Shaken Trojans visit Notre Dame as heavy underdogs

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will attempt to revive their College Football Playoff hopes when they play host to the USC Trojans on Saturday as strengthening 7-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Irish rebounded from a disappointing 24-22 loss at Clemson two weeks ago with a strong 41-24 win over the long-time rival Navy Midshipmen, picking up the win against the spread to improve to 6-1 ATS in their last seven contests and climbing one position in the AP Top 25 to No. 14.

Notre Dame also enters Saturday afternoon’s Trojans vs. Fighting Irish betting matchup at Notre Dame Stadium with a perfect 4-0 straight up record on home turf this season, going undefeated ATS while winning by an average margin of 21.25 points.

It has been a tumultuous week for the Trojans, who fell out of the national rankings following a stunning 17-12 loss to the Washington Huskies after being pegged as heavy 17-point betting favorites.

The defeat drops USC to 3-2 on the season and 1-2 against Pac-12 rivals despite owning the conference’s second-best defense.

Shockwaves then rippled through the program with news this week of the firing of Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian less than two years into his tenure with the squad, with quarterbacks coach Clay Helton taking over as interim coach.

The news has dramatically impacted the odds in Saturday’s game, with the Irish quickly strengthening their position as favorites after opening as slim 3-point chalk.

Overall, the Trojans are 5-2 SU in their last seven contests according to the OddsShark College Football Database, but a mediocre 5-6 ATS, and have seen the point total play UNDER in seven of their past 11 overall and in each of their past five on the road.

Their visit to South Bend also marks the first time the Trojans have not been favored since their late-season visit to UCLA in last year’s Victory Bell clash, in which they dropped a 38-20 decision to the Bruins, ending a 4-0 SU and ATS run as underdogs.

USC has also produced mixed results in recent dates with the Irish, posting a decisive 49-14 home win last season to sit at 2-3 SU and ATS in their last five against Notre Dame, after taking home the SU win in each of their previous eight meetings.