Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame Odds: Bearcats Open Laying 2.5-points to Fighting Irish
Well-rested and refreshed following a bye week, No.8 Cincinnati faces its biggest test of the season against No.12 Notre Dame, who is coming off a hard-fought win over No.18 Wisconsin last weekend. The Fighting Irish lost starting quarterback Jack Coan in the third quarter against the Badgers, but they rallied to victory with a monster 31-point fourth quarter.
As a result of the question marks surrounding the quarterback position though, the line opened with the Bearcats favored on the road. Cincinnati is laying 2.5 points to Notre Dame, and the public is lapping the odds for their college football picks.
This isn’t the first time books take a stand against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish weren’t given their due in Week 4 either. Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin odds were cornered firmly with the Badgers, despite Notre Dame entering the game ranked better and sporting an undefeated record. Wisconsin had dropped its first game to Penn State and took a 2-1 record into Saturday’s clash on neutral ground.
Tale told the Fighting Irish absolutely decimated the Badgers in a 41-13 win, pulling off the outright upset as the 6-point underdogs.
The current Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame odds aren’t skewed quite so significantly against the Fighting Irish this time around, but they are stacked against them for a second straight week.
Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Time: 2:30 PM ET
Location: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
Cincinnati Bearcats Record: 3-0, 0-0 ACC
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Record: 4-0, 0-0 Ind. I-A
Cincinnati Bearcats Preview
Cincinnati takes a 3-0 record into Saturday’s much-anticipated showdown with Notre Dame. The Bearcats kicked off 2021 with a statement win over Miami, beating the Redhawks 49-14. They extended their rich vein of form with wins over Murray St (42-7) and Indiana (38-24) before taking a bye in Week 4.
The Bearcats have had a light schedule and faced little resistance. The offense is the ninth-highest scoring offense with an average of 43 points per game, but those numbers come at the expense of modest opponents. The defense ranks 13th in points allowed (15 points), but – once again – those numbers come at the expense of modest opponents. It’s difficult to tell how good Cincy is right now, or if they’re merely as good as their opponents were bad.
It’s been a light schedule for head coach Luke Fickell and the Bearcats. Fickell has enjoyed commendable success over the past three seasons in Cincy (31-6 and two bowl victories), and the Bearcats are regarded highly as a result.
Cincy’s Week 5 contest with Notre Dame, therefore, should be illuminating. It’s one of the biggest games of the week and one of the biggest the Bearcats face this season, with far-reaching playoff implications.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview
Notre Dame started the season slowly, winning its first two games by the skin of the teeth. They beat Florida State 41-38 in overtime, followed by a narrow 32-29 win over Toledo. In the third week, Notre Dame dispensed with Purdue 27-13 before crushing Wisconsin on Saturday.
The 41-13 win over Wisconsin was stunning, made all the more so for the veritable scoring frenzy in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 10:10 at the end of the third quarter, and quarterback Jack Coan had left with an apparent leg injury. When, all of a sudden, the floodgates opened in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Irish outscored the Badgers 31:3, thanks to a 97-yard kickoff return, a 16-yard pass from backup Drew Pyne to Kevin Austin Jr., and two interception returns.
After the game, head coach Brian Kelly described Coan’s injury as soft tissue damage and added he should be available for Notre Dame’s next game. If Coan starts is up in the air. Pyne played well in relief of Coan, going 6 of 8 for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame Odds
|Notre Dame||+1.5||+117||U 51|
Books aren’t writing off the Fighting Irish entirely. As of Sunday, Notre Dame is catching less than a touchdown in point spread betting and they’re just shy of even money to win straight up. The total is tipped at 51 points.Notre Dame is undefeated and has home advantage for this important game, but question marks at the quarterback position are costing them in the betting.
Whether the odds and lines continue moving against the Fighting Irish will depend on any updates. Most notably, the status of Coan, to be released later in the week, will be deciding. Should Coan he be ruled out for Saturday, it’s likely the line will move significantly against Notre Dame.
Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame Betting Preview
Notre Dame was underestimated against Wisconsin, but the Fighting Irish brought the fight to the Badgers and rallied admirably in the fourth quarter. Big plays, explosive offense, turnovers helped Notre Dame to victory, but so too did the never-say-die attitude they showed.
Notre Dame’s wins haven’t been pretty and they haven’t blown opponents out of the water, but they keep getting the job done. They’re undefeated and remain inside the Top 25, despite their most ardent critics. So, nothing less than Notre Dame bringing the fight again on Saturday should be expected.
NCAAF Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +2.5 (-110)