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USC Trojans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview

A rivalry renewed when the USC Trojans (3-3) and #13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1) take the field in Week 8 of the NCAA football season. Due to COVID-19, these two rivals couldn’t play each other last season, the first time since World War II.

Saturday’s kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. Notre Dame is a seven-point favorite over the Trojans, and the over-under total is at 59 points.

What to Know – USC Trojans

The Trojans continue to search for answers in a lost season after the firing of head coach Clay Helton earlier this year. USC is under the direction of interim head coach Donte Williams, who’s never held a coordinator position before. The fight for the Trojans is to win three more football games out of their final six and become bowl eligible.

Junior quarterback Kedon Slovis set season-highs in completions (33) and yards (401) in their recent loss to Utah. Slovis, who was projected by many as a fringe Heisman candidate, has thrown for 1,519 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart is questionable, but if he can go, don’t be surprised if he takes a share of snaps under center for USC.

The Trojans have a supporting cast of talent surrounding the QB position; it is just a matter of putting them in a spot to be successful. Senior running back Keaontay Ingram averages 5.7 yards per carry, and junior wide receiver Drake London is one of the best in the country, hauling in 64 passes for 832 yards and five scores.

USC is 4-2 against the spread in their last six games against Notre Dame. The Trojans are 4-14 ATS as an underdog over their previous 18 road contests.

What to Know – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame feels like an afterthought after suffering their only loss of the season at the beginning of the month to Cincinnati. The Fighting Irish tumbled in the rankings but bounced back to take down Virginia Tech in Blacksburg the following week. With a soft schedule remaining, the chances of winning out are high, and a possible spot back in the playoffs isn’t out of the question.

The Irish used a pair of quarterbacks in the victory over VT. Grad transfer Jack Coan started, but freshman Tyler Buchner saw action and used his arm and legs to help secure the ND victory. Coan will probably start against the Trojans, but don’t be surprised if the dual-threat rookie plays meaningful snaps.

One of the biggest surprises this year has been the lack of rushing attack for Notre Dame, given its talent in the backfield. Sophomore Kyren Williams hasn’t eclipsed 100-yards, and classmate Chris Tyree hasn’t seen the endzone since the season-opener. Finding balance on offense will be an essential piece for the Irish moving into the second half of the season.

Notre Dame is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games played in October and the Fighting Irish 4-1 ATS in their last five played in Week 8.

The Pick is In

Notre Dame knows a second loss would end any chance of a playoff bid. USC has the talent on the roster to compete with the Irish, but the Trojans can’t seem to figure things out offensively.

The Irish pull away in the second half of this one and take care of business at home.

Betting Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -7

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