Notre Dame vs. Oregon State Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Sun Bowl

College football betting preview, prediction and best bets for Notre Dame vs. Oregon State in the 2023 Sun Bowl.

Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Silas Bolden catches a pass to score a touchdown during the first
Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Silas Bolden catches a pass to score a touchdown during the first / Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal / USA

The Sun Bowl between Notre Dame and Oregon State is shaping up to be the most opt-out heavy game of the entire 2023 college football bowl season.

Nearly all the key contributors on both sides of the ball for Oregon State and Notre Dame will be out for this one. Oregon State's head coach Jonathan Smith took the job at Michigan State, taking highly touted quarterback Aidan Chiles with him, and starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei hit the transfer portal, among others.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be without its starting backfield with quarterback Sam Hartman and running back Audric Estime opting out as well as future first round pick, offensive lineman Joe Alt.

How should we navigate all the opt outs? I make sense of it all below. Get ALL of our bowl coverage here with the BetSided Bowl Bash!

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Notre Dame vs. Oregon State Odds, Spread and Total

Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Betting Trends

Notre Dame vs. Oregon State How to Watch

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 29
  • Game Time: 2:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Sun Bowl Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): CBS
  • Notre Dame Record: 9-3
  • Oregon State Record: 8-4

Notre Dame vs. Oregon State Key Players to Watch

Notre Dame

Steve Angeli: Angeli saw plenty of run this season as the backup behind Hartman, posting five touchdowns to one interception in five appearances. However, this is going to be a patchwork Notre Dame offense in his first start as three wide receivers that saw more than 250 snaps are set to miss this game after hitting the transfer portal.

Oregon State

Ben Gulbranson: While seeing no time this season, Gulbranson had plenty of run in Oregon State's 2022 campaign, starting the team's last eight games. While he's limited as a passer, he has command of this offense and will share the backfield with capable back Deshaun Fenwick (89 carries for 496 yards and five touchdowns) and leading wide receiver Silas Bolden.

Notre Dame vs. Oregon State Prediction and Pick

Notre Dame opened as a double-digit favorite with Oregon State being long rumored to be losing its coach and a host of key players, but the number has dropped inside of a touchdown as the Irish have had a mass exodus to the roster.

It's tough to get a gauge on what we'll see from the Beavers roster, promoting defensive coordinator Trent Bray to permanent head coach, but the team will be coached by passing game coordinator Kefense Hynson so Bray can focus on recruiting efforts and such. While the drop-off in talent will be severe in this game, the team appears to have its ducks in a row and a capable, veteran backup heading up the offense at quarterback.

Meanwhile, the motivation concerns may come on the Notre Dame side, who has been focused on landing a new quarterback in the transfer portal (Duke's Riley Leonard) and a handful of Power Five wide receivers. The team will be down several starters on both sides of the ball and I'm not rushing to lay this team to win by margin in a game that has plenty of question marks.

Gulbranson has started plenty of games and the Beavers play a rush-heavy, methodical offense. If the team can lean on its ground game to play the field position battle against a relatively green opponent, this game can shape up to be a rock fight with neither team getting separation.

I like the under and the dog in a game that is going to be full of backups.