On Saturday (10/7/23), Notre Dame faces Louisville in a primetime matchup. In this article, find the latest betting odds where Notre Dame is a 6.5-point road favorite. In addition, find a full preview of the game and our best bet under 54.5 points.
Notre Dame Vs. Louisville Prediction & Best Bet
Louisville has cracked the AP Top 25 with a 5-0 record on the heels of an unconvincing win over NC State. I typically look to fade debutants in the Top 25 as they can be overinflated in the market, but Notre Dame is also in a prime lookahead spot with USC on deck next week. Rather than attacking either of those situational angles, let’s bet the under.
The under has hit in each of Notre Dame’s last two games, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Against Ohio State, the over/under was set at 55.5 points, and it finished with 31 total points. Against Duke, the over/under was set at 52.5 points, and it finished with 35 total points. We’re now looking at another total set in the 50s.
Notre Dame’s offense had a putrid 29% success rate. Part of the offensive struggles came from the absences of wide receivers Jayden Thomas and Jaden Greathouse, who are second and third on the team in total receptions. They’re expected to return this week, which should boost the offensive upside.
However, Louisville’s run defense has been excellent – they’re third in rushing EPA allowed and top 20 in defensive line yards and explosive rush rate allowed. Notre Dame runs the ball more than they pass, and they lean on the ultra dynamic Audric Estime. However, the Cardinals have the defensive line to match Notre Dame’s elite offensive line.
I’m not projecting a ton of offensive success for Louisville, especially after Jack Plummer’s concerning performance. He had a 39.6 PFF passing grade and three turnover-worthy plays in his worst game of the season last week. Notre Dame ranks top 30 in passing EPA and success rate allowed, so it won’t get easier.
Louisville will lean on its running back Jawhar Jordan, who averages 7.7 YPC, the eighth-best mark in the Power Five. He does it behind an offensive line that ranks top 20 in average line yards. Notre Dame is 19th in rushing success rate allowed, however, so this is his toughest matchup to date.
All told, we could see a sleepy start for the Notre Dame offense with one eye towards returning home to face USC. Louisville is capable of capitalizing on that opportunity and covering the spread – or perhaps pulling off the outright upset – but I’m most confident that this total will soar over in the third straight Notre Dame game.
Notre Dame Vs. Louisville Prediction & Best Bet: Under 54.5 points
Notre Dame Vs. Louisville Betting Odds
Notre Dame opened as a 7-point favorite in this game, and the line was quickly bet down to -6.5. The over/under currently sits at 54.5 points after opening as high as 56.5.
Notre Dame Vs. Louisville Key Matchups
Notre Dame and Louisville bring plenty of exciting players to this ranked matchup. Let’s take a look at some of the key matchups that will decide the winner of this game.
Audric Estime Vs. Louisville’s Run Defense
Audric Estime is in the midst of an outstanding season with 94 carries for 672 yards and seven touchdowns through six games. He’s tied for second in the country with 36 missed tackles forced and his 19 carries of 10+ yards are tied for the most in the FBS. Estime’s numbers have slowed down a bit over the last two weeks, but he’s still a constant threat to take it to the house.
AUDRIC ESTIME!!! UNREAL DRAMA IN DURHAM
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 1, 2023
Jamari Thrash Vs. Benjamin Morrison
It’s always fun to see a top tier wide receiver face an elite cornerback, and that’s exactly what we’re getting here. Jamari Thrash is having a monster season for Louisville so far with 22 catches for 444 yards and five touchdowns through five games. He’s second in the Power Five among receivers with 30+ targets with 20.2 yards per reception.
Benjamin Morrison is just 19 years old, but he’s putting himself on the map as one of the best cornerbacks in the country. Two weeks ago against Ohio State, he held the outstanding Marvin Harrison Jr. to two catches for 26 yards on five targets. Thrash isn’t the same threat as MHJ, so this will be an uphill battle for the deep ball target.