Notre Dame travels to Athens this weekend as a double-digit underdog for the game of the week in college football. The seventh-ranked Irish are not being given much of a chance against the third-ranked Bulldogs in a game that is getting the ESPN College Gameday treatment that was also moved to primetime by CBS. Here’s this week deep dive into the odds and point spreads surrounding Notre Dame’s biggest game of the year.
Point Spreads & Betting Lines
- Game Spread: Opened ND +11.5 / Current ND +14
- Over/Under: Opened 58 / Current 58.5
- Moneyline: Opened ND +400 / Current +475
Notre Dame Against the Spread
Notre Dame Fighting Irish:
The Fighting Irish walk into Athens for their first test of the season after two weak opponents to start. Notre Dame is 1-1 ATS this season and hit the over last week and the under in their first game against Louisville. The Fighting Irish are 7-5 in their last twelve games as double-digit underdogs with two outright upsets. But straight up they are 0-9 against on the road against top twenty opponents since 2013.
In their last four games against an SEC opponent, each game has been decided by 5 points or less, including the 20-19 loss to Georgia in 2017. The Fighting Irish are also 7-1 with hitting the over in their last eight September road games. The Fighting Irish are 0-4 against top-five opponents with Brian Kelly as head coach, and they have lost by an average of 18.3 points per game.
Will Brian Kelly finally prove that he can compete with the big dogs and put up a fight this game?
The Bulldogs started their season with some weak opponents as well and will get their first test against Notre Dame this week. Georgia started their season 2-1 ATS, while two of the games went under and only hit the over against Murray State. When the Bulldogs are double-digit favorites, they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games. They are also 11-4 ATS in their last fifteen games against teams with a winning record and 6-1 in their previous seven home games against a team with a winning road record. For the season, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 148 to 23 this season, and they are coming off a 55-0 beat down they put on Arkansas State. Georgia is 15-5 in their last twenty games following a win of twenty points or more.
What’s on the Line:
A spot in the playoff race. Each team has made the playoffs in the last two seasons, and this game is critical for both sides if they want to make the playoffs again. Since Notre Dame doesn’t have a conference championship game, this game can make or break their playoffs hope. If Georgia loses this game, they will most likely have to win out and win the SEC so they don’t get overshadowed by Alabama.
The Fighting Irish also look to bounce back from their embarrassing 30-3 loss to Clemson to prove they belong in the playoffs. Last year with Georgia missing the playoffs they thought they got robbed for a bid and that they were considered one of the best four teams in the country. They took some shots at Notre Dame thinking they shouldn’t have been in the playoffs and the Fighting Irish went on to get smacked by Clemson. But their trash talk didn’t do them well either because the Bulldogs lost to Texas in the Sugar Bowl 28-21.
Both teams will be looking to prove that they belong in the playoffs this year and this game will be a playoff-caliber game.
Lines of the Game:
The spread has moved 3 points since opening, from Notre Dame +11.5 to Notre Dame +14.5. The reason why is that 63% of the bets and 76% of the money is on the Bulldogs to cover. Meanwhile, the over-under hasn’t moved much with 59% of the bets and 60% of the money is on the over.
Bet of the Week: Under (58.5)
This game will be won in the trenches, and both teams will be giving their running backs a lot of touches to keep the chains moving. I don’t see this game being a shootout in the air, and the team that wins the ground game will win the game. This game will be a war with both teams fighting to keep their playoffs hopes alive in this early season battle, and that is why I like the Under as the bet of the week. The first team to 21 wins this game. Don’t touch this if the line changes to 56.5 or lower. For all of you Notre Dame fans out there, it is never a bad play to throw some money on the ML or to take the points because this should be a close game.
Also, since this is the game of the week, there should be player props available. If there is and if there is one for Ian Book’s completions, then I would hammer the under if it is set at 19.5 or higher. In the first game against Louisville, it was set at 22.5, and he only attempted 23 passes. Last week against New Mexico, Book only attempted 24 passes. Ian Book only drops back 40% of the time in Brian Kelly’s offense. Book will have to complete over 80% of his passes against one of the best
Follow me on Twitter @PeterCarlay to follow my picks and to see if there are any game or player props I like this week.