USC Vs Notre Dame Line & Expert PickJosh Bailey
Who’s Playoff Hopes Will Take a Hit When No. 11 USC Visits No. 13 Notre Dame in Intriguing Week 8 Matchup?
The bottom line when No. 13 Notre Dame hosts No. 11 USC in their huge Week 8 matchup is that someone’s already faint playoff hopes is going to a crushing blow when this game goes down live from Notre Dame Stadium at 7:30 PM ET.
Both playoff hopefuls already have one loss apiece and another will essentially eliminate them from having any chance of reaching the four-team College Football Playoff.
Now, let’s find out which one of these teams will get the season-saving win and ATS cover.
USC Trojans Vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Line & Expert Pick
USC Trojans (6-1) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)
When: Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM ET
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3.5
Why Bet the USC Trojans Line at +3.5
The Trojans have won two straight, but narrowly got past Utah in their 28-27 win last weekend despite never coming close to covering the spread as a 13.5-point home favorite. USC came back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to get the win as quarterback Sam Darnold completed 27 of 50 passes for 358 yards with three touchdowns and no picks in the win.
Running back Ronald Jones added 11 rushing yards and one score in the win. Still, USC was lucky to nab the win as Utah fell short on a two-point conversion with 42 seconds remaining. USC linebacker Cameron Smith came up big in the win with 16 tackles and an interception. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly took notice of the linebacker’s performance.
"He’s all over the field," Kelly said. "He’s smart. Great tackler in space, the ability to do a lot in coverage but plays well in the box."
USC averages 34.4 points per game (36th) while allowing 23.7 points per contest defensively (52nd).
Why Bet the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Line at -3.5
Notre Dame has won four straight games including their 33-10 smackdown of North Carolina as a 12-point road favorite last weekend without starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush who sat out with a foot injury.
Running back Deon Mcintosh led the way to victory by rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries while fellow back Josh Adams added 118 rushing yards and one score on 13 carries. Backup quarterback Ian Book completed 17 of 31 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Irish held North Carolina to three points in the second half to get the win.
"We’ve done a really good job of matching personnel there, and (stopping opponents on) first down," Kelly said. "Leverage has been with us in down-and-distance in the red zone, and leverage has been with us in matching personnel in the red zone."
The Fighting Irish average a stellar 40.0points per game (13th) while limiting the opposition to just 16.8 points per game defensively (15th).
USC Vs Notre Dame Expert Pick
I’m going to get right to the points by saying that USC has been a huge disappointment for a team that entered the season as one of the top title favorites and a lot of it has to do with the uninspiring play of quarterback Sam Darnold.
For this Week 8 matchup, I’m thinking Darnold will continue the interception-tossing ways that have plagued him this season against a Notre Dame defense that has been absolutely phenomenal this season.
The return of starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush will give the Irish offense a huge boost and the bottom line is that Notre Dame is simply the better team on both sides of the ball this season.
USC is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss while Notre Dame has gone a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. No one would have thought it prior to the regular season opener, but Notre Dame is simply better than USC!
Pick: Notre Dame -3.5