Notre Dame at USC Spread, Betting Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,November 23, 2016 9:38, EST in

Notre Dame-USC is one of the best rivalries in college football and probably the best and most storied among teams not in the same conference. But this Saturday’s game doesn’t really mean much. The Irish are having a terrible season and won’t be playing in a bowl. No. 13 Southern Cal will find out this weekend if it’s playing in the Pac-12 Championship Game but this result has nothing to do with that. The Trojans are big favorites in college football lines.

Notre Dame at USC Spread, Betting Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Nov. 26, 3:30 PM ET
Where: LA Memorial Coliseum
TV: ABC
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioNotre Dame / USC
Opening NCAA Football Lines: USC -17 (57)

Why Bet on Notre Dame?

The Irish (4-7) assured themselves of no bowl game with a 34-31 home loss to Virginia Tech last week. The Irish led by as many as 17 points in the first half but Virginia Tech managed to score 27 of the game’s final 34 points to earn the victory in the first matchup between the two programs. Virginia Tech’s Joey Slye produced the game-winning field goal with 4:16 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the visitors the 34-31 victory.

Notre Dame ran for 200 yards on 36 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per rush. The 200-yard rushing performance marked the fourth time the Irish have recorded 200 or more rushing yards in a game this season. Josh Adams led the way with 100 yards and QB DeShone Kizer added 69 yards on 16 attempts.

Kizer threw his 23rd and 24th passing touchdowns of the season against Virginia Tech. The two TD tosses were the 44th and 45th career scores through the air for Kizer. Adams opened the scoring with a one-yard run in the first quarter. Adams then burst through for his longest rush of the year, covering 67 yards for his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter (fifth of the season, 11th of his career). Adams registered his seventh career 100-yard rushing game.

Notre Dame has played 43 games decided by eight points or less since the arrival of Brian Kelly. The Irish went 2-5 in the first seven such games under Kelly, but have since gone 21-15. Notre Dame’s seven losses in 2016 have come by a total of 32 points. No other team in the Football Bowl Subdivision has more than five losses by eight points or less.

Why Bet on USC?

Southern Cal (8-3) will win the Pac-12 South if California loses to Utah on Saturday. The Trojans beat UCLA 36-14 last week for their seventh straight win. Sam Darnold passed for 267 yards and hit De’Quan Hampton for two touchdowns, Ronald Jones II rushed for 121 yards and two TDs for the surging Trojans.

USC claimed the Victory Bell for the second consecutive year, overcoming Darnold’s two early interceptions and eventually taking apart UCLA’s solid defense for 527 total yards. USC’s 326 yards of offense in the first half were the most UCLA has given up in a half since 2014, a span of 32 games.

Regardless of whether USC gets to play for the Pac-12 title, what has happened in the two months since Darnold took over the starting job has been transformational for USC football. He is the first Trojans quarterback with a seven-game streak of multiple touchdown passes since Matt Leinart in 2004.

If Colorado beats Utah on Saturday, the Trojans will not play for the Pac-12 title. However, if Washington or Colorado win the conference and are included in the College Football Playoff, the Rose Bowl is obligated to select the next-highest- ranked team from the Pac-12. That could be USC.

USC junior cornerback-wide receiver-returner Adoree’ Jackson has been named one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football. Jackson is among the nation’s most exciting players. On defense in 2016, he leads USC in interceptions with 4 and pass breakups with 9, and has made 49 tackles with a pair of fumble recoveries. He often is matched against the opponent’s top receiver.

USC has lost just 4 times to the Irish in the last 14 meetings, but all the losses have been since 2010, including last year in South Bend just 6 days after Clay Helton was installed as USC’s interim head coach. It is the first time since 2009 that a ranked Trojan squad meets ND and the first time since 1986 that the Irish visit the Coliseum with a losing record. USC is looking for its 20th season sweep over traditional rivals UCLA and Notre Dame (it last occurred in 2011).

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Notre Dame at USC Betting Pick:

Fighting Irish are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Over is 9-4 in Fighting Irish last 13 road games.

Take the points, go over the NCAA Football total.