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For the second straight week, Notre Dame gets an incredibly tough home game. This time it's against Big 12 opponent, Oklahoma, who is 3-0 after three wins in which they were 20-plus-point favorites. The Fighting Irish have not helped bettors at all this year, and now aren't given much credit as 3.5-point home underdogs against the Sooners as 5 Dimes sportsbook.
Surprisingly, the betting public isn't giving the Irish much is a chance either. It's still early, but the betting trends at sportsbook.com show that 86% of the early action in this game has come in on the Sooners. That's interesting when you consider who Oklahoma has played thus far.
Notre Dame's defense has not looked as solid as they were a year ago. They already allowed 41 points to Michigan and 24 to Purdue. While they held Michigan State to 13 points, the Spartans have a major problem at quarterback. It's going to be interesting to see how Oklahoma looks in their first real difficult matchup of the season.
Opening game starter Trevor Knight is out at quarterback with an injury, but it's probably for the best as Blake Bell shined against Tulsa last weekend tossing for 413 yards and four TDs. Bell brings a big body to the table and can get yards in almost every short-yardage situation. He's joined by a couple RBs in the backfield, most notably Brennan Clay, who's leading the team with 262 yards and two TDs. WR Sterling Shepard had a huge game last weekend going for 123 yards and two TDs. This isn't a great offense, but should be able to move the ball on Notre Dame.
Defensively, the Sooners haven't had a true test yet, but it's not like the Irish have a great offense as it is. QB Tommy Rees has been solid with 1,111 yards and eight TDs, but last week's game was won due to pass interference calls. Their running game has not looked strong, which doesn't help Rees at all. They are only averaging 3.7 yards per carry as a team for 453 total yards. The loss of the mobile Everett Golson hurt greatly in that aspect. No matter, the Irish have some great receivers in DaVaris Daniels and TJ Jones, who are a nice one-two receiving punch that not a lot of teams can stop.
In last year's game, Notre Dame won at Oklahoma by way of rushing. They had three guys with at least 64 rushing yards and their defense held Landry Jones to zero TDs, albeit with 356 passing yards. Again, this ND defense is not the same as it was a year ago and the offense isn't as dynamic.
The Fighting Irish are a disappointing 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven home games, while the Sooners are just 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record.
Big revenge game for Oklahoma here after last years home loss by a large margin in a game that simply got away from the Sooners. We'll call for payback here. Oklahoma -3.5
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