USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Odds, Picks and Preview

Line moves favor Fighting Irish and over for 92nd meeting between longtime rivals.
Henry John |
Wed, October 20, 1:33 PM EDT | 4 min read
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USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Odds, Picks and Preview

Longtime rivals are set to clash in primetime as part of the Week 8 college football betting slate. While it has been a topsy-turvey 2021 season for the USC Trojans thus far, a win over the bitter rival Notre Dame Fighting Irish will undoubtedly help ease the turmoil. Both teams should be well-rested for this marquee matchup given that each is coming off of a bye week to rest and prepare. The USC vs Notre Dame betting odds have installed the home team as a touchdown favorite.

Northwestern vs. Michigan Week 8 College Football Betting Odds, Picks, and Preview

USC Trojans (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021

Start Time: 7:30 PM EST

Location: Notre Dame Stadium — Notre Dame, IN

TV Coverage: NBC

USC vs. Notre Dame odds

USC Trojans Preview

Perhaps the fact that this USC vs Notre Dame showdown takes place in South Bend will prove to be a good thing for the Trojans. After all, they have won their previous two road games this season by a combined score of 82-28. On the contrary, USC has been upset outright three different times playing at home in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The long-awaited firing of Clay Helton came after the first of those embarrassing losses. One could argue that the search for his replacement has garnered far more headlines than the Torjans’ actual on-field performance over the past couple of months.

Prior to last week’s bye, USC’s most recent contest saw them get routed by Utah. The 42-26 final score was actually a lot closer than the game ever was. A 16-point fourth quarter helped the Trojans at least make it look halfway respectable. Quarterback Kedon Slovis threw for 0ver 400 yards, but the majority came in garbage time. Defensively, USC has left a lot to be desired. They enter Saturday’s matchup ranked tenth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing over 27 points per game.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview

After suffering their first loss of the season to Group of Five College Football Playoff hopeful Cincinnati, Notre Dame was able to get back on track ahead of this past week’s bye. The Irish knocked off Virginia Tech on the road in a three-point thriller and enter Saturday’s college football betting rivalry game at 5-1 on the season. The fact that they pulled out that win with their backup quarterback makes it all the more impressive.

Coach Brian Kelly expressed optimism that Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan would be back under center for Saturday’s game after he suffered an ankle injury in the win over VA Tech. The real concern for Notre Dame is whether or not they can keep him there. Perhaps the biggest weakness of this year’s Fighting Irish team is the offensive line. In a rivalry game where dictating the trenches figures to be paramount to success, it will be up to the front line to step up and protect their quarterback.

USC vs. Notre Dame Betting Odds and Line Movement

USC vs. Notre Dame odds

After originally opening Notre Dame as a four-point home favorite, the college football betting odds have shifted to see the Irish now laying a full touchdown. Undoubtedly, the positive update on Jack Coan had something to do with this. The same can likely be said for the total, which has gone up four points after opening at 53.5. Some Las Vegas books have already moved it up to 58, suggesting that the market might not be done betting the over just yet.

USC vs. Notre Dame Betting Picks and Prediction

Neither USC nor Notre Dame has been particularly impressive defensively this season. The Trojans have been one of the worst defenses in the Pac-12 in terms of both yards and points allowed. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have also allowed 23 points per game in their own right. That average is helped out by wins over two offensively challenged Big Ten opponents in Purdue and Wisconsin.

With Jack Coan trending towards starting Saturday’s matchup, bettors should aim to play the total over as soon as possible. Early shifts at some Las Vegas sportsbooks suggest that this line will continue to rise between now and kickoff. Coan and USC’s Kedon Slovis are both talented passers and are surrounded by capable playmakers. Trusting either defense to slow down the opposing team’s offense in this matchup is difficult to do. The most recent contest between the teams saw 57 total points scored as the Irish won by three. Shop around for the best line you can find.

USC vs. Notre Dame Prediction: Over 57.5 (-110)

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