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Notre Dame vs. Navy picks, best bets for Week 0 Dublin matchup

The Fighting Irish and Midshipmen meet in Dublin to kick off 2023 college football. Notre Dame is a three-TD favorite.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Notre Dame vs Navy Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Navy Midshipmen to kick off the 2023 college football season at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The game will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC on Saturday, August 26.

The Irish enter their second year under head coach Marcus Freeman, who started things off shakily in 2022 before turning the season around and ending on a high note. The Irish grabbed former Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman in the transfer portal to lead their offense, and have a potential 2024 first rounder in OT Joe Alt.

Navy parted ways with former head coach Ken Niumatalolo after 15 years at the end of last season. The Midshipmen struggled in 2022, going 4-8. They bring back a veteran secondary and will start either Blake Horvath or Tai Lavatai at QB in Ireland. Last year, the Irish eked one out over Navy, winning 35-32.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Navy: 102 overall, 116 offense, 82 defense
Notre Dame: 11 overall, 26 offense, 13 defense

Injury update

Navy

WR Nathan Kent - Out (knee)

Notre Dame

C Zeke Correll - Questionable (ankle)
TE Kevin Bauman - Out for season (ACL)

ATS/Total

Against The Spread in 2022

Navy: 7-5 ATS
ND: 7-6 ATS

Total in 2022

Navy: Over 7-5
ND: Over 8-5

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Notre Dame -20.5
Total: 49
Moneyline: Notre Dame -1450, Navy +850

Weather

63° High, 52° Low, Showers, 81% chance of precipitation, 14 MPH winds

The Pick

Navy +20.5

Three touchdowns is a big spread for a team that started the 2022 season off with two straight losses. While I don’t want to peg Freeman’s teams as slow starters after just a single year, I’m hesitant to bet on a blowout as the Irish try to figure things out on the field with a new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator (former tight ends coach Gerad Parker took over after the departure of Tommy Rees).

The Irish defense looked solid last year — particularly cornerback Benjamin Morrison — but I’m hedging on this one. Even during Navy’s disastrous season last year, they kept it close with the Irish.