Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Betting Odds, Picks: How Our Experts Are Picking This Week 1 Blue Blood Football Showdown
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: The Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Notre Dame and Ohio State go head-to-head in a top-five battle.
- Here's how our staff is betting the matchup from the spread to the total.
- Read below for insight on this showdown.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Odds
|Notre Dame Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Ohio State Odds|
-110o / -110u
By Dan Keegan
Two of the bluest of the blue bloods meet Saturday night in a glitzy and glamorous matchup in Columbus, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
This will be only the seventh time these teams have met on the gridiron in their collectively rich histories, and those sparse meetings have no predictive value here.
Notre Dame’s last win over Ohio State came in 1936 by a score of 7-2 — a line that looks more like a Gerrit Cole start than a modern college football game. Ohio State has won the last four, thanks to a pair of wins in the mid-1990s and two recent Fiesta Bowl victories.
The Buckeyes come into the 2022 season as one of the favorites to win the College Football Playoff at +300, behind only Alabama.
Ryan Day has a preposterous collection of playmakers at his disposal. Quarterback CJ Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba are megastars, while running back TreVeyon Henderson is all that and a bag of chips.
The defense was the Achilles' heel last season, but new defensive coordinator in Jim Knowles was brought in to field a title-worthy unit. Anything short of a ring would be a disappointment for this outfit.
Notre Dame faithful likewise have high hopes for this campaign, although the goals are not quite as lofty.
Longtime head man Brian Kelly takes his purple hued-complexion to don LSU’s purple and gold, and so the Irish brass swung for the fences, turning over the job to rising star Marcus Freeman.
Freeman has injected Notre Dame with new life on the recruiting trail, and his defensive acumen is best-in-class.
But this is an offense-friendly sport these days, and so the Buckeyes sit at -17.5 favorite after opening at 13.5. At time of this writing, the total is at 58.5 at most shops.
This is an interesting game for the modern ecosystem of the sport. College football has always had a large divide between the “haves” and “have nots,” but in the CFP era, a few programs have split into a rarified air of “have a lots.” Ohio State is one of these lucky few. Notre Dame is undoubtedly one of the sport’s Goliaths, but on Saturday, it will take the field in the role of David.
We polled 13 members of the Action Network college football staff on how they would pick these two offerings. While we couldn’t come to an agreement on the spread, our staff does have some unity toward a play on the total.
Let’s dive into the matchup.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Point Spread
The Fighting Irish are going to have their hands full squaring off against a Buckeyes team that finished the 2021 campaign as the top-ranked scoring offense in the country. Last season, Ohio State averaged 45.7 points per game, primarily driven by a passing offense that was one of the best in the nation.
Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud, a grizzled veteran in the world of college football, will be making his fourth career start against a top-10 opponent Saturday night.
In his three previous starts against top-10 squads, the third-year quarterback has been a statistical wizard, possessing the highest passer rating in the nation against top-10 teams while tossing 14 touchdowns to just a lone interception.
Stroud, a Heisman frontrunner after last year’s 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns, will have plenty of weapons even after losing wide receivers Chris Olave (Saints) and Garrett Wilson (Jets) to the NFL.
Third-year receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be one of the top receivers in the nation again after hauling 95 passes for 1,606 yards last season. Second-year wideout Marvin Harrison, Jr. burst onto the scene during his first start in the Rose Bowl last year, pulling in six catches with three of those being touchdowns.
The Buckeyes look to have the running game reinforcements for their elite passing game with the maturation of TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson enters the season as the top back after rushing for 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns in his freshman season. He should again serve as an excellent change-of-pace strategy for Ohio State.
On defense, Knowles will take over as coordinator for Ohio State after Kerry Coombs was not welcomed back. Coombs effectively footed the blame for crippling losses against Oregon and Michigan.
Knowles, who joins from Oklahoma State, runs a flustering 4-2-5 that features pre-snap disguises. Last season at Oklahoma State, Knowles led the Cowboys to a top-10 scoring defense mark.
Ohio State has an experienced and hyper-athletic defensive unit that will have no issues implementing the new defensive formation.
This spot couldn’t be tougher for Freeman, who will be making his full-season debut on the road.
The Fighting Irish will turn to Tylor Buchner as the starting quarterback. Buchner is a dual-threat quarterback who has only thrown 35 collegiate passes. The offensive line should be a strong point, but there are questions at wide receiver.
Look for Stroud and his elite supporting cast to continue their ascension as the top offense in the nation. Notre Dame will be in a really tough spot with a quarterback making his first start with a new wide receiver corps.
Staff Pick: Ohio State +Decision
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Over/Under
The Buckeyes have averaged 40 or more points per game since head coach Ryan Day took over the program in 2017.
Ohio State ended the 2021 season as the most explosive team in the country at the conclusion of Stroud’s first season as starter and look to be even more potent in his second crusade.
Stroud is a preseason Heisman favorite (+220) after completing an impressive 71.9% of passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Ohio State lost some stars to the draft but does return its top producer in yards in Smith-Njigba, who posted 1,606 yards last year.
Notre Dame enters the 2022 season following a 2021 season in which it finished 19th in the nation in scoring offense, racking up 35.2 points per game.
Things will not be the same on the snap side of the ball, as the Irish feature sophomore quarterback Tyler Buchner, who will make the first start of his career on the road in Columbus. But the elite pieces are there.
Notre Dame is not nearly as explosive as the Buckeyes, but Buchner does bring a new element to the Tommy Rees-led offense as dual-threat quarterback.
Buchner saw action in 10 games — including eight of the last nine — and finished with three throwing and three rushing touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 sophomore won’t hesitate to use his 4.65 40-yard dash speed to keep plays alive if things break down.
Both teams are debuting new defensive coordinators, and it’s safe to assume there will be a learning curve for both teams as Ohio State incorporates a 4-2-5 and Notre Dame makes a change from Freeman.
Based on last season’s statistics, I project the total to be 66.5.
An adjustment is necessary to account for the change in Notre Dame’s quarterback situation; however, that will be offset by the returning productivity of Stroud and the rate at which both programs adopt the new schemes their defensive coordinators will be ironing out.