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Submitted by Wayne Allyn Root on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 3:02 PM

As a bettor who's spent most of his career successfully fading Notre Dame because they're usually overhyped and overpriced, I have to admit that the Irish are convincing me that they just might be a sleeper in the National Championship picture.

Given their current #5 ranking in the AP poll, it's going to be very hard to keep the Irish out of the Final Four if they win their remaining games. With a 7-1 record already banked, up next are...

Saturday: vs. Wake Forest
November 11: at Miami
November 18: vs. Navy
November 25: at Stanford

That manages to be both beatable, but good enough to maintain the strength of schedule resume moving forward because the two road games are against opponents who are both currently ranked in the Top 25.

Should we just assume Notre Dame will win at Miami? Of course not! No sure things in this sport. But, Virginia Tech opened at short favorite at Miami for this coming weekend. Notre Dame has is Power-Rated more highly than the Hokies at the moment. And, given Stanford's poor showing at Oregon State this past Friday...that's clearly a one-dimensional team that's going to have trouble against quality opposition. Even inconsistent USC beat them by 17 points, and Notre Dame crushed USC.

Was the one loss a game-breaker for getting into the Dance? Hardly. Notre Dame's only loss was in a nailbiter to Georgia. That only looks better now, with the Bulldogs sitting at #2 in the nation behind Alabama If Notre Dame finishes 11-1 with the only loss coming against Georgia...it's going to be VERY tough to keep them out of the Final Four. The SEC winner is in. The Big 10 winner is in barring some shockers. Neither the Pac 12 winner nor the Big 12 winner is well-positioned to chase down ND from behind even if any win out. A potential headache does await if Georgia and Notre Dame are fighting for the final spot in the decision-process. Georgia's win could be seen as the tie-breaker.

Notre Dame's Key Stat Rankings
Strength of Schedule: #12 according to USA Today
Offensive Yards-per-Play: #25
Yards-per-Rush: #3
Defensive Yards-per-Play: #21

That's battle-tested balance, rather than a team that relies too much on one element or the other. That's quality on both sides of the ball rather than just an offense-heavy run-and-gun team that hopes to win shootouts with a lucky break at the end. It's also a team that gets better with each passing week rather than one that peaked in September. The young talent on this roster may continue to improve...making them a more serious title threat in a couple of months than they are right now.

Should you invest now on the Irish at futures prices to win the National Championship? I'm not ready to go that far. Alabama is above the field by a good bit right now. I wouldn't take Brian Kelly vs. Nick Saban given a lot of preparation time. Plus, that ship has sailed because the price on the Irish has come down so far already. If you were a believer, the time to jump in was before the USC win, not after the NC State win.

Here's my thought process at the moment. I'm NOT thinking about betting ND this week as a big home favorite in a letdown/lookahead spot. I'll DEFINITELY be thinking about them at a cheap price against Miami...a team that's been way overpriced three weeks in a row...and it would have been four in a row if Florida State had any composure. Navy is going to be a dangerous dog against Notre Dame in another sandwich spot. That might be the game that derails this locomotive. I'll have to wait to see Stanford's health and learn from another few weeks of football before deciding on the season finale.

If Notre Dame is still a one-loss team heading into Stanford...THAT'S going to serve as a conference championship game in terms of impressing the selection process. Other contenders from other conferences will have a chance for that one last win over a big-name opponent. The Irish better plan on winning impressively in Palo Alto.

Come the Final Four, we may see that Notre Dame offers value as an underdog vs. somebody like Alabama, Georgia, or Ohio State in a way that will help us collect the cash even if we didn't jump on futures prices at the right time. If the Irish are upset in their final month...I'll definitely be looking at them in their bowl game.

Some huge games on tap this week. They used to call it BCS CHAOS, and WAYNE ALLYN ROOT was making headlines every year with shocking upset calls. What they call the championship chase has changed...but THE KING OF LAS VEGAS is still picking stunners. Who will this week's surprising winners be? You have to be a paying customer to find out!

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The month of November is about to begin. It's a month historically full of upsets that play right into my strengths as a handicapper and sports bettor. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!