After falling just short of their respective College Football Playoff hopes, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will stage a huge NCAA Football betting battle when they square off in the 2015 Fiesta Bowl at 1:00 PM ET on Friday, January 1, 2016. The defending-champion Buckeyes were set to duplicate their playoff berth from a year ago until losing to Michigan State 17-14 at home. Norte Dame was also a top-four team until they lost a heart breaker on the road against Stanford 38-36. Now, let’s find out who’s gonna put some money in your pocket in this New year’s day pairing!
— Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) December 30, 2015
Fighting Irish vs. Buckeyes Fiesta Bowl Odds & Game Analysis
When: Friday, January 1, 1:00 PM ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
TV: ESPN (View full TV schedule here)
NCAAF Lines: Ohio State -6.5
Ohio State is a 6.5-point favorite to beat Notre Dame while the game’s O/U Total sits at 57.5 after opening at 54.5. The Buckeyes are a -250 pick against the Moneyline while the Irish sit at +210.
Why Bet The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds at +6.5
Because they’ve got a boatload of talent on their roster! The Fighting Irish (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) will be motivated after suffering their playoff-damaging loss against Stanford in their regular season finale. Still, Notre Dame’s two losses this season at No. 1 Clemson and No. 6 Stanford came by a combined total of just four points. Now, the Irish are focused on closing out their 2015 campaign with a big victory over the Buckeyes. “Our scout teams have done a great job all year,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters. “We’re going to lean on them again one more time to provide us with the kind of look necessary to prepare our defense. But no, we know the challenge that Ohio State brings, and we’re going to have to do a great job of preparing our defense.”
Notre Dame limited their opponents to an average of 22.4 points per game to rank 32nd nationally while the team’s explosive offense put up an impressive 34.8 points per contest (31st). Athletic dual-threat quarterback DeShone Kizer passed for 2,596 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions after taking over for former starter Malik Zaire in the second game of the season. Running back C.J. Prosise rushed for 1,029 yards, but has a bum ankle, although he is reportedly a go for this contest.
Why Bet The Ohio State Buckeyes Odds at -6.5
Because the defending champs have too much talent! Ohio State (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) has a bevy of elite defensive players that helped the Buckeyes limit their opponents to just 14.0 points per game to rank second in the nation. Standout defensive lineman Joey Bosa is likely going to be a top-five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
By now, everyone knows that running back Ezekiel Elliott (1,672 yards and 19 touchdowns) is going to be a star at the next level, not to mention the fact that the Buckeyes have a pair of elite quarterbacks in J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. Ohio State averaged 35.0 points per game to rank 28th nationally.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
There’s a reason why 55 percent of the betting public likes Ohio State to get the win and ATS cover and I say it’s because the Buckeyes are superior on both sides of the ball. While Ohio State is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games following a victory, Notre Dame is 0-7 SU in its last seven games in the month of January and 0-3 ATS in their last three games against the Buckeyes.
I like the defending national champs to get the win and narrow ATS cover.
My final score prediction: Ohio State 31 Notre Dame 21