USC football has a tough task ahead going into South Bend to face rival Notre Dame. Oddsmakers don’t expect much from the Trojans.
For the second-straight week, USC football is a double-digit road underdog.
Notre Dame is favored by 11 points over the Trojans for Saturday’s game in South Bend, according to the Vegas Insider consensus line.
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The Irish opened at 10.5-point favorites on Sunday. The line rose as high as 11.5 points since then before settling at 11. The over/under opened at 61 points, but bettors appear skeptical of scoring because that has since fallen to 56.5 points.
USC was an 11-point underdog to Washington before the bye week, losing that contest by 14 points. That was their second loss of the season and third loss against the spread on the season. They were favored against BYU and lost, while also failing to cover a 13.5-point line in an eight-point win over Fresno State to start the season.
Notre Dame is coming off a 52-0 win over Bowling Green, a game in which they were favored by 45 points. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 on the year and 4-1 against the spread. They didn’t manage to cover a 20-point spread in their win over Louisville in Week 1, but they have performed well since. They covered a 16-point line in a closer-than-expected loss to Georgia two weeks ago.
When it comes to the line between the two rivals, this might say it all: USC is as much of an underdog to Notre Dame as Virginia was going into South Bend at the end of September. At least the Cavaliers were undefeated at the time.
If there is hope for USC, it’s in last year’s matchup. At the Coliseum, the Trojans took on a playoff-bound Irish team and battled in a close 24-17 loss. They did so without a handful of key starters on defense and on the offensive line. If that squad could play Notre Dame tough with a chance to pull off a victory, then this one should be capable of that as well.
Unfortunately, USC’s road form is working against that outcome. Last time they played in Notre Dame Stadium they suffered an embarrassing 49-14 loss. The Trojans are 2-6 in road games in general going back to last year.