per game on average. The biggest moment of last season was the 17-14 win over Central Florida on November 19th. Even the final game was a thriller, despite falling in double overtime to rival Army.

Navy is certainly a run-first offense. The Midshipmen did not see a single-player catch more than 16 passes a season ago. No player had more than two touchdowns via the air. On the ground, the top threat Daba Fofana returns. He rushed the ball 186 times for 769 yards and six touchdowns last season. Quarterback Tai Lavatai also returns. He was second on the team with 309 yards and five touchdowns.

Last year, the Midshipmen used five different guys to throw a pass, and they are hoping that remains lower this season with Lavatai taking the role for the season.

Big Plans for Irish

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished strong a season ago and start this season 13th in the preseason poll. Notre Dame starts with this game, Tennessee State, North Carolina State, and Central Michigan before a huge date against Ohio State. If the Irish and Buckeyes can hold on, that would be a huge game in late September.

The Irish are one of four teams without a football conference, but they play an Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. So, they also get a trip to Clemson. They also have a nonconference game against USC.

Notre Dame has big plans for running back Audric Estime. He rushed the football 156 times a season ago for 920 yards and 11 touchdowns. His run game, along with the passing from Sam Hartman, should give the Irish a big punch. Hartman came over from Wake Forest and is NFL-ready.

This will be his final year in College Football and gives the Irish their best quarterback talent in over a decade. Hartman spent parts of five seasons at Wake Forest. He finished with 110 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. Last season he finished with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for the Demon Deacons.

His final game for the Demon Deacons came in the Gasparilla Bowl, where he was 23 of 36 passing for 280 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the win over Missouri.

Navy Covers; Irish Win

The Navy Midshipmen are well-coached. There is no doubt about that. Despite their struggles of a season ago, this team is not easy to shake. Give head coach Ken Niumatalolo a full offseason to prepare for a game, and you never know what will happen. The problem for the Navy is they are not nearly as talented as the Fighting Irish.

The spread of three touchdowns seems like too much in this game. While Notre Dame wins this game, the Midshipmen cover the spread. The final score prediction for this game is Notre Dame 31-17 over Navy in the season opener from Ireland.

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