Ohio State and Notre Dame meet in South Bend, Indiana in a game that will serve as a College Football Playoff springboard for the winner.
The Fighting Irish have themselves a quarterback by way of transfer Sam Hartman, who will look to lead a home upset victory against Ohio State's elite offense. However, I'm eyeing the total between these two teams in this one.
Here's how I see this top 10 matchup playing out, and you can find EVERY Top 25 matchup picks against the spread here!
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Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Odds, Spread and Total
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Betting Trends
- Ohio State is 1-2 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Notre Dame is 3-1 ATS this season
- Notre Dame has gone OVER in three straight after going UNDER in Week 0
- Ohio State went OVER last week after going UNDER in Week 1
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, September 23rd
- Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
- Venue: Notre Dame Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): NBC
- Ohio State Record: 3-0
- Notre Dame Record: 4-0
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Key Players to Watch
TreVeyon Henderson: While McCord will draw a ton of attention as the official starting quarterback, I'm more focused on Ohio State's ability to run the ball with a finally healthy Henderson, who is averaging nearly seven yards per carry and four touchdowns this season. Ohio State has shown a preference to run the ball this season as McCord remains unproven as a passer. In a true road game, keep an eye on Henderson's ability to keep the team ahead of schedule in this one.
Sam Hartman: Hartman has passed the four (easy) tests for the Fighting Irish, completing 72% of his passes for 959 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The veteran has hit the ground running with Notre Dame despite an unproven group of pass catchers, but will face a stiff test in Ohio State's stingy run defense, likely putting Hartman in passing situations.
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Prediction and Pick
Both of these teams still have to pass a a test before I make a more confident assessment on these two teams. I still question if Hartman has the pass catchers to beat an elite defense if the team isn't able to run the ball at will with Audric Estime (nearly nine yards per carry on 59 touches). Ohio State's run defense looks lively this season and it may put pressure on ND's wide receivers to make plays down field.
Meanwhile, McCord is still a concern for me. Carving up Western Kentucky's porous defense doesn't change my opinion that McCord lacks the ability to make plays with his arm right now to trust him going on the road. As we saw against Indiana in the opener, Ryan Day preferred to have his offense keep the ball on the ground and pound opponents into submission.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame's defense has looked the part so far this season, returning essentially the entire secondary from a unit that allowed only 21 points to Ohio State in last year's meeting against a far more daunting Ohio State offense.
I believe the preference early on is for both teams is to keep this on the ground and ease into this matchup. Notre Dame is running the ball on nearly 57% of plays, some of which is due to game script but I believe that the team doesn't want to get into a high scoring affair with a more talented pass catching group on the other side.
Meanwhile, in McCord's first true road start, I believe Day will have his team keep this on the ground and try to out-muscle Notre Dame's defensive front.
I don't trust either coach to hunt fireworks early, I'm taking the first half under.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!