NCAA Football Betting – Irish look to break skid against Trojans

by on October 17, 2009

This year’s USC vs Notre Dame odds for their annual rivalry game is tilted towards the Trojans, who have won seven straight against the improved Fighting Irish. Can Notre Dame stop it the slide?

USC vs Notre Dame odds – Saturday, October 17, 3:30 PM ET

The No.6 Trojans (4-1, 2-1) have gone through a bit of a transition on offense, but their defense is keeping USC’s sportsbook hopes alive. The Trojans are sixth in the nation in total defense, and fourth in points allowed, and this is amazing when you consider that their entire starting linebacking core was drafted into the NFL. Led by safety Taylor Mays, who may be one of the top NFL picks next year himself, the Trojans are a fast, aggressive bunch that come after you from the beginning of the game until the final whistle.

The No.25 Irish (4-1) are powered by the No.10 offense in the country, led by quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who is the top-rated passer in the nation. However, the defense is awful, coming in 100th in the NCAA, and 110th against the pass. Their defense is only 68th against the run, and that’s only because teams can pass on them at will, so why bother with the ground game?

USC is a 10-point favorite on the road at South Bend in your gambling software, and rumors are swirling that Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis will be fired if he doesn’t end the Irish’s seven-game losing streak against the Trojans in one of college football’s oldest rivalries. This should be a game for USC quarterback Matt Barkley to make a name for himself, as he has some big shoes to fill (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez). The Notre Dame offense hasn’t played a defense of USC’s caliber yet this year, and Clausen will have a hard time dealing with not only USC’s secondary, but their pass rush as the Trojans lead the nation in sacks. It could be a long day for Weis, as his Irish are improved, but they’re not on USC’s level yet. Go with the Trojans to cover in your sports picks.

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