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Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame Predictions: Take the Fighting Irish on the Moneyline

Notre Dame Stadium will be setup for a thriller on Saturday as #7 Cincinnati roll into town
Notre Dame Stadium will be setup for a thriller on Saturday as #7 Cincinnati roll into town
By Neil Monnery

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A second top-two match-up on Saturday sees Cincinnati travel up to South Bend to take on Notre Dane in what should be a really good one. Neil Monnery takes an early look at the encounter...

For Luke Fickell and the Cincinnati Bearcats, it truly is the season on the line come Saturday in South Bend. If there was ever a year for a Group of 5 team to gatecrash the college football playoff then this is it.

Oklahoma look ready to lose any day now, which would put the Big12 in all manner of issues. Clemson’s dud looks to have scuppered the ACC. The BigTen looks good - and deep - but do they all cannibalize one another? Oregon are the class of the Pac-12 but they could easily still go down somewhere along the line.

The Bearcats had an all-important week off ahead of this one following their victory over Indiana. That win would have looked great a month back but the Hoosiers are not who they were a year ago. So a win against a still undefeated Notre Dame side is the resume booster they need.

Desmond Ridder is still very much one of the more complete QBs in college. I was, however, worried about his performance against Indiana. Until a targeting call midway through the second-quarter, I saw them going down. 20 of 36 for 210 yards, a score and a pick is not going to get it done on Saturday. I’m sure the Cincinnati staff have worked on some wrinkles to the offense to keep the Fighting Irish defense on their toes.

At the time of writing, the availability of Notre Dame QB Jack Coan is unclear. The Wisconsin transfer left Saturday’s game against his old team with an ankle injury but X-Rays have come back clean and coach Brian Kelly told the media after that rout that he was ‘pretty optimistic’ his starting QB will be ready for Saturday’s game.

The Fighting Irish have been flirting with disaster throughout the 2021 season but Saturday’s performance against what now looks to be a tepid Badgers offense was their most complete so far. The D picked off Graham Mertz four times - including returning two for scores in the fourth quarter as they pulled away and made the final scoreline more one-sided than it really was.

There are clearly questions about their offense considering 24 of their 31 4Q points came from special teams and the defense but points are points.

This should be a good one.

Spread:

The spread is all over the shop but the most common line seems to have Cincinnati-2. I just can’t see how they are the favorites. Take ND.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

I like Notre Dame to win here and go to 5-0 to get the talk about them being part of the CFP going. You can get positive odds and I’d take it. +123 available at the time of writing with BetRivers.

Over/Under Points Totals:

49.5points seems to be the most common number early in the week and I am all for the over - as long as Jack Coan starts. Scores of 41, 32, 27 and 41 so far indicates the home team will put up numbers. The visitors low-mark through three games is 38. This number is way way too low.

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