For the second straight season, Notre Dame is a double-digit favorite against USC.
Following a 52-0 beat down of Bowling Green, the Irish opened as 10-point favorites on Sunday at Circa Sports for Saturday night’s Week 7 game (7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT, NBC). The total opened at 62, but early action moved both the line (10.5) and total (61).
Last season, the Irish won 24-17 as a 10-point road favorite to complete a perfect regular season. This time around, Notre Dame is 4-1 both straight up and against the spread as it looks for another cover to get back to .500 ATS against the Trojans since 2000. The UNDER is 7-4-2 in the last 13 games between Notre Dame and USC, but the Trojans are expected to get a key offensive piece back for Saturday’s game.
USC QB Kedon Slovis, who suffered a concussion against Utah on Sept. 20, has been cleared to return to practice and is expected to start for the Trojans, who are coming off a bye week after losing to Washington. Slovis is hitting nearly 78% of his passes in the Air Raid for 732 yards, but has four interceptions in four games. Protecting the ball will be key for the Trojans (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) against Notre Dame, which leads FBS in turnover margin.
Saturday’s game will also give USC coach Clay Helton another chance to improve on his dreadful ATS record as an underdog. In 15 games catching the points, Helton’s teams are just 2-13 SU and 3-12 ATS. On the road, Helton is 7-14-1 ATS and is 13-8-1 to the UNDER.
Elsewhere in Week 7, No. 10 Penn State opened as a 2.5-point road favorite over No. 17 Iowa, but swift action moved the line to 4 in early betting hours at Circa. No. 5 LSU is a 14.5-point favorite over No. 7 Florida in the only top-10 matchup of Week 7.
Big Ten opening lines, schedule for Oct. 12
Rutgers at Indiana (-25, 51.5), Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
Maryland (-2, 61) at Purdue, Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
No. 16 Michigan (-19, 56) at Illinois, Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin (-9.5, 42.5), 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT
Nebraska at Minnesota (-6.5, 56.5), 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT
No. 10 Penn State (-2.5, 46.5) at No. 17 Iowa, 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT
CFB top 5 opening betting lines
No. 1 Alabama (-18, 60.5) at No. 24 Texas A&M
Florida State at No. 2 Clemson (-27.5, 64.5)
No. 3 Ohio State – BYE
South Carolina at No. 4 Georgia (-24, 55.5)
No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU (-13, 56)