Daily Sports Picks: Notre Dame, USC Headline Big Saturday Football Card

Oct 20, 2017

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Oskeim Sports provides several daily sports picks involving Saturday’s college football card.  One of the daily sports picks is on the Notre Dame/USC college football game.

My math model favors Notre Dame by over a touchdown so we are getting excellent line value with the modest home favorite. Notre Dame possesses a potent offense that is averaging 40.0 points and 471 total yards at 6.4 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow just 5.3 to a mediocre attack.

The strength of Notre Dame’s offense is its powerful ground game that is averaging 308 rushing yards per game at 6.9 yards per carry against teams that would combine to allow just 4.4 yards per rush attempt to a mediocre backfield.

The Irish also have the ability to create explosive plays as evidenced by the fact that they are averaging 11.8 yards per point against teams that would combine to allow 15.2 yards per point. After its 20-19 loss to Georgia in Week Two, a loss that doesn’t look nearly as bad today, Notre Dame has scored 49, 38, 52 and 33 points, respectively, in each of its last four games.

The Irish should be able to move the ball against a pedestrian USC defense that is 0.3 yards per play better than average (5.1 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yards per play).

Overall, Notre Dame’s offense owns a 0.8 yards per advantage from the line of scrimmage over the Trojans’ stop unit. Both teams should be able to move the ball in this game as USC’s offense is 0.8 yards per play better than average (6.4 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.6 yards per play to a mediocre attack).

While the Irish have been good on the defensive side of the ball (0.5 yards per play better than average), the Trojans’ attack owns a 0.3 yards per play advantage from the line of scrimmage.

USC arrives in town with a 6-1 record, but the Trojans have been perpetually overvalued by the betting market. Indeed, USC is 1-6 ATS this season (0-5 ATS L/5) and has posted a 3-9 ATS record in its last twelve road games and a 7-17 ATS mark on the road versus teams with a winning home record.

In contrast, the Irish are a profitable 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, 8-3 ATS in their last eleven games following a bye week and 37-18-2 ATS in the month of October. Let’s also note that the favorite is a perfect 5-0 ATS in this series, while the home team has covered the spread in four straight meetings.

Since 1992, USC is 0-9 ATS on the road following back-to-back straight-up wins as a favorite, provided the Trojans failed to cover the spread in each of those two games. The Trojans are also a 61.5% ATS losing proposition following consecutive wins over the last 26 years. The difference in this game will be Notre Dame’s 5th-ranked rushing attack and 18th-ranked red zone offense against an overrated USC stop defense that is 67th-best in the nation.

Finally, Notre Dame possesses the 15th-best scoring defense and the18th-best red zone defense. Lay the number with the Fighting Irish as one of Oskeim Sports’ Daily Sports Picks.

Daily Sports Picks for Saturday, October 21:

  • Notre Dame (-3) (-115)
  • Toledo (-16)
  • Miami Florida (-16.5)