The #9 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-1) host the USC Trojans (3-2) this weekend for a primetime showdown in South Bend. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST on Saturday, October 12th at Notre Dame Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on NBC.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a 11.0-point home favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by half a point after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -11.5. The total for the game is sitting at 60.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Notre Dame vs USC
USC dropped to 3-2 on the season overall their last time out, falling 28-14 on the road against Washington. The Trojans gave up 14 unanswered points in the first quarter and never recovered, scoring just two touchdowns over the final 45 minutes of the game. QB Matt Fink really struggled, going just 19/32 for 132 yards and a touchdown while also throwing three interceptions. RB Stephen Carr led the way on the ground, rushing for 94 yards on only seven carries. Michael Pittman Jr. was the only member of the receiving corps to find the end zone, hauling in four passes for 64 yards and a score. As a whole, USC gained just over 350 total yards of offense and scored two touchdowns in the double-digit loss.
The Trojans defense didn’t have a great outing against the Huskies, surrendering almost 400 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. USC really got exposed on the ground, as Washington racked up 194 rushing yards and three scores on the evening.
Notre Dame moved to 4-1 on the year last weekend, crushing Bowling Green 52-0 at home. The Fighting Irish scored three touchdowns in the first quarter before adding another 14 unanswered points before the half to put the game out of reach early. QB Ian Book went 16/20 for 261 yards and five touchdowns through the air, including two end zone strikes to Chase Claypool. RB Tony Jones Jr. also had a big outing, rushing for a team-high 102 rushing yards on only seven carries. Overall, Notre Dame generated just under 600 total yards of offense and scored seven touchdowns against a shell-shocked Falcons defense.
The Fighting Irish were outstanding defensively in Week 6, shutting out Bowling Green completely on the scoreboard and giving up well under 250 total yards of offense. Notre Dame was especially tough against the pass, holding the Falcons to only 110 yards through the air while also recording an interception.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Notre Dame -11.5
This is clearly one of the premiere matchups on the schedule here in Week 7, as both of these teams attract a ton of attention whenever they meet during the regular season. I think that Notre Dame currently offers the most value in this particular spot, as they could easily be a perfect 5-0 if they had found a way to get past #3 overall Georgia back in Week 4. USC has been pretty inconsistent season so far this season, as they’ve had plenty of injury trouble at the quarterback position after losing JT Daniels at the beginning of the year. Backup Kedon Slovis performed well before getting sidelined due to a concussion suffered against Utah, although it does appear that he will be back under center just in time for this crucial game against the #9 overall team in the entire country on Saturday.
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The Fighting Irish have been very impressive against the spread to start the year, going 4-1 ATS in five games. USC hasn’t fared nearly as well, going just 2-3 ATS over that same time span and only 6-14 against the spread in their last 20 games overall. The Trojans are also a brutal 1-4 ATS over their last four road games and 1-4 against the spread in their last five trips to Notre Dame Stadium. On the other side, Notre Dame is a perfect 5-0 against the spread over their last five home games. Ultimately, I think the Fighting Irish are clearly the far superior team on both sides of the ball. I’m more than comfortable laying the 11.5 points in this matchup, as I think the home team should win outright with relative ease even with Slovis back at quarterback for USC. I’ll roll with the double-digit favorites on Saturday night – give me Notre Dame to cover!