The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and LSU Tigers get to New Year’s Day by getting an invite to the Citrus Bowl. If you didn’t notice, bowl committees like inviting teams with fans who travel on New Year’s. Of course, the playoff teams were locked in one way or the other, but there are a few teams who got to play on this day because of their support. Money talks when it comes to bowl games. This should nevertheless be a good game between two storied programs. I think they got it right with this matchup.
The odds would suggest that it’s going to be a good game, as LSU head in as slight favorites at 3. Action seems to be coming in fairly even, with around 50% of bets on either side. Notre Dame went 9-3, while LSU went 9-3 as well. The Fighting Irish saw losses against Georgia, Miami, and Stanford. The Miami game was flat out embarrassing as it was never a close contest. When the dust settled, the Hurricanes earned a 41-8 victory. Their best win of the year was a 49-14 route of the Trojans.
Conversely, LSU looked at losses against Alabama, Troy, and Mississippi State. That Troy loss looks out of place, and it came of all places at Tiger Stadium. LSU simply overlooked Troy and were burned by it. Taking a loss against Alabama is no surprise, and Mississippi State to an extent, but the Troy loss is an ugly spot on their portfolio. The Tigers concluded the 2017 regular season with a 45-21 win over Texas A&M.
The Tigers will head into the Citrus Bowl with some notable injuries. LSU’s front-seven is going to be down three starters. Arden Key, Corey Thompson, and Donnie Alexander are all out for this one. All three of them are cogs in that LSU defense. For Notre Dame, they will be down some talent at wide receiver. Notably, Kevin Stephenson and tight end Alize Mack are absent for the Citrus Bowl. Even with some players down for both sides, it should be a good game. Head below for our free Notre Dame vs. LSU pick in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. LSU Tigers Betting Odds:
Notre Dame +3(-110)
vs. LSU -3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Notre Dame vs. LSU Pick:
Notre Dame had one of, if not the best offensive line in the country. If we’re going by awards, the Fighting Irish have the top offensive line. They were awarded the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the best line in the country. The line is packed with NFL ready talent, and has helped make the Notre Dame Irish work. In particular, they’ve been getting yardage on the ground. They averaged 279.1 yards per game rushing the football for 7th in the nation. Josh Adams led the way on the ground with 1,386 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush will take off and run as well.
Wimbush prefers to run rather than pass. He’s rushed for 766 yards and 14 touchdowns. Wimbush has been fine passing the ball with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, but what LSU really needs to look out for is his running ability. If he wants a crease he can run for a while. This rushing attack is going to test a front-seven of the Tigers who are suffering from injuries. The game plan for Notre Dame is going to be to keep it on the ground and exploit the issues the Tigers are having up-front. The Irish have issues at receiver, but they’ll be fine if they hit the ground running.
Danny Etling will lead LSU under center today. He’s been efficient with 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Like Notre Dame, they’re going to keep the ball on the ground in this one. They will feed Derrius Guice early and often. Instead of bypassing the bowl game and look towards the NFL, Guice has decided to play against Notre Dame. I feel that the Fighting Irish are going to hit their big plays with Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush. The injuries to LSU cannot be overlooked in this spot against the Irish offensive line. They may have gotten away with it against a bad or average offensive line, but not against this unit who will bully them throughout. This game should nonetheless come down to the wire. The Irish are heading into this game 0-3 against the spread in their last three games. Meanwhile, LSU are 3-0 in their last three. Teams that have gone 0-3 ATS to finish the season have covered the spread at a 11-2 clip in their bowl game. I’d back the beefy Notre Dame offensive line in the Citrus Bowl.
PICK: NOTRE DAME +3 (-110)