Notre Dame visits Pittsburgh on Saturday as favorites

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Following their strong debut at No. 5 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel to Pittsburgh for a Saturday afternoon date with the Panthers as 9-point road betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Notre Dame’s strong opening on the CFP rankings gives them a huge lift after they trailed the leaders for much of the season on the AP Top 25, where they currently remain at No. 9.

The club did themselves a favor with a 24-20 win over No. 21 Temple in prime time last weekend, overcoming an Owls fourth-quarter rally to preserve the straight-up win. However, they fell short as 11-point chalk, dropping them to 6-2 against the spread entering Saturday’s Fighting Irish vs. Panthers betting matchup at Heinz Field.

This weekend’s contest marks the first time that Notre Dame has played consecutive road games this season.

The Irish played three straight on the road midway through last season, going 1-2 SU and ATS according to the OddsShark College Football Database, to kick off a dismal 1-5 SU run down the stretch that bounced them from the CFP rankings and national championship contention.

The club was a solid 5-1 SU in their previous six back-to-back regular season road contests, but a disappointing 2-4 ATS at the sportsbooks.

The Panthers fell out of the national rankings this week following a 26-19 loss to North Carolina as 1-point home underdogs, ending a four-game SU win streak and knocking them from top spot in the ACC Coastal Division standings.

While the loss leaves them with a respectable 8-3 SU record over their last 11 games, they have proven to be a major betting disappointment since the start of conference play, going 1-3 ATS in their last four.

Despite their recent struggles against ACC opponents, Pittsburgh has proven to be an underdog to watch, going 4-3 SU in their last seven, including a pair of victories in clashes with opponents that were favored by 5.5 or more points.

Pittsburgh picked up the win in their last meeting with Notre Dame two years ago, a 28-21 home victory as a 4-point home underdog, and is undefeated ATS in their last four games against the Irish.

But Notre Dame has held the edge on the scoreboard, going 3-1 SU in their last four against the Panthers, and 7-4 SU in their last 11 meetings.