Our college football betting editor brings you his top betting picks and predictions for the game between No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 6 USC, which is live Saturday on ABC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
In the regular season finale for both teams, the Trojans are hoping for an 11e winning could eventually get them into the college football playoffs. The resurgent Fighting Irish need to upset to have a chance of playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl match.
Notre Dame vs USC Predictions
• Notre Dame will cover +5.5 spread @ -117 via Caesars Sportsbook
• Over 64.5 total points to score @ -117 via Caesars Sportsbook
• Caleb Williams will run over 0.5 touchdowns @ +120 via Caesars Sportsbook
Risk-free first bet up to $1,000 with NPBONUS
New customers only. Must be 21 years or older. AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY only. (Welcome offer not available in NY and PA) Full terms and conditions apply.
First bet up to $1,250 on Caesars
New users only, 21 years or older. NY, CO, DC, IA, IN, IL, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. Full terms and conditions apply.
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000
21+. New customers only. AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY only. T&Cs apply
Notre Dame vs. USC pick and analysis
The Trojans had a terrific first season under coach Lincoln Riley, bouncing back from last season’s 4-8 record to once again become a national powerhouse. The Fighting Irish, also under first-year coach in Marcus Freeman, recovered from an 0-2 start to win eight of nine before their 93rd all-time meeting with USC.
Notre Dame +5.5
Let’s start by pointing out that Notre Dame doesn’t just win games. It dominates the competition. Last week’s 44-0 against Boston College was obviously a one-sided affair, but the Fighting Irish’s last two games against ranked opponents have also been blowouts – wins over Syracuse and Clemson by 38 points combined.
This is clearly not the same Notre Dame team that scored 10 points against Ohio State in its season opener and then lost to Marshall a week later. The Irish have scored at least 35 points in every game during their current five-game winning streak, and the Trojans’ defense – which only ranks at 65e nationally, allowing 26.3 points per game – won’t be the team that slows them down.
USC will need to refocus after last week’s emotional 48-45 rivalry win over UCLA. It’s an important game for the Trojans as they hope for the playoffs. They have only beaten Notre Dame three times in the last 11 clashes.
Take: Notre Dame +5.5 @ -117 with Caesars Sportsbook
Over 64.5 points overall
Notre Dame and USC haven’t played many low-scoring games in recent weeks. The Fighting Irish and Trojans have both seen their last five games exceed the projected total, with Notre Dame’s last five games averaging 57.6 points and USC’s last five games averaging 81.6 points combined. .
Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams has one last chance to make a Heisman statement, so don’t be surprised if Riley gives him every chance to shine in the regular season finale. He certainly shone a lot against UCLA, passing for 470 yards with three total touchdowns last weekend. So, with Williams airing it and Notre Dame facing USC’s inconsistent defense, look for points to be plentiful.
Take: Over 64.5 total points scored @ -117 with Caesars Sportsbook
Caleb Williams anytime touchdown scorer +120
The USC quarterback has scored four rushing touchdowns in his last three games — and all of those scores have come in the first half. The Trojans clearly trust Williams as a runner to give them an early lead, and he has validated their trust in recent weeks.
Those four touchdowns weren’t long and random either. They covered 1, 2, 4 and 6 yards, indicating that when USC gets close to the end zone, especially early in games, the coaching staff likes to call Williams’ number.
In all, six of Williams’ seven rushing touchdowns have come at home – and all seven have come in the first half of games – so expect Williams to dive into the end zone shortly after Saturday’s game for an easy payday.
Take: Caleb Williams on 0.5 rushing touchdowns @ +120 with Caesars Sportsbook
Notre Dame vs USC Odds
Odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook. Correct at time of publication and subject to change.
|Crew||Spread||Moneyline||Total points 64.5|
|our Lady||(+5.5) -117||+165||Over -117|
|USC||(-5.5) +117||-234||Less than -117|
New York Post