If you look at bowl history, you might wonder why Notre Dame is such a huge favorite against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. But when you look at 2013 data and factor in strength of schedule, Pinstripe Bowl odds that see the Fighting Irish as 15.5-point chalk sounds about right.
Notre Dame is just 2-9 ATS in its past 11 bowl games while Rutgers is 5-1-1 ATS past seven bowl games. And Rutgers won the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl, so they have some history here in New York.
"If you believe the computer projection, both of these streaks will continue, but we're not sure a 29-23 final for Notre Dame is in the cards," said handicapper Keith Spikes from Online Sports Betting.ca.
Rutgers needed a 31-6 victory over South Florida as a 4-point home favorite in its season finale just to become bowl eligible this season. Playing in the newly formed American Athletic Conference the Scarlet Knights went a disappointing 3-5 straight-up in conference play, and that's even after starting the AAC slate with a win. They were 2-3 ATS on the road with the total staying UNDER three of the five games, according to the Odds Shark preview.
The Scarlet Knights (AAC, 6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS, 5-7 OU) averaged 27.4 points a game but they only scored more than 23 points in one of their final seven games. Quarterback Gary Nova completed 165-of-303 attempts for 2,159 yards and 18 touchdowns while Paul James led the team in rushing with 833 yards on 146 carries. He added nine touchdowns on the ground.
Expectations ran high for the Fighting Irish this season after making it all the way to the BCS title game last year, but a couple of early losses to Michigan and Oklahoma derailed any plans of a repeat performance. The Irish (Independent, 8-4 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 5-7 OU) went on to drop two of their last three contests including a 28-21 loss to Pitt on November 9 as 4-point road favorites. Notre Dame did go 5-2 ATS in its final seven games with the total going OVER in five of its last six outings.
Tommy Rees took almost all the snaps at quarterback for the Irish and threw for 2,938 yards and 27 scores, but he was picked off 13 times while completing just 53.7 percent of his passes. Notre Dame featured a trio of backs in the running game led by Cam McDaniel's 625 yards and its defense held opposing teams to an average of 22.9 points a game.
The Fighting Irish remain 14.5-point favorites as of Dec. 24 at 5Dimes.eu with the total set at 52.5.
Notre Dame has won all three meetings between the two teams both SU and ATS, but the two teams have not played since 2002.