Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+7.5) @ Pittsburgh Panthers Week 11 Pick: This game opened at -6.5 but was up to -7.5 on Tuesday morning when I sent out my Just Picks newsletter, obviously I’m stoked on getting that extra point. Losing by a touchdown still gets me a win, and the way Notre Dame has fought back in games this year, that extra half point might just come in handy. I still think Notre Dame is good value at +7 – they have more of an offensive air attack than anything Pittsburgh has seen this year, and that’s coming from a guy that can’t stand Notre Dame.
Pitt Panther starting QB, Bill Stull, has been absolutely great. Jimmy Clausen has been even better. I love to hate the kid and his “big name” style, but Clausen has been awesome this season. He’s thrown 20 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions, completing 68% of his passes – and you have to admire those 2770 yards through 9 games. Stull might not have as many touchdowns or yards, but he’s been key to the Panthers 8-1 season thus far. He should find plenty of room to make Notre Dame suffer this Saturday.
I think Pitt is the better team, but not by as much as everyone else seems to. Remember, even in losses, the Irish have played close. They’ve lost 0 games by more than a touchdown, and I have to believe there are a couple teams on their schedule that could give Pittsburgh a run. The Panther struggled against UConn and Rutgers a few weeks ago. They lost outright to N.C. State, of all teams, as Russell Wilson destroyed them for 4 passing touchdowns. Jimmy could do that. 7.5 is great value, 7 is solid too – I hope the Irish get embarrassed, but my money’s on a close game.