Notre Dame’s quarterback drama has overshadowed the Fighting Irish’s relative inexperience, as well as their trouble covering on the road. The Fighting Irish are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Texas Longhorns with a total of 60 points for their game in Texas on Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Notre Dame is just 5-8 straight-up and 6-7 against the spread in its last 13 road games, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. That includes being 4-3 SU and 2-5 ATS in September road games since 2010.
Irish quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire are seasoned, but the same cannot be said of the Irish depth chart. Notre Dame has turned over more than half of its lineup and has graduated six of its top seven receivers, meaning a young group will be running routes against Texas’ skilled secondary.
However, the Irish have a strong offensive line and Texas struggled at stopping the run last season. The Longhorns, who are starting true freshman QB Shane Buechele, are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 outings as an underdog.
The total has gone over in eight of Notre Dame’s last 12 road games, and in 14 of its last 21.
Elsewhere, Labor Day weekend includes four Top 25 matchups.
The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide are listed as 11.5-point favorites against the USC Trojans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, with a total of 53.5 points. The Crimson Tide, who are riding a 12-0 SU streak, are on a 4-1 both SU and ATS run in September games where they are favored by 14 or fewer points.
Coach Nick Saban should have another stout defense – including CB Marlon Humphrey – to get in the face of Southern Cal’s first-year starting QB Max Browne. The Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last four outings as underdogs.
The Oklahoma Sooners are 11.5-point favorites against the No. 15 Houston Cougars at NRG Stadium, with a total of 68 points. The Sooners’ Baker Mayfield and the Cougars’ Greg Ward Jr. are each explosive, athletic QBs. Mayfield and his receivers are facing a Cougars secondary with four new starters. Since 2013, Houston is 7-0 ATS as an underdog of 7.5 points or more. The total has gone under in five of Houston’s last seven games.
In their debut under new coach Kirby Smart, the Georgia Bulldogs are 2.5-point favorites against the North Carolina Tar Heels, with a total of 56.5 points. Georgia is built around defense and RB Nick Chubb. North Carolina, 11-2 SU in their last 13 games, has high-scoring capability with junior QB Mitch Tribisky, but struggles in run defense.
Georgia is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. ACC teams. The total has gone over in five of the Tar Heels’ last six games.
The Florida State Seminoles are four-point favorites against the Mississippi Rebels for their Monday matchup in Orlando, with an over/under of 57 points. Star Seminoles RB Dalvin Cook is facing a defense that has been patched up with graduate transfers Detric Bing-Dukes and Rommel Mageo.
Florida State is 6-0 SU in its last six games after losing as a favorite, but Mississippi is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games as an underdog.