Week 14 of the 2014 college football season, aka Rivalry Week, heats up with a Saturday afternoon game (3:30 pm ET) that will pit two traditional national rivals The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-4) travel to the Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA to take on the host and 19th ranked USC Trojans (7-4) in what is annually one of the most anticipated rivalry games of the season. Notre Dame has lost 3 games in a row that have taken them from college football playoff contender to struggling to salvage a respectable season. They have lost to Arizona St. (55-31), Northwestern (43-40) and Louisville (31-28) in succession after starting out the season with a 7-1 start and vaulting into the top 10 of the national rankings. USC was smoked by UCLA 38-20 on the road last week, they had won 4 of their previous games prior to that loss. USC started the season 5-2 and Notre Dame started off 7-0 before their first loss at Florida St. (31-27).
Notre Dame is ranked 31st nationally in scoring offense with an average of 34.7 points per game and 29th among FBS teams in total offense with 453.3 yards per contest. The Fighting Irish rank 72nd nationally in points allowed with 27.5 per game and 57th in total defense 385.5 YPG allowed.
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USC is ranked 34th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 33.8 PPG scored and 38th among FBS teams in total offense with 441.5 YPG. The Trojans rank 53rd nationally in points allowed with 24.6 per game and 71st in total defense 402.6 YPG allowed.
Notre Dame vs. USC Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +7
@ USC Trojans -7
Over 62.5 (-110)
Under 62.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Notre Dame vs USC Pick
The Fighting Irish are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Trojans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games but 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams. The over is 4-0 in the Fighting Irish’s last 4 games overall; but the under is 9-2 in Fighting Irish’s last 11 games against. Pac-12 teams and 13-5-1 in Fighting Irish last 19 road games. The under is 12-4-1 in the Trojans’ last 17 non-conference games, 19-7-1 in their last 27 games against a team with a winning record and 4-0 in their last 4 games overall. In head-to-head play, the under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings and 4-1 in the last meetings in Troy. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, and the favorite is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
This game has lost some of the luster that it might have had had it been played in the middle of the season, both teams have struggled down the stretch and this game could mean the difference between having momentum heading into the bowl game and next season and a playing in a low level bowl game. The line is a difficult call to make here, both teams have been suspect on defense and the offenses have had issues with turnovers.Notre Dame in particular has tuned the ball over frequently during their late-season slide. The total is the play here, and the trends strongly favor the UNDER with both teams and in the series. Take the UNDER here.