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Fighting Irish favored vs. Wake Forest, climbing championship odds

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After cracking the top four in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings with their fourth straight victory, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish return home on Saturday to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as 26.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

No. 4 Notre Dame moved up one spot in the College Football Playoff rankings following its 42-30 road win over the Pittsburgh Panthers, picking up the against-the-spread victory as 9-point favorites.

The Irish replace LSU in the top four, with the Tigers tumbling seven positions to No. 9 following a 30-16 loss to Alabama, elevating the Crimson Tide to the No. 2 spot.

With their ascension to No. 4, the Irish control their own postseason destiny heading into Saturday afternoon’s Demon Deacons vs. Fighting Irish betting matchup at Notre Dame Stadium.

Winning out in their final three regular season games would likely keep the Irish in national championship contention and that is reflected in their college football future odds which have jumped to 16/1 alongside No. 6 Baylor, No. 7 Stanford, and No. 11 Florida, after they had been languishing in the middle of the pack since their 24-22 loss to current No. 1 Clemson in early October.

The Demon Deacons arrive in South Bend enduring a three-game straight-up losing streak that leaves them with a 1-5 SU record in conference play, 3-6 overall.

Wake Forest has struggled to generate offense in recent weeks, averaging just 13.8 points per game in their last five, with their sole victory during that stretch coming at Boston College where they eked out a 3-0 win over the Eagles.

The Fighting Irish have faced Wake Forest only twice previously, recording a 38-0 shutout in their last meeting three years ago.

Notre Dame follows up this weekend’s contest with a road date against Boston College, which has scored just 56 total points in six straight losses to ACC rivals, and dropped its last four to the Irish.

The true test for the Fighting Irish will likely come in their regular season finale against Stanford, which has the potential to be a win-and-in showdown, with the loser falling out of College Football Playoff contention.

The 8-1 Cardinal have won eight straight SU, 7-1 ATS, but face a tough test this weekend against the Oregon Ducks, whom they have beaten in just three of their last 13 meetings, before hosting the California Golden Bears in Week 12.