The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 6-point road favorites over the Virginia Cavaliers for this week’s matchup. Star Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong is a game-time decision with a rib injury.

  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish sit as 6-point road favorites over the Virginia Cavaliers for this Saturday’s matchup, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. EST.
  • Virginia’s offense has run largely through star quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who is a game-time decision as a result of a rib injury he suffered last week.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – One of the headlines of this week’s college football slate features the hosting -11-13-2021 taking on the -11-13-2021, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

Notre Dame opened as 4.5-point road favorites, though betting action has since moved the spread to 6 points on legal sports betting sites.

Virginia Cavaliers Vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Odds

  • Virginia +6 (-110)
  • Notre Dame -6 (-110)
  • Virginia +185
  • Notre Dame -225
  • Over 64 (-110)
  • Under 64 (-110)

The Fighting Irish currently sit at #9 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, and their hopes of making the playoffs are definitely still alive. They sit at an 8-1 outright record, and a 6-3 record against the spread.

The Irish are riding a four-game winning streak, consisting of wins over Virginia Tech, USC, North Carolina, and (most recently) Navy. They have won by an average margin of 14 points over that stretch.

In last week’s matchup against Navy, the Irish offense started slowly, being shut out in the first quarter; however, they still managed to put up 34 points in three quarters. Quarterback Jack Coan was efficient, completing 23 of his 29 passes with one touchdown. Coan was dependable, but the offense got its spark from running back Kyren Williams. Williams racked up 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and added seven receptions for 36 yards.

While Coan has not been incredibly impressive from a passing yardage standpoint (he has been held under 200 passing yards three times this season), he has done an elite job of protecting the ball, throwing just one interception in 2021. This is exactly what coach Brian Kelly needs from his signal-caller with an elite defensive unit that has allowed just 22.4 points per game to opponents in 2021.

This will be just the third road game for the Fighting Irish this season. The Irish took down Virginia Tech and Florida State in their other two road trips, both by a margin of three points.

Virginia has covered the spread in eight of their last nine home games.

Virginia has had a successful season so far by their standards, holding a 6-3 record both outright and against the spread. Last week, the Cavaliers lost a 66-49 slugfest to BYU as 2.5-point underdogs. Heading into that game, Virginia had won four straight, including wins over Miami (FL) and Louisville.

The Power Of UVA Offense

Virginia’s success has been primarily on the backs of the offense, who rank first in the nation in offensive yards per game at a whopping 545.2. Virginia has scored 30 or more points in all but one of their 2021 games.

While Virginia’s offense has been spectacular, it has run primarily through quarterback Brennan Armstrong. Armstrong has had an unbelievable year so far, accumulating 3,557 passing yards and 27 touchdowns through the air.

On top of that, he has also been the Cavaliers’ leading rusher, tallying 81 carries for 271 yards and seven touchdowns. Unfortunately for Virginia, Armstrong suffered a rib injury last week, and is questionable coming into the game.

He is considered a game-time decision. If that wasn’t enough bad news, Virginia’s top running back, Wayne Taulapapa, is also listed as questionable on the injury report with an undisclosed injury.

Without Armstrong, the offense will struggle to move the ball against a solid Notre Dame defense, and if neither Armstrong nor Taulapapa can play, the offense will be a shell of its former self. Keep an eye out for news reports on Armstrong especially. If he can go, this is a winnable game for Virginia, though still an uphill battle.

If not, it will be difficult for Virginia to stay within striking distance.

Even if Armstrong does play, he will undoubtedly be limited as rib injuries are typically very painful and at high risk for re-injury. This is even more bad news for the dual-threat quarterback and Virginia bettors.

Though Virginia’s offensive production holds a good deal of importance in the matchup, their defense may be the deciding factor: when Virginia allows opponents to score 35 or more points, they are 1-3. When they hold opponents below that number, they are 5-0.

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