The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and USC Trojans are clashing in what is usually one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. Unfortunately, with both teams unranked and struggling through a less-than-stellar fall, the results won’t matter much outside of South Bend and Los Angeles.
However, one way to make this historic rivalry more exciting is to gamble on the outcome. Whether it’s a small bet amongst friends or a hefty wager at a sportsbook, it will insure that this game has you on the edge of your seat throughout the evening.
Let’s take a look at the best bets you can make on the contest and more in the complete gambling guide for Notre Dame vs. USC.
When: Saturday, Oct. 19
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Place: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.
Point Spread: NOTRE DAME (-3) vs. USC
Neither side has been covering the spread too often in 2013, with the 4-2 Trojans going 2-4 ATS and the 4-2 Fighting Irish going just 1-4-1 ATS. Barring a very possible push, one team will be improving its record in that department on Saturday night.
Both are coming off solid wins against Pac-12 foes, with Notre Dame ousting Arizona State, 37-34, in a neutral field showdown at Cowboys Stadium before a bye last week. The Trojans moved to 1-0 in the post-Lane Kiffin era, dropping Arizona at home in a 38-31 thriller.
Despite the similar records between these longstanding rivals and their shared struggles against the spread, the bookmakers are giving the home Irish a slight edge in this one.
While Notre Dame hasn’t defended the home field against USC since 2003—making five-straight losses going into the upcoming game—it should finally get a much-needed win on Saturday.
Expect the Irish defensive line to win the war in the trenches and turn their opponent into a one-dimensional passing attack. They should be able to force turnovers and get enough stops to allow their own limited offense to put enough points on the board to win this one.
The Irish are well-rested and have traditionally performed well coming off a bye. The team is 4-1 ATS in its last five coming out of a week off and also 4-1 ATS over the last five matchups at home against teams with winning records.
Contrast that with the Trojans, who haven’t covered on the road in their last nine games, and you are looking at the recipe for a Notre Dame victory.
The Pick: Notre Dame
Point Total: Over/Under 51
Lean toward the under in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Without Everett Golson under center, the Irish offense is slow, predictable and lacking the dynamic playmaker it needs to score points on a regular basis.
USC doesn’t project to be elite in that department either, especially not with star receiver Marqise Lee potentially limited coming off a knee injury.
Which team will cover?
Notre Dame’s defense should be capable of completely shutting down the Trojans’ rushing attack and projects to only concede big yardage via the air.
Regardless, head coach Brian Kelly will likely focus his efforts and scheme to limit USC’s damage in that department and should attempt to make this a knockdown, drag-out battle that his squad is much more comfortable winning.
The Pick: Under
Final Score Prediction: Notre Dame 21 – USC 17