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USC vs. Notre Dame 2023 College Football Week 7 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

Arguably college football’s best non-conference rivalry is renewed on Saturday as No. 10 USC and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams – he might win it again this year – visit No. 21 Notre Dame, which already has two losses and will be out of the College Football Playoff race with a third if the Irish already aren’t out.

USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Game Information

  • When: Saturday, October 14, 2023, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
  • TV: NBC
  • Radio: AM 790 KABC(USC) // 88.9 FM WSND (Notre Dame)
  • Live Stream: Peacock
  • College Football Odds: USC (+3) // Notre Dame (-3)

Why Bet on the USC Trojans?

Southern Cal is one of a handful of unbeatens left nationally but the Trojans were nearly upset last Saturday, escaping 43-41 over Arizona in triple-overtime. The defense has not been good this year as USC ranks 61st in national defensive SP+, 114th in rushing success rate allowed and remains one of the worst tackling teams in the power conferences.

Even after playing particularly sloppy offensively against Arizona, the Trojans still rank first in offensive SP+, fifth in points per drive, fifth in success rate and third in red zone touchdown rate. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams had a poor game for him against the Wildcats as was 14-for-25 for 219 yards and one TD pass. He also had 12 carries for 41 yards with 3 rushing TDs. Williams also ran in the game-winning 2-point conversion in the third overtime.

Williams is 119-of-166 for 1,808 yards with 22 TDs and 1 INT. He has also rushed for 124 yards this season with 6 TDs – all within 20 quarters of football throughout 6 games, including 3OTs against Arizona. Compared to his first 6 games of his Heisman winning season in 2022, Williams has thrown 8 more TDs through 6 games this year. He is currently No. 1 in the nation in passing efficiency (206.4), points responsible for (172), points responsible for per game (28.7) and passing TDs (22).

The 43 points that USC scored were the most Arizona has allowed in a game this season as UA was allowing its opponents to score 19.0 points per game in its first five. USC has scored at least 42 points in every game this season, the first time in school history that it has scored 40 or more points in each of its first 6 games of the season. The Trojan offense is No. 1 in the nation for scoring offense (51.8), No. 3 in the nation for team passing efficiency (196.97), No. 3 in the nation for pasing offense (355.2) and No. 4 in the nation in total offense (523.3).

Freshman star wideout and returner Zachariah Branch has missed the past two games but might return this week. Branch has 13 catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns receiving. Against Stanford, he returned a punt for a 75-yard TD in the second quarter. He had a 96- yard kickoff return for a TD vs. San Jose State on Aug. 26.

Why Bet on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

Notre Dame (5-2) is 1-2 in its past three games but has played ranked teams Ohio State (close loss), Duke (win) and Louisville, which beat the Irish 33-20 on Saturday as ND looked worn down and had its 30-game regular-season ACC winning streak end. On Saturday’s opening drive, Irish QB Sam Hartman threw an interception — his first of three on the day. In addition, Louisville sacked Hartman five times, and the Irish could not get their running game going, gaining only 44 yards on the ground. In all, Notre Dame turned the ball over five times. Hartman finished 22-of-38 passing for 254 yards and his Heisman hopes are gone.

Afterward, Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said, “Nobody has affected our quarterback quite like Louisville did.”

Star running back Audric Estime could never get going against Louisville, running 10 times for only 20 yards. Spencer Shrader kicked two 50-yard field goals in the contest and became the first Notre Dame kicker to accomplish that feat in the same game. The Irish have scored 21 or fewer points in three straight games for the first time since 2012. They have not done so in four straight games since a 9-game streak in 2006-07.

The Irish are facing a fourth straight Top 25 opponent for the time since 2000. The Irish are seeking to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2021-22 (first three games under HC Marcus Freeman) and trying to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time since 2016.

ND has won eight of its past 10 at home vs. Top 25 foes even with the earlier loss to Ohio State but is: 2-8 vs AP Top-10 opponents over the last 5 seasons (2-1 vs Clemson, 0-7 vs all others). It has lost eight straight games vs AP Top-10 USC teams (last win: 1995).

Notre Dame leads the series with USC, which began in 1926, 50-37-5. In USC-Notre Dame games in which both teams are ranked by AP, Notre Dame holds a 17-14-2 edge. In South Bend, the Irish led 28-13-1. Weather could be a factor Saturday with some rain in the forecast and rather chilly.

USC vs. Notre Dame Betting Trends

  • USC is 2-6 ATS in the last 8 games.
  • USC is 6-0 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The total went over in 13 of USC’s last 14 games.
  • Notre Dame is 11-3 SU in the last 14 games.
  • Notre Dame is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games against an opponent in the Pac-12 conference.
  • The total went over in 10 of Notre Dame’s last 14 games.

USC vs. Notre Dame Expert Betting Predictions

USC 31, Notre Dame 30.

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