Notre Dame proved to be a lousy bet last year, going just 4-8 against the spread, the third time in the last four seasons the Irish posted a losing ATS record. But Notre Dame got off to a great start to this season last week and looks to build on that when it hosts Georgia on Saturday night in South Bend.
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 6.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 28.2-28.0 Bulldogs (College football picks on every game).
Why the Georgia Bulldogs can cover the spread
UGA opened this season with a 31-10 victory over a pretty good Appalachian State team, covering as a 13-point favorite. The Bulldogs led 21-0 at halftime and 31-0 midway through the fourth quarter, before allowing the Mountaineers to score the last meaningless 10 points of the game.
On the night, Georgia outgained Appalachian State 368-284 and won the ground battle by a 221-136 margin, as the potent running back combo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined for 183 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. And freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, playing in place of injured starter Jacob Eason, led the Bulldogs on three straight first-half touchdown drives, on the whole connecting on 10 of 15 throws for 143 yards and one score.
Meanwhile the Georgia defense, with 10 starters back from last season, limited Appalachian State to 4.4 yards per play.
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame began what it hopes is a bounce-back campaign with a 49-16 victory over Temple, covering at -19. The Irish grabbed a 14-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game, pushed that advantage to 35-10 in the third quarter, allowed the Owls to pull within a push at 35-16 but secured the cash by scoring the last two touchdowns of the game.
On the day Notre Dame outgained Temple 606-330, and outrushed the Owls 422-85, as running back Josh Adams ran for 161 yards, backfield mate Dexter Williams for 124 and quarterback Brandon Wimbush for 106. The sophomore Wimbush, making his first collegiate start, also hit on 17 of 30 throws for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Irish defense held Temple to just five-for-19 on third- and fourth-down conversions.
As of early this week, Eason's status for this game was uncertain, so both teams could be going with talented but inexperienced quarterbacks. Aside from that, Georgia might own advantages in the running games and on defense, and the spread might be skewed slightly in its favor. The smart money here at sports betting sites takes the Bulldogs.
College football betting trends
Georgia is 0-4 ATS in its last four games on the road in September.
The total has gone over in Notre Dame's last three games.
Notre Dame is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games at home in September.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.