The NCAAF action continues with Week 3 on Saturday, September 17, with this inter-conference encounter in Notre Dame, so don’t miss out on the best Golden Bears vs. Fighting Irish betting pick and odds.
California and Notre Dame will play their third game of the college football season when they meet at Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish are -10.5 favorites on BetDSI Sportsbook, while the total is set at 41 points. These inter-conference rivals have never met before.
Golden Bears improved to a 2-0 record thanks to strong D
The California Golden Bears entered the new NCAAF season with a pair of victories, keeping the opponents to under 15 points in each. They defeated UC Davis Aggies in the season opener before beating the UNLV Rebels, both at home. California’s defense forced three turnovers in those games, while the offense did more than enough to help the team start with a 2-0 record.
So far in the season, Jack Plummer completed 51 of 74 attempts for 546 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Jeremiah Hunter (11 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown) and J. Michael Sturdivant (ten receptions for 104 yards) are Plummer’s favorite targets, but running back Jaydn Ott is actually the team’s leader in receiving touchdowns with two, while he also scored the Golden Bears’ lone rushing TD so far. Ott added 156 rushing yards on 24 carries. Defensively, linebacker Jackson Sirmon has 17 total tackles, while DE Xavier Carlton contributed with 2.5 sacks.
Fighting Irish are desperate to bounce back
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish weren’t expected to beat the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in the season opener on the road and even managed to cover the spread. They did disappoint at home against the Marshall Thundering Herd, losing 26-21 in the game in which the Fighting Irish were 20-point favorites.
Notre Dame scored just seven points in the first three quarters against Marshall to the disappointment of more than 77,000 spectators at Notre Dame Stadium. After committing no turnovers against Ohio State, the Irish had even three against the Herd. Tyler Buchner threw two interceptions and failed to record a passing TD as his backup Drew Pyne got the team’s only passing TD in this loss.
For the season, Buchner completed just 28 of 50 pass attempts for 378 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The fact that Buchner is the team’s leading rusher with 62 yards on 24 attempts (with two touchdowns, though) is even more painful for the Notre Dame fans. Tight end Michael Mayer and wideout Lorenzo Styles are the only ones with 100+ receiving yards; Mayer also has a TD to his name. Defensively, LB Jack Kiser and DL Howard Cross III combined for 29 tackles and two sacks.
- 5-0-1 ATS in the last six games following an ATS loss
- 16-7 ATS in the last 23 road games
- 20-9 ATS in the last 29 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
California Golden Bears vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick
Notre Dame is struggling offensively and if they will rely on Buchner to carry the ball and at the same time he cannot connect with his receivers for a TD, the Fighting Irish are doomed. I don’t like how they are playing right now, and I think it’s a perfect opportunity for California to come to Indiana and make an upset. At this moment, though, it wouldn’t be upset for me, but the Irish are still the favorites. The hosts are averaging just 15.5 ppg and below 200 passing yards. California allows 13.5 ppg, and I am backing the Golden Bears to control Buchner and Notre Dame’s ineffective offense here.
Pick: Take the Golden Bears at +10.5 (-110)
I know that Notre Dame is not playing well offensively and even if they improve a bit in this one I don’t expect miracles on offense. On the other hand, if they allowed 26 points to Marshall, I think California has a chance to score 20+ here with ease. I am also backing the hosts to score 20+, something they managed to do in each of their last six at Notre Dame Stadium. Over is 5-2 in the Golden Bears’ last seven non-conference games.
Pick: Go Over 41 points (-110)