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Navy-Notre Dame Pick & Prediction: Sharp Action Moving the Total (August 26)

College football has finally returned, and the season will get started with a bang: No. 13 Notre Dame will take on Navy in Ireland early on Saturday. The Irish beat Navy by just a field goal last year but are 20.5-point favorites this year. Every week, I’ll post my top college football picks by Monday and provide an update before each game — you can check out all of my college football Week 0 picks here. Let’s dig into today’s Navy-Notre Dame betting odds as we make our predictions and pick the best college football Week 0 bet!

Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles, including our best bets for Week 0. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you– or try it out now!

Navy-Notre Dame Pick & Week 0 Betting Prediction

Navy-Notre Dame Betting Odds

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Navy: +860 | Notre Dame: -1600
Navy +20.5: -104 | Notre Dame -20.5: -118
Over 49.5: -105 | Under 49.5: -115

Navy-Notre Dame Pick & Prediction

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the Navy Midshipmen in the first game of the 2023 college football season across the pond — the Fighting Irish will play in Ireland. It isn’t projected to be especially competitive — the Irish are a pretty massive favorite, after all, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some value on the betting markets. We absolutely must have action on the first consequential football game of the year. Notre Dame will look to get the Sam Hartman era started with a bang, but bettors shouldn’t expect a ton of offensive fireworks early — these are two of the slowest programs in the FBS.

We discussed why the total for this game was the right market to target in the early week column, and, surprise surprise, the number has moved in our favor. We locked in the under 50.5 on Monday only for it to drop by a point — or a point and a half in some places — since then. Service academies play a slow pace, and sharp bettors are often willing to play their unders en masse, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the number move. That’s why you read OddsShopper early — or why you subscribe to Insider Access for real-time access to my picks.

The pace should depress scoring to a meaningful degree. Notre Dame ranked 114th in seconds per play (28.2) and 16th in average time of possession (32:11) last season. Likewise, Navy ranked 128th (29.9) and third (34:50) in those metrics. Although the Midshipmen made a coaching change, it wasn’t a big one — they promoted defensive coordinator Brian Newberry to the head coach spot and brought in Grant Chesnut from Kennesaw State, who runs a similarly slow, run-heavy option-based offense, to be their offensive coordinator.

When these teams played last November, Notre Dame was a 16.5-point favorite and the game had a closing total of just 40.5. Notre Dame won that game but barely, taking down Navy 35-32 for a final total of 67 points. Now, Notre Dame is a 20.5-point favorite and the game owns a total of 49.5. This raises the question of whether last year’s performance and the additions of Hartman and Chesnut are worth adding nine points to the total. A look at last year’s game reveals that several big plays, including two turnovers in a team’s own territory, were responsible for touchdowns. Scoring drives also took an abnormally low amount of time for both teams, especially early.

Although both Navy and Notre Dame should look more efficient on offense this year, the total opened far too high, and it’s trading at a decent enough number now to warrant a wager on the under. The Irish scored 31.8 points per game last year, slightly worse than their implied total (34.8), and primarily against much faster teams. Navy scored 23.3 points per game last year, better than their implied total (14.8), but they also primarily played against much faster teams. The Midshipmen averaged only 17.3 points per game across teams that ranked bottom-20 in pace, of which they played three.

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Navy-Notre Dame Week 0 Pick: Under 49.5 -115 at FanDuel

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Isaiah Sirois

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Isaiah Sirois

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