Marshall vs Notre Dame Odds, Picks, Predictions (9/10/22)

The Fighting Irish look to bounce back after a disappointing showing in Week 1. The Marcus Freeman era in South Bend started with a lackluster offensive effort and a double-digit loss to Ohio State.

Marshall enters with a second-year head coach and 11 returning starters following a half-decent 2021. They also just tore Norfolk State to shreds.

But does that mean Marshall has what it takes to keep up with Notre Dame?

Let’s break it down. Read on for our Marshall Thundering Herd vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish odds, picks, and predictions.

Marshall Thundering Herd vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds

Notre Dame opened as 19-point favorites but was quickly bet close to three touchdowns. It looks like the line will settle at 20.5. I imagine the public is looking for a big bounce-back performance from a clearly still-talented Fighting Irish team.

Notre Dame is a very public team, so they sometimes are overvalued in the market. Something to keep an eye on.

The under has taken some money, moving from 51.5 down to 50. I likely project some value on the under here, so the line movement seems legitimate.

Marshall Thundering Herd vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Prediction & Pick

We learned a lot about Notre Dame in Week 1.

First, the defense will be good. Eight starters returned from last season’s squad and they lost just one of their top eight tacklers. Freeman is a defensive-minded head coach and was the defensive coordinator here last season, so the continuity is all there.

I’m not sure if the Week 1 game was a result of bad playcalling from Ryan Day or the work of that Freeman-led defense. But Notre Dame overwhelmed CJ Stroud, holding the Heisman favorite to just 223 yards on 6.6 yards per attempt. They only recorded one sack, but Stroud was hurried often.

This image tells you everything about the outlook of this Notre Dame team:

Screen Shot 2022 09 09 at 2.02.29 PM

Image Credit: College Football Data

Ohio State is going to be solid defensively, but their team is built to blow out others through the air. Jaxson Smith-Njigba getting banged up was a problem, but there is too much talent on this Buckeye team to allow this to happen.

Freeman forced this to happen.

On the opposite side, the Notre Dame offense looks like an issue. Taylor Buchner completed just half his passes. The Irish had just 76 rush yards and finished with a 41% Success Rate on Standard Downs. They managed just three drives past midfield.

But how do the Irish match up with the Thundering Herd?

Marshall should be a formidable team in the Sun Belt. The Herd return four offensive linemen, leading back Rasheen Ali (1455 rush yards, 23 TDs in 2021) six defensive starters including the two top tacklers, and bolstered that defense with six transfers.

It’s hard to glean anything from Marshall’s opening game, but I think Marshall is a dark horse to win that conference. And the Sun Belt looked good as a conference in Week 1! Old Dominion upset Virginia Tech, James Madison blew out Middle Tennessee State, and App State scored 61 points against North Carolina.

There are issues with the Notre Dame offense. This game could become a rock fight, and that gives the advantage to a three-touchdown underdog.

Although I project this game right at ND -20.5, I’m taking Marshall given the game script. It helps that the Thundering Herd have covered six straight road openers.

Marshall Thundering Herd vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Key Matchups

Key Matchup No. 1: Tommy Rees vs Lance Guidry

Tommy Rees is now the third-year offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. He no longer has Ian Book, Jack Coan, or Brian Kelly around. And the offense looked rather pathetic against Ohio State.

The Fighting Irish need a bounce-back offensive performance, badly.

The new Marshall defensive coordinator is Lance Guidry, who is trying to significantly upgrade a Marshall defensive unit to make the Thundering Herd a Sun Belt contender. They are working with a mixed bag of players, and Guidry has the task of putting it all together.

One of these assistants is going to shine on Saturday, and that could decide the spread, total, and future of both programs.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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