Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. South Florida Bulls Betting Picks

September 17, 2020

Date: September 19th, 2020
Time: 2:30 PM ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium
Network: NBC
Spread: ND -24.5 
O/U: 47.5

The 1-0 South Florida Bulls will face off with the 1-0 Notre Dame Fighting at 2:30 PM ET in Notre Dame Stadium. 

The Fighting Irish opened as 26-point favorites and have been bet down to 24.5. This is an integral game for both squads and the Knights will be on the hunt for a shocking upset. 

When The South Florida Bulls Have The Ball

The Bulls accomplished exactly what they were looking to in week one against The Citadel Bulldogs, who they whooped 27-6. The defense was shutdown, holding the Bulldogs to 200 yards on 54 carries (3.7 YPC). They threw 18 times with four completions and an interception. 

Offensively, the Bulls showed the Bulldogs how to run the ball as they put up 302 yards and two scores in just 39 carries. It was a balanced attack with Kelly Joiner, Johnny Ford, Noah Johnson, and Brian Battie all picking up 40+ yards. 

The Bulls rely on the run game, but they did have three different QBs throw the ball and they were all impressive. I would expect a similar attack against Notre Dame with constantly mixed looks. 

When The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Have The Ball

Week one wasn’t perfect for the Fighting Irish, but that’s not what you’re expecting in game one after a pandemic-shortened camp. The defense looked phenomenal, holding Duke to 4/15 on third down and forcing two turnovers. They also found their new running back as Kyren Williams impressed with 112 yards and two scores. He added two catches for another 93 yards, leading the team in receiving.

We know what we’re getting with Ian Book. He’s one of the best QB’s in college football and is entering his third year as a starter. He’s combined for 5,500 yards, 52 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions since taking over the helm. He was up and down against Duke but is looking to find his footing with his new set of receivers and I wouldn’t panic.

Tight end Tommy Tremble lead the team in targets and he finished with five catches for 38 yards. Joe Wilkins and Avery Davis start on the outside and they’ll gain chemistry every game they play with Book. Look for Book to lean on Tremble and Williams in crucial spots until that trust is built.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Notre Dame -24.5

This game will be over by halftime. This South Florida defense is young and the Notre Dame defense looked great in the second half against Duke. The offense got a game under their belt and will come out firing in game two. 

The South Florida defense loses five starters and we’re already a bottom-half team against both the run and pass in 2019. Look for Ian Book to throw for close to 300 yards and for Kyren Williams to run for 100 in back-to-back weeks. Give me the Fighting Irish in a rout and I love the first half bet as I think they come out strong. 

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Total Prediction

The Notre Dame defense is going to make it tough on South Florida, but I liked what I saw out of them a week ago and I think they put up a couple of scores here. I also think they get overly aggressive once they fall behind and give Notre Dame favorable field position. 

I see the Notre Dame offense having a bit of a coming-out party in this game as they look to turn things up as they approach a few bigger games on their schedule. The offensive line struggled a bit last weekend and as the best group on this team, they’ll be looking to bounce back and maul the Bulls. Give me Notre Dame in a rout and for the over to be hit by one side here.

The Pick: Over 47.5
Final Score Prediction: Notre Dame 48, South Florida 10
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