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Predictions For Betting On Notre Dame USC – Notre Dame Tries To Punch Its Ticket

Posted by Blake Frazier on 11/20/2012 5:32:35 PM

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are one win away from clinching a berth in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2013, in Miami. A dream beckons for a storied program.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans – Saturday, November 24    
Betting line: Notre Dame -6

Why Notre Dame Will Win

Legal online sports betting analysts know that when they do their homework and go over the important matchups in this game, they will emphasize the confrontation between Notre Dame's defense and USC's offense. This is a battle the Irish should be able to win.

Notre Dame has not allowed more than 17 points to any opponent this season. Its defense went a month and a half – from Sept 8. against Purdue until Oct. 20 against BYU – without allowing a touchdown. The Fighting Irish were that dominant on the defensive side of the ball. They have stuffed other teams' rushing attacks and have forced opposing quarterbacks into predictable passing situations.

The Irish's secondary has been able to feast on subpar quarterbacks, racking up interceptions on a fairly regular basis and enabling Notre Dame to maintain leads or – at the very least – not fall behind by more than one score at any point in a game. The Irish can rely on running the ball, gaining superior field position, wearing teams down in the fourth quarter, and making clutch plays at crunch time to win close games. That's the Notre Dame formula, and it has given coach Brian Kelly's team a considerable comfort zone despite the fact that Kelly is an offense-first coach and quarterback guru who has not gotten much of any production from his offense in 2012.

Notre Dame has scored more than 21 points in regulation only four times this season. (The team scored 29 in triple overtime versus Pittsburgh on Nov. 3). It is a testament to this team's resilience, especially on defense, that the Fighting Irish are unbeaten at this point.

The other point that definitely tips this game in Notre Dame's favor is the fact that USC starting quarterback Matt Barkley separated his right (throwing) shoulder last week in a loss to UCLA. Barkley needed to be the trigger man for the Trojans' offense if USC was to spring the upset. His absence is going to hurt USC, even though Barkley has struggled for much of this season.

Why USC Will Win

When NCAA football betting gurus look at the other side of the coin, they will say that USC's offense could still outflank Notre Dame's defense.

One has to realize that while the Fighting Irish have been great on defense this year, they are going to have very little game film available on Max Wittek, the quarterback who will replace Matt Barkley Saturday night. Wittek is new to this situation, and while it could be intimidating for him, Notre Dame's defense won't have much of a scouting report to go on. When you also consider how much pressure the Fighting Irish will face in this game, they might panic in the face of a quarterback they don't really know.

One must keep in mind, too, that Notre Dame's offense has been markedly shaky for most of this season. USC will be amped up in its last regular season game at home and under the lights in a night game. If the Fighting Irish can't handle the heat, this game could turn on them in a heartbeat.

Who Will Win

It’s clear that Notre Dame has the advantage, but will USC's new quarterback, Max Wittek, steal the show? The odds suggest he won't. The Fighting Irish will win comfortably and reach the national championship game of college football.

College Football Betting Pick: Notre Dame

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