Notre Dame-Stanford betting lines and primer: Total plummets, tax increases on Irish ahead of tilt in Palo Alto

Notre Dame vs. Stanford, 2018 (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Notre Dame vs. Stanford, 2018 (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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After opening 53, the total has been bet down to 47.5 ahead of No. 16 Notre Dame’s visit to Stanford on the final Saturday of college football’s regular season (4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT, FOX).

The Fighting Irish (9-2 straight up, 7-4 against the spread) are 16.5-point road favorites against the Cardinal. Circa Sports in Las Vegas opened the game Notre Dame -14.5, but early trading increased the point spread tax on the Irish, who are laying double digits for the first time since 2006 in the annual fight for the Legends Trophy. Per BetIndiana News’ Eric Dewberry, they won but failed to cover the number in a 31-10 win as 29.5-point chalk 13 years ago. The program has failed to cover the spread in its last three laying 10 or more points to Stanford.

The Irish are trying to win in Palo Alto for the first time since 2007. Stanford (4-7 SU, 3-8 ATS) has won five straight at home in this series, and although the Irish are 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings, the Cardinal have been victorious in seven out of the last 10.

MORE: Big Ten Saturday betting preview

Entering 2019, Stanford had won at least eight contests and gone to a bowl game for 10 consecutive years. But this has been a lost season in Palo Alto.

After opening its campaign with a 17-7 victory over Northwestern – a win that looks less impressive now after the Wildcats’ disappointing year – the Cardinal has gone 2-8 ATS in their next 10 games. A team that has long been a model of consistency under coach David Shaw has been victimized by injuries and a loss of identity. Stanford had four returning first- or second-team all-Pac 12 players entering the season in QB K.J. Costello, CB Paulson Adebo, LT Walker Little and K Jet Toner, but none of the four will feature in Saturday’s game.

The betting market soured on Notre Dame after an 0-3 midseason run against the spread, including a 45-14 blowout loss at Michigan and narrow non-covering victories over USC and Virginia Tech. But the Irish have rebounded in their last three games, destroying Duke, Navy and Boston College by a combined score of 130-34.

They have fared poorly against the number when facing West Coast teams, but the Irish bring plenty of momentum into Saturday’s encounter. While Notre Dame is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven contests against Pac-12 opponents, it is on a 7-3 ATS run heading into Saturday’s battle. A strong finish ensures another 10-win season for coach Brian Kelly.

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UNDER bettors have cashed in six of the past nine meetings between these programs. The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Notre Dame’s last 14 games, but the OVER has prevailed in four of Stanford’s last five.

CG Technology offered the Irish as 3-point favorites in Games of the Year lines back in May.

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