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In Week 4 of the college football season, we have a battle of two top-10 teams: No. 6 Ohio State on the road against No. 9 Notre Dame.
Below, we’ll go over the best bets for this game.
|Notre Dame||+3 (-105)||+136||O 55.5|
|Ohio State||-3 (-115)||-162||U 55.5|
On the road, Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord will have the most challenging task of his college career. His fifth-ever start comes on the road against a challenging Notre Dame team led by fifth-year college quarterback Sam Hartman.
McCord has played against Indiana, Youngstown State, and Western Kentucky this season. The most recent matchup against Western Kentucky was a great showing from him. The Buckeyes were about 28-point favorites and crushed them 63-10.
McCord completed 82.6% of his passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He has had at least one turnover-worthy play in each game this season.
He played well, but their dominance over Western Kentucky was more so because of their defense. Their defense is tremendous, with a front seven of Jack Sawyer, Michael Hall Jr., JT Tuimoloau, Tyleik Williams, Steele Chambers, and Tommy Eichenberg. Of course, Ohio State also has Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. at McCord’s disposal. Running back TreVeyon Henderson is averaging 6.4 yards per carry this season and four touchdowns.
As for Notre Dame, they have Hartman, a transfer from Wake Forest. He has 1,970 career dropbacks. To put that in perspective, McCord has 144 career dropbacks.
There’s a clear disparity here in terms of experience.
Hartman is completing 69.2% of his passes for 1,061 yards (11.5 yards per attempt), 13 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He has left tackle Joe Alt to protect him, who’s arguably a top-five draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Notre Dame also has Howard Cross III on the interior, who should be able to create pressure on Mccord and help hold Henderson in check when he runs to the left side.
Getting three points at home with an offensive line that should be able to fend off the Buckeyes pass rush to a large enough extent, a running game with Audric Estime, arguably the best running back in the country, and an incredibly experienced quarterback in Hartman, how can you not take them plus the points, but honestly, outright?
There’s no denying the Buckeyes defense to this point or McCord’s weapons, but this will be an incredibly challenging matchup for him, and we think it’ll be too much, ultimately.
Both teams have defenses that have a path to create issues for the opposing quarterback. Based on the pick against the spread above, we think Hartman has the advantage, but this has the makings of a defensive battle instead of a shootout.
Each team has weapons that match up well, and this appears to be a game that will come down to the quarterback performance and the running game, which we also side with the Fighting Irish on.
Both teams are talented enough to keep it close enough to where neither team leads by 16 points or more.
As mentioned above, this has the makings of a defensive matchup. The Buckeyes have a stout defense in the front seven, which will, at some point, create pressure on Hartman while their secondary fends off Hartman’s weapons, Jayden Thomas, Jaden Greathouse, and Tobias Merriweather.
Estime is going to be an issue for any defense.
For McCord, he’ll face a defense with Cross III, Rylie Mills, and Javontae Jean-Baptiste, who should pressure his offensive line and assist in tempering expectations of Henderson.
Final prediction: Notre Dame wins 27-24.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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