Notre Dame underdogs at Stanford in crucial matchup

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s College Football Playoff hopes will be on the line Saturday when they visit the Stanford Cardinal as 4-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

After tumbling from No. 4 to No. 6 in this week’s CFP rankings, Notre Dame will need a big victory in Saturday night’s Fighting Irish vs. Cardinal betting matchup at Stanford Stadium, as well as help from Penn State, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State to have a chance at qualifying for a shot at their first national championship since 1988.

The Irish are coming off a narrow 19-16 win over Boston College, escaping with the straight-up victory but falling well short of covering as 14.5-point chalk, marking their second straight against-the-spread loss with both losses coming against teams that have combined to lose 12 straight SU.

No. 9 Stanford will also be jockeying for bowl game positioning in this weekend’s matchup. The Cardinal are coming off a 35-22 win over California last weekend, covering as 10-point chalk and improving their overall record to 9-2 SU.

It was a bounce-back victory for Stanford, who saw its CFP chances all but dashed in a 38-36 loss to the Oregon Ducks two weeks ago, ending its eight-game SU win streak. However, the Cardinal remain a dominant force at home, winning 25 of their last 28 SU, including each of their last three home dates with Notre Dame.

In addition to a statement victory over Stanford, the Irish will be looking for at least one of the three teams they are chasing for a CFP berth to be upset this weekend.

No. 5 Michigan State climbed four positions in the rankings following its stunning 17-14 win over the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes last week, and host the Penn State Nittany Lions as 11-point chalk.

The 7-4 Nittany Lions have lost two straight, SU and ATS, but are 3-2 SU in their last five visits to East Lansing according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

No. 4 Iowa visits Nebraska as a slim 1.5-point favorite. The undefeated Hawkeyes have won five of their last six on the road, but have struggled at the sportsbooks, going 2-4 ATS in their last six, while the Cornhuskers ride a two-game SU and ATS win streak.

No. 3 Oklahoma will also look to continue their meteoric rise up the CFP rankings when they battle No. 11 Oklahoma State as 6.5-point road favorites.

The Sooners failed to cover a huge 19-point spread in 30-29 win over TCU last week, and are just 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last four meetings with the rival Cowboys.