Oklahoma Notre Dame Odds
The No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) head to South Bend on Saturday, September 28 to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1). This is a rematch from the 30-13 beating the Fighting Irish put on the Sooners last season in Norman an route to an unbeaten 12-0 regular season.
This will be the 11th meeting between these teams all-time. Oddsmakers have installed Oklahoma as a 3.5-point favorite at Notre Dame with a total set of 48.5 points. You can watch this contest on NBC at 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon.
Why Oklahoma Covers
The Sooners came into the 2013 way underrated despite winning 10 or more games in six of the past seven seasons. There were many that believed that they would be down following the loss of the school’s all-time leading passer in Landry Jones. That couldn’t be further from the truth thus far as the Sooners have opened 3-0 in 2013. Bob Stoops never reloads, he simply rebuilds.
While the offense has changed to a more run-first scheme, it has been just as effective. The Sooners are averaging 33.7 points and 490.3 total yards per game. Blake Bell has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 451 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The running game has averaged 272 yards per game and 5.4 per carry. The defense is improved as well, limiting opponents to just 9.0 points and 291.3 total yards per game.
It’s Notre Dame that has taken a step back off its BCS Championship appearance last season. It lost 30-41 at Michigan in Week 2, which is the same Wolverines team that was nearly upset by both Akron and Connecticut the past two weeks. The Notre Dame offense has been one-dimensional all season, averaging just 113 rushing yards per game and 3.7 per carry. It’s going to be hard to do much against this stingy Oklahoma defense that is yielding just 191 passing yards per game on 51.3 percent completions.
Plays on road favorites (OKLAHOMA) – with a good first half defense – 8 or less points per game, after allowing 7 points or less in the first half in 2 straight games are 66-29 (69.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Sooners are 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 non-conference games. The Fighting Irish are 1-5-1 against the number in their last seven home games.
Why Notre Dame Covers
The Fighting Irish have already played a much tougher schedule than Oklahoma. They have faced the likes of both Michigan and Purdue on the road as well as Michigan State at home. Oklahoma’s three opponents thus far have been Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia and Tulsa. Louisiana-Monroe was beaten 7-70 at Baylor last week. West Virginia was beaten 0-37 at Maryland last week. Tulsa was beaten 7-34 at Bowling Green in Week 1.
There’s no question that Notre Dame is the more battle-tested team heading into this one. It is coming off a hard-fought 17-13 home victory over a very good Michigan State team. Getting the Fighting Irish as a home underdog is quite generous when you consider they are a perfect 9-0 straight up in South Bend over the last two seasons.
Getting the Fighting Irish as a home underdog is quite generous when you consider they are a perfect 9-0 straight up in South Bend over the last two seasons.
Oklahoma is a one-dimensional offensive team as it relies heavily on its running game. Notre Dame has been solid against the run this season, allowing just 114 rushing yards per game and 3.7 per carry despite playing some very good running teams. That should come as no surprise considering the Fighting Irish returned five starters along the front seven defensively, including NG Louis Nix (50 tackles, 7.5 for loss), DE Stephon Tuitt (47 tackles, 12 sacks) and LB Prince Shembo (51 tackles, 7.5 sacks).
Notre Dame is 9-1 all-time against Oklahoma with its last loss coming back in 1956. It amassed 403 total yards in a 30-13 victory at Oklahoma last season. Brian Kelly is 10-1 against the spread after gaining 125 or less rushing yards in two straight games in all games he has coached. His teams are coming back to win 27.9 to 14.5 in this spot, or by an average of 13.4 points per game.
Notre Dame is 9-1 all-time against Oklahoma with its last loss coming back in 1956. It amassed 403 total yards in a 30-13 victory at Oklahoma last season.
My Early Lean: Notre Dame +3.5