Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin Point Spread – Free Pick
NCAA Football Week 4
When: Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12pm ET
Where: Soldier Field - Chicago, IL
Point Spread: ND+6.5/WISC -6.5 (Bookmaker - The biggest and second oldest book on the web!)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The schedule makers have done a great job this season as
most of the marquee matchups through three weeks have produced exciting games. We get another high-profile contest in Week 4 as Wisconsin and Notre Dame squares off at Soldier Field in Chicago. This game is the epicenter of college football this weekend as FOX’s
Big Noon show and ESPN’s Gameday will be on site. This was to be the second game in a back-to-back neutral site series, but Covid-19 canceled the 2020 game that would have been at Lambeau Field, and these teams will instead see each other again in 2026. Both squads had high hopes heading into 2021, and the winner here gets a non-conference feather in the cap to help make a potential CFP case down the line. These schools haven’t played since the 1964 season, but there is an element of familiarity as former Wisconsin QB Jack Coan is now manning the helm for the Irish.
Notre Dame is looking to reverse a recent trend that has them 1-4 in their last five against the spread overall. The
Irish are frequent visitors to Big Ten country and have three ATS wins in their last five against the conference. Wisconsin is routinely one of the better bowl/non-conference teams, and they enter the week 6-1 ATS in their previous seven played outside the Big Ten.
The Badgers are also coming off a bye and have a 15-6 ATS mark in the last 21 following an idle week. The under has hit in each of the last five Notre Dame games played at a neutral site, but the over has paid in 6-of-8 against a Big Ten opponent. There are
mixed over/under for Wisconsin, and the under is 6-1 in their last seven overall, but the over has six wins in the previous seven coming off the bye.
Notre Dame is undefeated and currently ranked 12th, but there is plenty of nervousness around the program, especially ahead of this week. ND needed overtime to beat what looks to be a relatively bad Florida State team in the opener and squeaked by Toledo a week later. Through three weeks, Notre Dame has allowed 13 sacks, and they are outside the top-75 in run defense and time of possession. Wisconsin can rush the passer, averages 263 rushing yards per game, and leads the nation in time of possession, so those Irish weaknesses will be under the spotlight again this week.
Jack Coan has been solid in averaging 276 passing yards per game but has been inconsistent in producing big plays and has struggled when the O-Line fails to produce a clean pocket. RB Kyren Williams has averaged 4.6 yards per carry this season, and his production will be key as this offense has not been successful in long down-and-distance situations. Wisconsin leads the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 33 yards per game. Notre Dame does have its own defensive weapon in S Kyle Hamilton, and he is likely the best
individual defender on the field Saturday. Hamilton is a projected first-round NFL pick and leads the team in tackles for loss and interceptions.
More Picks: WVU at OU Pick Against the Spread
There is no shortage of Wisconsin running backs in the NFL, with seven former Badger backs playing last Sunday. Clemson transfer Chez Mellusi would like to get in on that action, and he leads Wisconsin with 265 rushing yards through two games. Isaac Guerendo and Jalen Berger each have a rushing touchdown in complementary roles as UW ranks 11th in rush yards per game. Graham Mertz has been efficient with a 67% completion rate but has not thrown a touchdown pass in either contest against two interceptions. It is unlikely that Wisconsin gets a win this weekend if Mertz fails to
step up his production. Wisconsin’s defense ranks 2nd in total yards allowed at 194 per game, 4th in third-down conversions allowed (20.8%), and has surrendered just 8.0 points per game. This is truly a team defense but look for Jack Sanborn and Nick Herbig to take advantage of the spotty protection that Notre Dame’s offensive line has shown.
Wisconsin Wins but +6.5 is Lucky for the
UW had first and goal at the Penn State one-yard line in the opener and fumbled away their chance to take the lead late. Given how well PSU has played, you wonder if Wisconsin is closer to their lofty preseason expectations than their opponent this week despite that Week 1 loss. These Badgers have struggled with red-zone performance and creating the big play but a week off will undoubtedly help this squad address those shortcomings. Notre Dame has been through three rather tough tests, and while they have answered the call in each, their first loss seems right around the corner. I think that L comes this week as Wisconsin stubbornly runs the ball and controls the clock while the Badger defense limits the Irish offense. Coan has been at his best when the run game has given Notre Dame the ability to run play action, but Wisconsin is not likely to provide those situations. The Wisconsin coaching staff is very aware of Coan’s strengths and weaknesses and should be able to dial-up a game plan to expose the former Badger. The problem for Wisconsin will be their inability to put enough points on the board to shake this spread. Notre Dame is clearly comfortable while playing in close contests, and Coan will at least recognize what is in front of him given his 3+ seasons practicing against Jim Leonhard’s defense. Wisconsin will separate in the second half as the Notre Dame defense spends too much time on the field, and Mertz gets his first touchdown pass of the season. The Irish do get the ATS win as the +6.5 is enough as they fall 24-20.
Ted Walker’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Notre Dame plus the points! Bet your Week 4 college football picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!
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