The USC Trojans won eight in a row in the rivalry with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2002-09, but Notre Dame is 4-3 over the last seven meetings and 5-3 against the spread over the last eight.
In a matchup of one-loss teams, the Trojans rumble with the Irish on Saturday night in South Bend.
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 3.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.3-34.7 Fighting Irish (College football picks on every game)
Why the USC Trojans can cover the spread
Southern Cal is 2-0 since taking that tough loss at Washington State three weeks ago, including a 28-27 victory over Utah last week. The Trojans trailed the Utes at the half 21-7, used a 21-0 run to take the lead, then won the game with a stop on a two-point conversion with just under a minute to go.
On the evening, USC racked up 532 yards of offense. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns and, for the first time this season, didn't throw an interception, although he did lose three fumbles resulting directly in 14 Utah points. And running back Ronald Jones ran 17 times for 111 yards, his fourth 100-yard effort this season. The Trojans have now outrushed each of their last six opponents.
USC beat Notre Dame last year 45-27 and covered a 17-point spread.
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
The Irish are 4-0 both SU and ATS since their one-point loss to Georgia, including a 33-10 win at North Carolina two weeks ago. They then had last week off.
Playing without injured starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame started a bit slowly against the Tar Heels but led 16-7 at the half. The Irish then pulled away from there, later icing the victory and the cover as two-touchdown favorites on Deon McIntosh's 24-yard touchdown bolt midway through the fourth quarter.
On the day, Notre Dame outgained UNC 487-265, outrushed the Heels 341-86 and ground out a 37-23 time of possession advantage.
The Irish have won their last four games by an average score of 43-16. They've also outrushed each of their last four opponents by a per-game margin of 343-134. And outrushing opponents by 200 yards is usually a pretty good way to win a game and cover a spread.
Wimbush missed the win over North Carolina, but with the extra week off, he is expected to play Saturday. Meanwhile, Darnold is a turnover machine at the moment. Smart money here gives the nod to Notre Dame.
College football betting trends
The total has gone over in six of Notre Dame's last eight games.
Notre Dame is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games in October.
USC is 0-5 ATS in its last five games.
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.