Navy Midshipmen @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 8/26/23 Free Pick, NCAAF Odds, NCAAF Predictions

Navy Midshipmen (0-0) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, August 26th, 2023 at  2:30 p.m. EST (Dublin, Ireland)

Betting Odds: Notre Dame -20.5 (-110) - Over/Under (49)

Pick: Notre Dame -20.5 (-110)

Saturday brings us the first weekend of college football of the season and after a long way it is time to get back to some hard hitting NCAA football action. One of the marquee opening games of the season is an old rivalry renewed as the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Naval Academy travel across the pond to Dublin Ireland to open up the season. This is one of the most historic and one of the most underrated rivalries in all of college football so this one should be a solid game to open up the season for both of these programs.

Navy did not have much to be excited about last season as they had one of the worst seasons in program history, and they were nowhere close to being competitive. They will be looking to bounce back this year and open up the season on a positive note with an upset of Notre Dame, who is currently ranked in the top 25 heading into the year. They have a first year head coach for the first time in a long time as Brian Newberry takes over as the leading man for this Naval Academy football program. Prior to being named the head coach after last season he served as the teams defensive coordinator so he is very familiar with the in and out of this program and they believe he was the right man to leave this team back to being a solid and competitive football team.

The Naval Academy is always a tough team to play against, and it seems as if they are going to get even tougher to play against as their new offensive coordinator has promised to throw some wrinkles into their traditional triple option offense. For any of you are unfamiliar with the triple option off and that is a very hard office to defend because Tim did not get much time to practice for it because of how rare it has become in college football. This is also a rivalry game with Notre Dame, which makes this game that much more important for Navy, and while Notre Dame has dominated the series against Navy, the Academy has shown they are very capable of upsetting Notre Dame. 

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Notre Dame comes into the season with high hopes of returning to the college football playoffs and Navy stands in their way across the pond to open up the year. As previously mentioned a couple of times, these two teams are very familiar with each other as this is a rivalry that dates back to the end of World War II. The reason this yearly rivalry game started is because when Notre Dame was on the brink of financial failure. The Naval Academy sent officers there to train, virtually saving the University and in return, Notre Dame promised to play Navy in football every single season. This is a deal that has worked out great for Notre Dame as they tend to get a quality opponent and sometimes what feels like a free victory on their schedule. However, they have been prone to getting upset by the Navy in the past so they always have to bring their “A” game against the Naval Academy.

However, this Fighting Irish team comes into this game, ranked inside the top 15 in the initial college football Associated Press rankings. They have one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football after pulling Sam Hartman away from Wake Forest as a graduate transfer and they have a powerful running game that can beat anyone on their schedule. The Notre Dame team that is led by Marcus Freeman feels like a world's difference between the Notre Dame teams that were led by Brian Kelly. I expect that to be on display in the opening game of the 2023-24 college football season as I look for Notre Dame to cruise in the opening game of the season against the Naval Academy.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Notre Dame is 79-13-1 against Navy 

- Notre Dame has won 5 in a row against Navy

- Notre Dame has won 10/11 against Navy

As mentioned earlier in the article, I have Notre Dame picking up the victory in the opening game of this season, as they look to grab yet another victory over there, longstanding rivals. Not only do I expect Notre Dame to grab a comfortable victory to open up the season. I also expect Notre Dame to cover the spread against Navy here in this game.

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