USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jerry Tillery and Clayton Thorson
Notre Dame-Northwestern Betting Odds
- Spread: Notre Dame -10.5
- Over/Under: 53
- Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Before the season, Notre Dame’s trip to Northwestern didn’t seem like one of its toughest tests on a schedule filled with land mines.
But now, thanks to Northwestern’s two big outright upsets and the Irish’s opponents falling short of expectations, it sure seems that way. Notre Dame is No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings and just needs to keep winning to reach the national semifinals.
Can Northwestern derail those hopes, or will the Irish roll in what could basically be a home game in Evanston?
>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Market Moves for Notre Dame-Northwestern
By Danny Donahue
After opening at -7 at Bookmaker and -7.5 at Pinnacle, Notre Dame is now a 10.5-point favorite around most of the market. The Irish are only receiving a small majority of the betting activity in this game, however, accounting for 54% of bets and 59% of dollars wagered.
The total hasn’t had nearly the same kind of movement. In fact, it’s remained at its opening Pinnacle number all week despite 77% of bets and 60% of dollar on the over.
Metrics That Matter for Notre Dame-Northwestern
1. Neither team will hurt itself, as the Irish and Wildcats are two of the most disciplined teams in the country.
2. Northwestern can not run the ball. The Wildcats average a paltry 2.58 yards per carry, which ranks 128th in the country. That doesn’t set up well against a strong Notre Dame pass defense that only allows 5.5 yards per pass attempt (sixth-best in FBS).
3. Northwestern has a horrid special teams unit, ranking 122 of 130 FBS teams in special teams S&P+. The Wildcats have made just six of their 10 field goals and rank in the bottom third of FBS in all return efficiency metrics.
Seriously, Northwestern Can’t Run
By Steve Petrella
Stuckey wasn’t kidding. The Wildcats can’t (or don’t) run the ball.
They call more passing plays than all but five teams, including Washington State and Hawaii. That’s not how you typically think of Northwestern.
This reflects in their total possessions, too, because the clock is always stopped. Northwestern averages 14.88 drives per game, 10th nationally. Its 80 plays per game ranks eighth. More drives equal more points, and both teams rank top 30 in plays per minute.
I’m not betting this over because I have my doubts about how effective Northwestern will actually throw the ball against this stout Irish secondary. I may be looking to hit the second-half over, though, given how many possessions there could be in this game.
Is Either Team Overvalued?
By Ken Barkley