The Holy War in Sin City? The Irish in their all-icy-whites (although head coach Marcus Freeman hinted Monday about the fabled green jerseys being dry-cleaned, pressed, and ready), and the Cougars donning all-black uniforms with a funky new helmet?
A perfect spectacle for a national NBC television audience. Notre Dame is 6-2 in the series, but this is the first time that BYU has been ranked and the Irish have no top-25 figure besides its name.
It says something about Notre Dame’s universal following that this line would budge up from an opening 3 since Vegas has been BYU’s second home since, well, it was established — by Mormons.
This ticket is a scalper’s dream scenario. And the way underdogs barked so loudly last weekend in college football makes us even more comfortable with our selection here.
BYU vs. Notre Dame Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market as the two teams visit Allegiant Stadium.
NCAAF · Sat (10/8) @ 7:36pm ET
|Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana|
No. 16 BYU Cougars (4-1, 2-3 Against the Spread)
Fifth-year junior quarterback Jaren Hall warmed up for his final campaign by throwing for 2,583 yards a year ago, with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions.
He has been dynamic this season, accumulating 1,438 aerial yards (a top-20 national figure), with 12 TDs and a single pick; his pick percentage of 0.6 percent is 11th-best in the game.
It’s no surprise that Keanu Hill, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore, has soared under Hall, with an average reception yardage of nearly 21 and four TDs. What’s dangerous is that BYU has three others who have gained nearly 200 yards through the air.
Chase Roberts (223 yards, 15 catches, 1 TD), a 6-4 redshirt freshman, has eclipsed that figure, while 5-11 redshirt freshman Kody Epps (198, 21, 3) and 6-3 junior Brayden Cosper (192, 15, 1) will get there Saturday.
There are hammers behind Hall, too, namely 6-1, 235-pound senior Christopher Brooks, a Cal transfer who averages 6 yards on his 49 runs and has tallied four TDs. Miles Davis (167 yards) and Lopini Katoa (110, 1 TD) do short-yardage dirty work.
The Cougars average nearly 35 points, which pits them in the top third of college football. We expect them to get there against Notre Dame’s 50th-ranked pass defense. BYU is rated 32nd, and both rush defenses are equal.
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Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish (2-2, 2-2 ATS)
The season-opening 17-point cover at Ohio State was solid, but a 26-21 defeat to Marshall at home the following week was an embarrassment. It failed to cover again at home against Cal. Then the shootout victory at North Carolina.
It’s been topsy-turvy so far for the Golden Domers, but the trouncing of the Tar Heels might have given them some ballast and provided direction.
Notre Dame has a superb arsenal, which it unleashed in Carolina. It racked up 35 first downs, one shy of the program record it established in a 48-0 belting of Army on Oct. 19, 1974.
Drew Pyne threw touchdown passes from 10, 29, and 30 yards out to three different receivers against the Heels. Audric Estime barreled in for two short TD runs, and Chris Tyree tallied another shorty.
Of course, UNC invites such track meets by allowing 36 points a game, ranking in the bottom 25 of the country. BYU’s defense is in the middle of the pack, allowing 26 a game.
Pyne will need to be leery of BYU’s 6-2 junior rover Max Tooley, who has returned both of his interceptions for TDs, tying him with two others atop that national chart. Sophomore middle linebacker Ben Bywater also has two picks for the Cougars.
BYU vs. Notre Dame Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
BYU games have gone 4-1 to Over this season, and the Irish’s high-scoring affair in Chapel Hill last week combine to influence unusual advice from our corner. Take a half-unit, if you desire, and put it on a BYU-to-Over parlay.
We are confident that the Cougars’ attack, led by the veteran and savvy QB Hall, will put on a show against the Irish in this high-profile tilt. We like BYU to win outright, says our power-rating and math models.
Value usually resides in going against very popular teams like the Yankees, Manchester United (against anyone but City), the English national soccer squad, etc., and Notre Dame fits that template. We will gladly take the four points.
Our Pick: Cougars +4 (-110)