The Notre Dame Fighting Irish face a nationally ranked team for the third time this season when they visit No. 21 Temple on Saturday night as 10.5-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Fighting Irish picked up their third consecutive straight-up win last week, topping the USC Trojans 41-31, a victory that lifts them back into the Top 10 of the national rankings for the first time since their 24-22 loss to Clemson in Week 5.
Notre Dame’s first meeting of the season with a ranked team came in Week 3, when they handed Georgia Tech a 30-22 defeat as slim 1-point favorites.
Following Saturday night’s Fighting Irish vs. Owls betting matchup at Lincoln Financial Field, the team looks forward to two more games against currently ranked squads over the final month of the regular season, including No. 23 Pittsburgh and No. 8 Stanford; matchups that likely hold the key to their College Football Playoff hopes.
The Owls returned to both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll for the first time in 36 years after opening the season with seven straight SU wins, including last week’s 24-14 upset of the East Carolina Pirates, which marks their third outright win of the season while pegged as betting underdogs.
Temple is joined in the rankings by two other undefeated teams from the AAC, No. 18 Houston and No. 16 Memphis, who sit alongside the Owls with perfect 7-0 SU records, 4-0 in conference action.
However, the Irish represent Temple’s biggest challenge of the season, and first meeting of the campaign with a ranked opponent.
Four of the Owls’ seven opponents so far this season have amassed a sub-.500 record, while Temple is a dismal 1-24 SU in their last 25 against the Top 25, with the sole victory coming last season, a 20-10 win over the Pirates, ranked No. 23 at the time.
Notre Dame had the upper hand in the only recent meeting between the two schools, picking up at 28-6 home win in 2013, failing to cover as 27.5-point favorites.
But the Fighting Irish can expect to face a tougher Owls squad this time around, ranked eighth in the nation in defense this season, surrendering just 14.6 points per game, while tallying an average of 32.3 points per game.