NCAA College Football Betting - Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (#5) have been one of the biggest stories of the season after steadily working their way up the rankings, win after win. Notre Dame is now 7-0. The Oklahoma Sooners (#8) will host the Fighting Irish this weekend and likely provide the Irish their greatest test yet. Notre Dame has already beat a number of lower ranked teams on their way up the rankings but this will be their first top ten test. Oklahoma has gone against only two ranked opponents this season, one of those games was a loss to now #3 Kansas State 24-19. Oklahoma is 5-1 at the moment.

Notre Dame has announced that QB Everett Golson will start against Oklahoma after passing concussion tests. Golson had missed last week’s game after sustaining the concussion two weeks ago against Stanford. Golson has been Notre Dame’s main QB this season but has a solid backup in sophomore Tommy Rees. Notre Dame’s passing offense is ranked 100th in the nation and their rushing game is ranked 38th. In points for they are ranked 77th averaging 25.9 points a game.

Notre Dame’s defense has been absolutely outstanding ranking 2nd in the nation allowing an average of 9.4 points a game. The Notre Dame defense is led by Heisman candidate Manti Te’o who has over 65 tackles this season and 4 interceptions. The defense will need to be focused this week when they go up against one of the nation’s top offenses.

Oklahoma has the 25th best passing game and the 34th best running game, putting it all together for average points scored ranking of 5th in the nation. Oklahoma averages 100 yards more per game than the Notre Dame offense and roughly equal rushing yards. This helps explain why Oklahoma scores an average of 44.7 points per game. Notre Dame will have trouble matching this potency as Oklahoma’s defense is no push over. Ranked 12th in points against, the Sooner defense allows an average of 15.3 points a game.

Without either team having played a very high ranked team it is hard to predict the outcome of this game. However, Oklahoma is the favorite to win this game by 10 points; with an over/under of 48.5 points. Given the strength of both defenses this point total is quite a statement. These numbers would work out to a score of 30-19 to go over. If you think this is a reasonable score then you are probably looking at the Oklahoma-Kansas State game that ended with a score of 24-19. That would be one example of a top ten matchup. But other top ten matchups such as LSU-South Carolina, LSU-Florida and Georgia-South Carolina have all been under 48.5 points. Another way of looking at it is to subtract each teams points against average from the other teams points for average.

A spread of 10 points seems reasonable though as most top ten matchups do not end up being this great a difference. As a point of comparison, Notre Dame held the Texas Longhorns to 21 points. Texas has the 6th ranked points for average in the nation with 44.4 points; right behind Oklahoma’s offense. If Notre Dame could hold Oklahoma to 21 points they could win the game. Otherwise Oklahoma will cover the spread.

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