More Sports Sections: NFL Football NBA Basketball College Basketball Baseball NHL Hockey Soccer MMA Boxing Nascar Golf Horse Racing

20 Point Football Teasers!

Handicapping

Other Great Sites

Bet on College Football Games at 5Dimes

USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds - Free Pick

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS) vs. USC Trojans (6-1 SU, 1-6 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Saturday, October 21st, 7:30 PM
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
TV: NBC
By Mike M., NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: USC +4 / ND -4
Over/Under Total: 60.5

The Jeweled Shillelagh will be on the line Saturday in South Bend when rivals USC and Notre Dame meet up for a primetime showdown at Notre Dame Stadium. The teams always play on the third Saturday in October when the Irish are the home team and the Saturday following Thanksgiving when the Trojans host the matchup.

This will be their 87th all time meeting with Notre Dame holding a 44-37-5 advantage, though USC has had the upper hand of late, having won 11 of the last 15 games between the teams including a 5-2 record in the last seven played at Notre Dame. Historically they are the two of the most successful teams in college football history, with the Irish and Trojans ranking in the top four in National Championships, consensus All-Americans, Heisman Trophy winners, NFL Draft picks and 1st round NFL Draft picks.

Both enter the game having only lost one game apiece, with Notre Dame falling to Georgia back on September 9th and USC losing on the road at Washington State two weeks ago. Their records straight up may be similar, but they have had opposite success against the spread, with the Irish having covered in five of their six games and the Trojans posting a paltry mark of 1-6 versus the number.

USC’s lack of point spread success is certainly a bit of a surprise after they dominated the line last season when they covered their last six games in a row with ease to end the regular season. One variable that has clearly played a factor so far this season is injuries, as much like Notre Dame’s last opponent UNC, the Trojans have had to deal with a continuous barrage of hurt players. So far they have had nine players ruled out for the season due to injury, which is in addition to the ten that are questionable to play against the Irish on Saturday. Even with USC’s consistent success in the recruiting department, there is only so much next man up/reloading that any team can do when you run into the injury decimation that they have had to continuously face this season.

Another reason could be the sky high expectations many had for them going into the year, especially with the odds on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Sam Darnold, returning at quarterback. The Trojan sophomore signal caller has a 15-2 career record as a starter, and even in a draft class expected to be on the one strongest in regards to the quarterback position, still stands out as the consensus choice in regards to the expectation of who will be taken first overall. One thing Darnold will certainly need to work on for this week and going forward will be taking care of the ball, as he already has as many interceptions this year (9) as he had all of last season and has thrown at least one interception in 11 of his last 13 games. This will be especially important on Saturday against a Notre Dame defense that ranks 9th in the country in turnover margin and have scored a whopping 73 points off of the fourteen combined fumbles and interceptions they have caused this season.

Darnold is certainly not alone when it comes to skill and ability on the Trojans offense, with running back Ronald Jones already having rushed for 640 yards and eight touchdowns as the lead and clear focal point with his backfield backup Stephen Carr having missed the last two games due to injury. The receiving corps are led by junior Deontay Burnett, who was the only returning starter at the position and has continued his success this season after a breakout performance in the Rose Bowl back in January, and so far has put 49 receptions for 626 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The Trojans defense hasn’t put up the numbers that fans have been accustomed too, and so far this season rank just 66th in yards allowed and 90th against the pass. Eleven of the injured players mentioned before are on the defensive side of the ball, which has unquestionably affected their play in the first half of the season. Thankfully for the team and their fans there is still a great amount of talent they bring to the table despite their multitude of maladies, including linebackers Cameron Smith and Uchenna Nwosu along with defensive backs Iman Marshall, Chris Hawkins, Marvel Tell III and Jack Jones.

USC has already gotten through the toughest part of their conference schedule and should be double-digit favorites in their final four Pac-12 games against Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State and Colorado. Despite the loss to WSU, the Trojans control their own destiny as they look to win the Pac-12 South to put themselves in position to win their first conference championship since 2008. But before they get to that, they will have to deal with a Notre Dame squad that has gotten an extra week off to prepare for them and looking to start off the second half of their schedule with a bang.

While their opponent this week USC has an easier back half of the season to look forward to, the Irish are in much different shape, with this week’s game against the Trojans followed by matchups against NC State (ranked 16th), Wake Forest, at Miami (ranked 8th), Navy (ranked 33rd) and closing at Stanford (ranked 22nd). With multiple teams in the polls ahead of Notre Dame losing this past weekend, the Irish find themselves in contention for one of the four coveted BCS playoff spots, but they would very likely need to win all six of their final games for that to happen. This is now the third time in the past four years that the Irish are in this potential playoff position at the midway point of the season, and will need to continue to play consistent football on both sides of the ball to avoid the downfalls that eventually ended their 2014 and 2015 campaigns.

Notre Dame will get the added boost this week with the return of quarterback Brandon Wimbush, who is back from a foot injury suffered against Michigan State that caused him to miss their previous game against the Tar Heels. Backup Ian Book did well enough managing the game in his absence against the depleted UNC squad, but there is no doubt that the Irish needed the fleet of foot Wimbush in the lineup if they wanted to have a good chance at beating USC this weekend. There is also no questioning that Wimbush will need to improve on his passing accuracy of just 52.3%, as despite that 90th ranking in passing yards allowed per game, the Trojan defensive backfield is stacked with playmakers that could turn any mistake into a nightmare for Notre Dame, much like opposing cornerback Adorree Jackson did for USC in their game last year when he sparked his team to a 45-27 victory with three touchdowns scored.

Another player who enjoyed success in Irish/Trojan game a season ago was Notre Dame running back Josh Adams, who went for 180 yards on seventeen carries and will be looking to at least match that this weekend in South Bend. Building (finally) the offense around Adams has paid off well thus far for the Irish, as he has helped lead them to the 6th rated rushing offense in the country and in turn a rank of 18th in scoring and 24th in yards per game. Adams himself has gone for 776 yards with five touchdowns and a 9 yards per carry average so far this season, and with all the talk about Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, it should be noted that Adams has bettered the Nittany Lion in yards per game and yards per carry this season while rushing for four touchdowns of 35 yards or more compared to Barkley’s one.

For Notre Dame to conquer the Trojans this weekend, they will need to get as much pressure as possible on USC quarterback Sam Darnold, which is something they have found success doing thus far this season with thirteen sacks on the year, just one shy of their total from 2016. They will also need to come up with a better game plan for slowing down USC running back Ronald Jones, who throughout his career has put up an impressive stat line of 207 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against the Irish. It will be interesting to see how Jones does this time around against coordinator Mike Elko’s defense, as his squad has been markedly improved in nearly every facet of their game and has allowed just one rushing touchdown all season.

When Brian Kelly took over as the Notre Dame head coach his new team had lost their last eight straight to the Trojans, but since then the Irish have surprisingly had the advantage and gone 4-3 in the seven games since 2010. With the game being played in South Bend and ND being favored they definitely have the recent trends going their way as well, as the home team has covered the last four games between the Irish and USC as well as the favorite going 5-0 in their last five meetings. All that is well and good, but the real recent record that matters most is Notre Dame’s continuous struggle against the upper tier teams in college football, having gone 2-20 in their last 22 games against top 13 teams, including a 2-8 mark under Brian Kelly with both wins coming back in 2012. As much as I want to believe that the Irish are back and a true playoff contender, until they can get past a team like USC and a player like Sam Darnold, it is difficult to back them in a game like this and instead will be recommending the Trojans and the four point head start against Notre Dame in South Bend on Saturday.

Mike M's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: USC +4. Where are you betting this game? Bet it for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% welcome bonus offered to new players at Bovada Sportsbook 

NCAA Football Week 12 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

Betting

MyBookie - Get a HUGE 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE!) after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.

Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!

5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!

Intertops - The safest place to bet on the web as they've been around over 20 years! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!

Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

Bet on College Football at BetOnline

Featured Articles

Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.

The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!