USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ian Book and Amon-Ra St. Brown
Notre Dame at USC Betting Odds, Pick
- Odds: Notre Dame -11
- Over/Under: 54
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
>> All odds as of Friday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
While the stakes have always remained the same — Notre Dame playing for a College Football Playoff berth in Week 13 against USC — this game has lost some luster with pretty much every passing week.
The Trojans are in an absolute tailspin, while the Fighting Irish keep rolling against a schedule that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
Are the Irish poised to finish unbeaten? Or do the Trojans have one last quality effort in them?
Odds Movement for Notre Dame-USC
After opening at -8, Notre Dame is now an 11-point favorite thanks to 90% of bets and 97% of dollars. That support makes the Irish by far the most popular bet on Saturday’s slate of games.
As for the total, it’s inched up a point behind 72% of bets and 97% of dollars.
Helton Struggles as an Underdog
Clay Helton is the anti-Tom Herman.
The USC coach is 1-10 against the spread as an underdog with the Trojans. This season, he’s 0-3 and hasn’t come within 13 points of the opposition.
USC has allowed at least 37 points in seven of those 11 games.
Notre Dame Taking Care of Business Under Book
Football Outsiders/SB Nation has a wonderful metric called post-game win expectancy that takes the boxscore of a game and spits out a win probability based only on performance, and if each team had an equal amount of luck. It gives you a great indication of which teams got lucky in a given game, and which deserved to win.
Quarterback Ian Book has started seven games, and the Irish have had a post-game win expectancy of at least 94% in all of them. The schedule hasn’t been a gauntlet, but the Irish have really taken care of business. Outside of Pitt — which the Irish still had a 94% win expectancy in — there really weren’t any close calls.
Book ranks 10th nationally in yards per attempt and second in completion percentage. With him under center, the Irish offense is averaging 6.5 yards per play compared to 5.53 with incumbent starter Brandon Wimbush. That’s the difference between Ohio State and Duke’s offenses.
Expect More of Last Week
It’s safe to say the buzzards are circling Helton at USC.
After a loss to crosstown rival UCLA, plenty of Trojan faithful feel that the rest of the Pac-12 South could pass the Trojans over the next few years with Helton at the helm.
Notre Dame had no issues putting away Syracuse at Yankee Stadium during Week 12. Only a fourth quarter field goal kept the Orange from getting shutout. The Irish almost doubled Syracuse’s total yards thanks to three interceptions.