This weekend Notre Dame will face one of the better teams in the Big Ten conference, Wisconsin. The Irish will also enter this game as an underdog for the first time this season, as the Badgers are favored by 6.5 points. Notre Dame and Wisconsin have faced each other 16 previous times with Notre Dame leading the all-time series 8-6-2. Their last match came in 1964 and the Irish won easily, 31-7. Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game against the Badgers coming off a team-building, 27-13 win over Purdue.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin will be arriving in Chicago fresh off a bye week. The Badgers’ last game was on September 11th when they crushed Eastern Michigan, 34-7.
About Last Week
In a 27-13 win over Purdue, the Irish offense appeared to have gained a little more continuity along the offensive line while improving their sacks allowed to four from last week’s six. They also made room for Notre Dame running back, Kyren Williams as he finished the game with 91 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Tight end, Michael Mayer was allowed one catch for five yards, but wide receiver, Austin Davis picked up his slack grabbing five balls for 120 yards and a score. The Irish will need more output from Mayer this week to have a legit shot at winning this game.
Last week, Notre Dame’s defense appeared to prove once again that they were the strength of the team, especially up front. Linebacker, JD Bertrand is fifth in the nation with 11.7 tackles per game and Isaiah Foskey is tied for 11th in sacks per game with 1.17. Securing the back end is safety, Kyle Hamilton who leads the nation in interceptions with one per game. Last weekend, the Irish defense limited Purdue’s rushing attack to 57 yards on 25 carries. It also shut down one of the premier receivers in the nation, David Bell while holding him to 64 yards receiving.
The Badgers last game was played on September 11th when they destroyed Eastern Michigan, 34-7. Against Eastern Michigan, the Badgers racked up 352 yards on the ground including four touchdowns. Running back, Chez Mellusi carried the rock 20 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. After two games, Wisconsin’s rush defense is ranked #1 in the country in rush yards allowed per game. Wisconsin held Eastern Michigan to 16 yards rushing in week two and limited Penn State to just 50 yards rushing in week one.
- Linebacker Marist Liufau was lost for the season due to a lower-leg injury.
- Linebacker Paul Moala tore his Achilles tendon and will be out for the remainder of the season.
- Linebacker Prince Kollie was out last week but will be available this week.
- Running Back, C’Bo Flemister will miss his third game this season.
- Offensive Tackle Blake Fisher will be out for eight weeks due to a torn meniscus.
- Offensive Lineman Michael Carmody was questionable last week and dressed but did not play. He is listed on this week’s depth chart.
- Linebacker Shayne Simon is out for the season due to a torn labrum.
- Tight End Kevin Bauman will miss six weeks due to a fractured leg.
- Tyler Buchner missed the second half last week due to a tight hamstring. He will be available to play this week.
- Wide Receiver Lawrence Keys III left the team.
- Linebacker Leo Chenal is back with the first team after missing the first two games due to Covid protocol.
- Cornerback Faion Hicks is listed as questionable.
- Safety Collin Wilder is listed as questionable.
- Tight End Jack Eschenbach is listed as questionable.
- Cornerback Al Ashford III is out for the season.
- Tight End Cole Dakovich is out for the season.
- Long Snapper Duncan McKinley is out for the season.
Point Spread & Over / Under
#18 Wisconsin (1-1) (1-1 ATS) at #12 Notre Dame (3-0) (1-2 ATS)
According to Odds Shark, the early betting line opened with Notre Dame as a three-point favorite before shooting up to -6.5, where it sits now. The total on the game started at 45.5 and has since climbed to 47. Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly knows that Wisconsin’s Head Coach, Paul Chryst, will not be trying to reinvent the wheel this weekend. Wisconsin will run the ball again and again until Notre Dame’s defense proves it can stop it. On defense, Wisconsin is a monster against the run, but Notre Dame’s offense has earned most of its money through the air this season. Completing pivotal passes when given the opportunity will likely win or lose this game for the Irish.
Notre Dame Betting Trends
- Notre Dame is 2-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games.
- Wisconsin is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
- Notre Dame is 4-1 straight up (SU) in its last 5 games against the Big Ten.
- In games where Wisconsin was the favorite, the total has gone under in 6 of the last 7.
- Notre Dame defense is ranked 5th nationally in sacks per game (4.3).
- Notre Dame’s offense is ranked 125th in sacks allowed per game (4.67)
Behind Enemy Lines Week 2
Louisville -2 (2-1) (1-2 ATS) at Florida State (0-3) (1-2 ATS)
Last Friday, Louisville defeated UCF in a thriller, 42-35. Jaylin Alderman returned a 66-yard interception for a touchdown with 13 seconds left on the game clock. Florida State suffered its third-straight loss falling to Wake Forest, 35-14. The Cardinals opened up at -3, but the line has fallen slightly to -2. The total on this game is anywhere between 61.5-62.5. Louisville is 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Florida State. The Seminoles are 1-4 in their previous five matchups against ACC opponents.
Toledo -5 (1-2) (1-2 ATS) at Ball State (1-2) (0-3)
The Rockets are licking their wounds after falling to Colorado State last week at home, 22-6. In that game, Toledo was held to just 21 yards rushing. Ball State traveled to Wyoming the previous weekend and was smoked, 45-12. Toledo opened at -3 before the line increased two points to -5. The total is standing firm at 57. The Rockets are 5-11 in their last 16 games versus Ball State. The Cardinals are 2-4 ATS in their six games while serving as host to the Rockets.
#8 Cincinnati (3-0) (2-1 ATS) -bye week-
Richmond at Virginia Tech (2-1) (2-1 ATS) -N/A
Oregon State (2-1) (2-1 ATS) at USC -12 (2-1) (2-1 ATS)
The Trojans bounced back last week, crushing Washington State, 45-14. The Southern Cal defense held the Cougars to 99-yards rushing and only 180-yards receiving. They will be facing an Oregon State team coming off of a, 42-0, shutout-victory over Idaho. USC opened at -10.5, but now they are -12 at every major sportsbook. The total increased two points to 62.5. USC is 5-1 SU in their last six games versus Oregon State. In Oregon State’s last four games against a Pac-12 team the total has gone over the total.
Wake Forest (3-0) (1-2 ATS) at Virginia -4 (2-1) (2-1 ATS)
Virginia was walloped, 59-39 last weekend in Chapel Hill as North Carolina managed 307 yards through the air with another 392 yards on the ground. Wake Forest will enter this Friday’s matchup calm and collected after securing a 35-14 victory over Florida State last week. Virginia came into this game -5, but the line has since fallen to -4. The total also dropped one point to 68.5. Virginia is 1-4 SU in their last five games versus Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are 6-1 in their previous seven games at Virginia.
Navy (0-2) (0-2 ATS) at Houston -21 (2-1) (2-1 ATS)
Last week Houston shutout Grambling 45-0 while Navy was home resting during its bye week. This line is steady, with Houston being favored by 21 across the board. The total is hovering around 48.5. Houston is 4-2 ATS in its last six games versus Navy. The total has gone under in four of Navy’s last five games.
#21 North Carolina -12 (2-1) (2-1 ATS) at Georgia Tech (1-2) (2-1 ATS)
Georgia Tech suffered a heart-breaking loss to Clemson last week, 14-8. They could not manage to score on their final two possessions. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels spanked Virginia, 59-39. North Carolina racked up nearly 700 yards of offense. This line has UNC sitting firmly at -12. The total is also secure at 63. UNC is 4-2 ATS in their last six game versus Georgia Tech. The total has gone over in five of the Yellowjackets’ previous six games versus UNC.
UCLA -4.5 (2-1) (2-1 ATS) at Stanford (2-1) (2-1 ATS)
The Bruins were upset by Fresno State last week, 40-37. The Bulldogs scored with under a minute to go to win the game. The Cardinals were victorious over Vanderbilt in the Nerd Bowl, winning 41-23. UCLA comes into this game as a road favorite at -4.5. The total dropped from 60.5 to 58.5. The total has gone over in four of UCLA’S last five. Stanford is 6-1 SU in its last seven games when hosting UCLA.
*Notre Dame’s 2021 opponents are listed in bold.