Notre Dame-USC Betting Odds: Opening Line for Irish’s Last Playoff Hurdle

Nov 18, 2018 06:03 PM EST

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: J.T. Daniels and Ian Book

  • Notre Dame opened as an 8-point betting favorite over USC in Saturday's college football regular season finale.
  • The odds indicate the Irish have a great chance at reaching the College Football Playoff.
  • South Point listed Notre Dame -1 in its lookahead lines this summer, showing the difference in performance for each team this season.

Notre Dame and USC meet on Saturday with very different stakes on the line. An Irish win almost certainly gets them in the College Football Playoff, while the Trojans need a victory to just get bowl eligible.

Oddsmakers opened Notre Dame as an 8-point favorite in Los Angeles, a big swing from when oddsmakers created this lookahead line in the summer.

Notre Dame-USC Betting Odds Movement

South Point opened Notre Dame -1 in May, and it’s since moved all the way to -8. On Oct. 22, after USC had already lost to Texas, Stanford and Utah, the Irish were -7.5.

Westgate didn’t have Notre Dame-USC listed in its Game of the Year lines.

College Football Playoff Scenarios for Notre Dame

Most people will agree that Notre Dame is out of the College Football Playoff with a loss. The schedule looked tough before the season, but so many of its opponents fell short of expectations that a one-loss Irish team probably doesn’t have a compelling enough case to get in.

Most people would also agree that if Notre Dame wins, it will get in. The only scenario the Irish get left out — Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and Michigan and Clemson both win out. In that scenario, it’s possible those four get in, though Notre Dame has the head-to-head argument over Michigan.

Notre Dame-USC Betting History

Notre Dame hasn’t been a double-digit favorite against USC since 1996, when the Irish lost outright as 13-point favorites.

Since 1980, USC has been favored 20 times in this rivalry; Notre Dame 18.

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