(OddsShark.com) – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be without starting quarterback Malik Zaire on Saturday when they battle the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as 2.5-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Irish lost Zaire for the remainder of the 2015 season after the junior pivot suffered a broken ankle in last weekend’s 34-27 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers.
The win improved Notre Dame’s straight up record to 2-0 on the season, solidifying their position at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Yellow Jackets vs. Fighting Irish betting matchup at Notre Dame Stadium.
The loss of Zaire brings the total number of Irish players out for the season to five, and has wreaked havoc on the betting line ahead of Saturday’s game. Since Notre Dame opened as 2-point chalk, the line has steadily moved in the Yellow Jackets’ favor.
With injuries piling up, doubt has also been cast on Notre Dame’s chances of qualifying for this season’s College Football Playoff.
After rising to join the frontrunners in college football futures betting, with 14/1 odds following their 38-3 season-opening win over the Texas Longhorns, the Fighting Irish have tumbled to a distant 33/1 odds to win the national championship, their weakest odds since opening the 2014 season as 50/1 longshots.
The weight of Notre Dame’s national title hopes now rest on the shoulders of backup quarterback DeShone Kizer, who orchestrated the Irish’s game-winning drive against the Cavaliers after Zaire left the game, and is expected to be at the helm in Week 3.
The Fighting Irish put a three-game SU winning streak on the line in their clash with No. 14 Georgia Tech, who have roared out of the gate in the young season, tallying 134 total points in a pair of lopsided wins over Alcorn State and Tulane.
The Yellow Jackets’ current win streak improves them to 8-1 SU and a perfect 9-0 ATS in their past nine overall, including a 2-1 SU record, 3-0 ATS, against teams ranked in the Top 10, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
Georgia Tech has also enjoyed success in recent meetings with the Fighting Irish, going 2-1 SU in their last three on the road, while posting ATS victories in each of their last four.