The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will hit the road to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in an AP Top-25 ranked battle on Saturday, September 25. Beyond both teams being ranked in the Top 25, there’s more significance to this game.
Former Wisconsin quarterback and current Notre Dame signal-caller Jack Coan will be taking on his old team. All eyes will be on Coan and Notre Dame as slight underdogs in this one.
Can Coan and Notre Dame pull off the upset in a neutral-site matchup with the Badgers?
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Best Bet: Notre Dame +5.5 (-110)
For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Prediction
Through Week 3, Wisconsin absolutely wishes they still rostered Jack Coan. He has eight touchdowns for Notre Dame this season, while Wisconsin’s starter Graham Mertz has two interceptions and no passing touchdowns through two games.
Offensively, the Fighting Irish are putting the pieces together slowly. Through three games, Notre Dame has scored 33.3 points per game while averaging over 400 yards per game.
Defensively, it looks ugly in the box score, but Notre Dame’s still got an elite defense behind a fantastic coverage unit and an above average rush defense and pass rush.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, have not shown much of anything on the offensive end. The passing game has been weak, averaging just 175.5 yards per game in the air.
Wisconsin’s poor pass protection could have something to do with this through the first two games. The Badgers were absolutely torched by the Penn State defensive line in their first game of the season.
Despite winning 34-7 against Eastern Michigan the following week, Wisconsin still hasn’t proven that they can pass the ball and move it down the field. Meanwhile, the coverage unit has been shaky, and they’ve missed plenty of tackles on top of everything else.
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Wisconsin 17
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Best Bets
Best Bet: Notre Dame +5.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1.10 Units
At the end of the day, Notre Dame has the veteran quarterback. Coan is a complete competitor and will want to prove a point in this one, making this our pick of the day in the NCAAF game day pick of the day series.
He’s playing behind a squad that has looked much better than the box score might indicate. The Fighting Irish defense has been much better than allowing 26.7 points per game, and I’d expect their defense to finally lock down a Wisconsin offense that really struggled against top competition (Penn State) to start the season.
Best Bet: Under 46.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1.10 Units
As I stated above, Notre Dame’s defense is better than this. The Fighting Irish will take on Graham Mertz, a young quarterback who hasn’t looked nearly as good as he did in his first game of the pandemic season last year.
Mertz was supposed to be a star, but instead, he’s been nothing special. Mix that with a terrible offensive line that has struggled to pass protect, and it could be a long night for the Badgers offensively.
Still, despite Wisconsin’s struggles in the secondary to start the year, the pass rush has been extremely effective, which should help the secondary make a play or two in this one.
Best Bet: Notre Dame Moneyline (+190) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Notre Dame has all the talent to win this game against Wisconsin. Looking at the numbers, Notre Dame has played much better on defense and have a much more reliable quarterback under center.
The Fighting Irish almost lost to Toledo two weeks ago. That was their wake up call. If Toledo was well coached, Notre Dame would likely be out of the Top 25. They escaped.
When Coan was given a chance to help put together a comeback to beat Toledo two weeks ago, he got the job done, under pressure. Then Notre Dame defeated a solid Purdue team last week to help provide some momentum going into this one.
Put a unit on Notre Dame moneyline. There’s so much value at nearly (+200) odds.