The most highly anticipated Week 1 CFB matchup is between #2 Ohio State and #5 Notre Dame, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Notre Dame and Ohio State narrowly missed out on the College Football Playoffs last season. The winner of this week’s game is likely to enter Week 2 in the top 4, and the loser is likely to be on the outside looking in.
Of all the games this weekend, this is the most consequential for the CFB postseason picture.
Notre Dame is an independent that normally plays above-average Power 5 teams and avoids many of the best programs. This year, they also play Clemson, USC, and BYU.
If the Fighting Irish can’t hang this week, then they could easily finish the season outside of the AP Top 25.
Ohio State plays in the Big Ten, which is the best conference outside of the SEC. They can afford to lose this game, but winning will strongly bolster their postseason resume.
Read below for our Notre Dame vs Ohio State score prediction and best bets.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State Odds
These CFB odds are current as of Wednesday, Aug. 31, at BetMGM Sportsbook.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State Implied Score
Ohio State 38, Notre Dame 21
The expectation is that Ohio State will blow Notre Dame out in a game with an above-average amount of scoring.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State Betting Tips
- Figure out the tempo of the game. If it’s an uptempo high-scoring game, the odds of a blowout by either team increase. If it is a low-scoring game, Notre Dame’s chances of covering increase.
- Determine which team has a bigger weakness: Ohio State’s defense or Notre Dame’s offense.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State Prediction
Ohio State 42, Notre Dame 21
Way before the college football season started, oddsmakers set OSU as a 15-point favorite. After taking action on the game, OSU has only moved to a 17-point favorite.
The Fighting Irish are undergoing some dramatic changes. They have a new head coach in Marcus Freeman, who is replacing Brian Kelly after he left for LSU. While Kelly has a questionable southern accent since moving down south, unquestionably Notre Dame’s coaching will decline in his absence.
Not only do the Irish have a new head coach, but they have a new sophomore quarterback in Tyler Buchner. In what little action Buchner saw last season, he was a reluctant passer and chiefly a threat on the ground.
Ohio State’s defense has had some issues recently, but if they can contain Buchner on the ground, they should have a big game.
Buchner’s only significant action last year was against a struggling Virginia Tech team. Against the Hokies, Buchner went 6-for-14 throwing for 113 passing yards, two interceptions, and only one touchdown.
With an explosive OSU offense led by Heisman contender C.J. Stroud, the Buckeyes should easily put away the Irish.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State Best Bets
Ohio State -17 (-110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: .25 units
Football-wise, we should see a great game this weekend. Betting-wise, the line is mostly correct.
That is why Pinnacle, an offshore sportsbook that accepts bets from winning professional bettors, is taking $3,000 max bets on the game. They are confident that -17 OSU is the correct line.
Despite the efficiency of the betting line, a small quarter-unit bet is worth it on Ohio State.
If the Buckeyes win big against the Fighting Irish, they have an argument that they should be the No. 1 team in the country. Additionally, if Stroud has a great game, he could become the consensus Heisman favorite.
Many teams like to play conservatively with a lead in a big game, but I could see OSU running up the score. I like the Buckeyes at -17, and I would bet them up to -17.5