Oregon State vs. Notre Dame: Prediction & Odds (12/29/23)

Oregon State faces Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl on Friday (12/29/23). In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our Oregon State vs. Notre Dame best bet which is under 41.5 points.

Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Prediction

I’ve written a handful of bowl game previews thus far, and this game includes by far the most news in terms of opt-outs, transfers, injuries, and coaching changes. It’s a mountain of information, but we have to parse through it to figure out if there’s any sort of a betting angle to be found in this game.

On the Oregon State side, former head coach Jonathan Smith is off to Michigan State and he’s taking a handful of assistant coaches with him. Former passing game coordinator Kefense Hynson will be the interim head coach and Ben Gulbranson will start at quarterback for him with DJ Uiagalelei and Aidan Chiles in the transfer portal.

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez is suspended while offensive tackle Tailese Fuaga and wide receiver Anthony Gould have opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft. Key defensive starters in the transfer portal include linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, cornerback Jeromd McCory and safety Akili Arnold.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has a ton of absences, as well. Opt-outs for the NFL Draft include quarterback Sam Hartman, running back Audric Estime and offensive tackles Joe Alt and Blake Fisher. Linebacker Marist Liufau and cornerbacks Cam Hart and Thomas Harper have also opted out for this game.

The Fighting Irish will also be without several key players in the transfer portal including wide receivers Tobias Merriweather, Chrys Tyree, and Rico Flores Jr., tight end Holden Staes, center Zeke Correll, edge Nana Osafo-Mensah and safety Ramon Henderson. Tight end Mitchell Evans and guard Rocco Spindler suffered season-ending injuries, meanwhile.

Redshirt freshman Steve Angeli will get his first career start for Notre Dame in this game, and he’ll be doing it without offensive coordinator Gerad Parker, who accepted an offer to be the new head coach at Troy. Angeli completed 19 of 25 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns in limited action this season.

With so many absences on both teams, we can’t exactly use season-long metrics to dictate where our money should go in this game. The only bet I can somewhat endorse here is the under with both teams likely lacking motivation and an uphill battle for backup quarterbacks missing key offensive linemen and skill position players.

Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Prediction: Under 41.5 Points

Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Best Odds

I’d be fascinated to learn the process in setting lines for a game like this with an unbelievable amount of uncertainty for both teams, but we do have betting odds here. The spread has Notre Dame favored by 6.5 points while the over/under can be found at 41.5 points. Those numbers lead to an implied score of around 24-17 in favor of the Fighting Irish.

Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Key Matchups

In a game dominated by opt-outs and transfers, fresh faces will get an opportunity to prove themselves on a big stage. Let’s break down the matchup between each team’s quarterback, who will be looking to lead their program to a Sun Bowl win.

Ben Gulbranson vs. Steve Angeli

The quarterback matchup here would have been fascinating between DJ Uiagalelei and Sam Hartman, but instead, we’ll see two relatively unproven passers. Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson completed his only pass this season, but he made eight starts for the Beavers last season. In those games, he completed 62.9% of his passes with nine touchdowns to five interceptions.

Meanwhile, Steve Angeli is a three-star freshman from Westfield, New Jersey, who will be looking to prove himself in his first start. He won’t be the starter for Notre Dame next year with Duke’s Riley Leonard transferring in and all but assured of that position, but Angeli has an opportunity to show his talent and perhaps catch the eye of a quarterback-needy team elsewhere in the country.

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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