Citrus Bowl Prediction: LSU vs. Notre Dame

Last Updated: 2018-01-01

citrus bowl free pickMonday’s third game of the day sticks with the fruit reference, as LSU and Notre Dame do battle in the Citrus Bowl, where the Tigers are favored by 3.5 in a slight reverse line movement and the total is up to 51.5. LSU opened as 2.5-point favorites and the Irish have gotten the slightest of majorities (52%) in the wagers, so a little surprising the game not only hit the key number of 3, but moved across to 3.5, which indicates some large wagers on the Tigers.

The stats are a bit strange in this one, as Notre Dame gets a decent edge in scoring margin and a strength of schedule advantage, yet was blown out in two of their last three games. Both teams like to run the ball nearly twice as often as they throw, which means this one will likely be won and lost in the trenches.

Notre Dame will be missing a couple of offensive players, with third-leading rusher Deon McIntosh has been suspended, along with tight end Alize Mack, who had 19 catches and Kevin Stepherson, who was the team’s biggest deep threat, as five of his 19 receptions went for touchdowns and he averaged 18.9 yards per reception. But Notre Dame has to be able to run the ball if they want to stay in this game and Notre Dame averaged an impressive 6.4 yards per carry against teams who allowed just 4.2 yards. The Irish had eight turnovers in their last three games, so it’s no surprise they failed to cover all three and lost twice, even though they were favored in all three.

Notre Dame was a bit better than average defensively, allowing 4.0 yards to teams who averaged 4.8 and was above average against the pass. Notre Dame did hold teams to 7.6 fewer points than they averaged.

LSU averaged 28.1 points against teams who allowed 27.3 points, so they’re pretty much an average offensive team and the Tigers gained 4.9 yards per carry against teams who allowed 4.3.

On defense LSU allowed 8.6 fewer points per game than foes averaged and held teams to 3.8 yards per carry, which was .6 yards fewer than they averaged.

We have two decent running teams against good, but not necessarily great rushing defenses, so have to think we’ll see quite a few rushing attempts in this one, so I’ll go ahead and go against the move and take this one to go under the total.

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