Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Notre Dame is 2-0 since changing quarterbacks, putting up great offensive numbers. Virginia Tech is 1-0 since being forced to change quarterbacks. Who’s the better bet for Saturday night’s clash between the Fighting Irish and the Hokies in Blacksburg?
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 5.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.6-28.8 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game).
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
The Irish reached 5-0 on the season with a convincing 38-17 victory over a ranked Stanford last week. Notre Dame drove its second possession of the game 85 yards to a touchdown and its third possession 77 yards to another touchdown, later led 24-17 through three quarters, then pulled away with a pair of fourth-quarter scores and covered as a five-point favorite.
On the night, the Irish outgained the Cardinal 550-229, out-rushed Stanford 272-55, made 29 first downs to just 10 for the Cardinal and won time of possession by a 34/26 split.
Notre Dame is now 2-0 both SU and ATS since inserting junior Ian Book at quarterback. Two weeks ago, Book helped the Irish rack up 566 yards of offense in a 56-27 win over Wake Forest.
Why the Virginia Tech Hokies can cover the spread
The Hokies bounced back from that shocking defeat to Old Dominion two weeks ago to beat a ranked Duke team in Durham last week 31-14. Virginia Tech trailed the Blue Devils after one quarter 7-3 then used a 14-0 spurt to take a 17-7 lead into halftime. The Hokies then scored the first touchdown out of the locker room and held on from there for the outright victory as five-point underdogs.
On the evening Virginia Tech out-gained Duke 413-327, as back-up quarterback Ryan Willis, playing in place of injured starter Josh Jackson, hit on 17 of 27 throws for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Hokies defense, following a disastrous effort in the loss to the Monarchs, held the Blue Devils to just four conversions out of 16 third-down situations.
Virginia Tech is already 2-0 SU and ATS against ranked teams this season, twice winning outright as an underdog on the betting line. The Hokies opened with a 24-3 victory over what was then a ranked Florida State team.
Smart betting pick
Notre Dame is rolling right now, especially on offense with its new quarterback. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is a team that gave up 632 yards and 49 points in a loss to what is now a 1-4 Old Dominion outfit. The smart money here gives the points with the Irish.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in 10 of Virginia Tech’s last 14 games.
Notre Dame is 6-0 SU in its last six games.
Notre Dame is 18-6 SU and 22-2 ATS in its last 24 games on the road in October.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.