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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Miami Hurricanes Point Spread - Pick

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. Miami Hurricanes (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
TV: ABC

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ND -3/MIA +3
Over/Under Total: 57

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish come into Hard Rock Stadium for a week 11 matchup of high-stakes against the Miami Hurricanes. The winner of this game still has a chance at making the CFP, while the loser can pretty much kiss those dreams goodbye. Notre Dame took their record to 8-1 on Saturday with a 48-37 win over Wake Forest, their 7th win in a row. They have a chance to score a really big win this week against a home Miami squad that was impressive last week. After building an unbeaten record with some weak teams on their record, many fancied the chances of Virginia Tech last week against the 'Canes. Miami never let the Hokies in the game, scoring an impressive 28-10 win. Nice and dug-in at home, they now look forward to scoring a signature win against the incoming Irish.

The final score of the Wake game was not impressive perhaps, but Notre Dame was pretty much in control throughout. Two late WF touchdowns made it look a little closer than it really was, though Wake was dogged and covered the spread. Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush hurt his non-throwing hand, but was gutty in throwing for a career-high 280 yards, while running for 110 with three touchdowns. Top back Josh Adams was tired and missed the second half of the game. So they weren't at their best and didn't press the issue with their opponent being Wake Forest. A better showing will be required this week. That also applies to a defense that didn't show their best form on Saturday. Still, they've done a lot better than some though they would this season, with a one-point loss to the top team in the nation the only thing separating them from a perfect record.

The Irish offense showed its depth on Saturday, especially in the running-game, with Adams not feeling well enough to put forth yet another standout performance. And Wimbush showing a better aptitude in hitting receivers wouldn't hurt moving forward, as the ND offense has relied a ton on the ground-game. Sophomore receiver Chase Claypool showcased his wares with 180 yards receiving and a touchdown. And with Adams out, backs Deon McIntosh, Ian Book, Tony Jones, Jr. and Kevin Stepherson stepped up with some nice running. This offense has averaged over 41 points a game thus far on the season.

The whole Notre Dame team lacked a bit of overall urgency on Saturday, with two late scores making it look closer than it really was. Still, Wake Forest was awfully-successful on Saturday with 587 total yards. This defense was allowing an average of over 200 yards under that mark, so Saturday was a letdown. Cornerback Julian Love had an interception and has been especially disruptive in recent games. They've been pretty adept at securing turnovers, while being good against the run. We'll see how an iffy secondary does against this group and if they can continue to make big plays to make up for their lack of stoutness.

Again, Virginia Tech looked like a tough out for the Hurricanes on Saturday, but Miami never really let them establish foothold in the game, scoring a conclusive 28-10 win. It was their first real high-quality win of the season, but a win over Notre Dame would really bring a ring of truth to their record and put them in line for some real big things this season. This is as high-stakes as it gets for both teams. In Mark Richt's second season at the helm, the Hurricanes have a chance to return to the national stage for the first time in a long time.

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The Miami offense did a lot of things right against Virginia Tech. QB Malik Rosier was excellent, making big plays with his arm and legs to help secure the win. He hit Braxton Berrios and Christopher Herndon, IV. with TD passes, while also connecting well with Ahmmon Richards. Coming out of the backfield, Travis Homer was big with 95 yards, including a big 64-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. This offense averages just over 31 points a game, relying on solid offensive management with occasional big plays, along with a stout defense that can really tip things in their favor.

The Miami defense has been pretty tough this season. This game will be a much bigger test, as this defense will be tested to a greater extent. They can make some big things happen, with a hearty pass-rush and the knack to secure turnovers, as they have 20 on the season. On Saturday, they had some of the same big plays that have kept the defense on-point this season. Both Sheldrick Redwine and Jaquan Johnson had picks, with nice returns to go along with it. RJ McIntosh and Jonathan Garvin both recovered fumbles. Garvin also had a sack, as did Kendrick Norton, Amari Carter, and Joe Jackson up-front, who was very disruptive on the night. This is a defense that plays as a cohesive unit.

Each team will be approaching this game with utmost urgency. For the team that goes on to big things, it all comes down to this game in many ways, with the loser facing what might be too tough of task to get back in this conversation. Miami has this certain level of competence on both sides of the ball that might not shine very brightly, but is very effective. The win last week gives them a new air of legitimacy and they will be tough to unseat at home. Notre Dame might be more-tested overall, but that might not mean all that much once these teams hit the field on Saturday. I see Miami giving the Fighting Irish all they can handle.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Miami Hurricanes plus 3 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Notre Dame vs. Miami game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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