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How and what to watch for Duke vs. Notre Dame

In its first game as a temporary ACC team, Notre Dame comes in as heavy favorites at home against the Duke Blue Devils.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Camping World Bowl - Notre Dame v Iowa State Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will host the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in their first game as a temporary ACC team. For years, we wondered what it would take to get Notre Dame football into a conference. We finally got that answer, and it’s a global-wide pandemic.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book could be a Heisman Trophy candidate if he and the Fighting Irish are able to pull off a special season in the ACC. He finished off 2019 on a hot streak with 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games. If he plays like that consistently throughout this season, the Fighting Irish will be national title contenders.

For Duke, we finally get to see what quarterback Chase Brice can do. He spent the past three seasons at Clemson before transferring to play for the Blue Devils. Head coach David Cutcliffe named him the starter for Saturday’s game. Cutcliffe will take over play-calling duties this season, and Duke should have a solid defense, which was its strong suit last season.

Duke and Notre Dame played each other in 2019 in Durham, North Carolina with the Fighting Irish winning easily in a 38-7 victory.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET at Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be aired on NBC.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Duke (+19.5) vs. Notre Dame
Point Total: O/U 54.5 (-110)
Money line: Duke (+850), Miami (-1667)

  • Duke finished 5-7 straight up in 2019.
  • The Blue Devils went 4-6-2 against the spread last season.
  • In 2019, Notre Dame finished 11-2 overall with a win in the Camping World Bowl.
  • The Fighting Irish went 9-4 against the spread last season.

The Best Bet

Duke’s offense was in need of a change after last season when it finished 11th in the ACC in scoring. Will Cutcliffe taking over the offense lead to an immediate change? Will Brice provide a spark after being forced to sit behind Trevor Lawrence the past few seasons? Maybe both of those things will happen over the course of the season, but Notre Dame is a significantly better team than Duke, and the offense will take time to develop. Let’s go with the Fighting Irish in a blowout for their first ever ACC game.

Pick: Notre Dame -19.5

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