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Irish see uptick in national title odds

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( – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish enjoy a bye this week after posting a 41-31 win over the USC Trojans last week to improve to 6-1 straight up and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

The win improved the Irish’s AP Top 25 ranking to No.11 but the team still has work to do to strengthen their national championship betting odds, which currently sit at 20/1 at sportsbooks monitored by

Fading down the stretch last season, with just two straight-up and against-the-spread wins in their final seven games, Notre Dame tumbled out of the national rankings after climbing as high as No. 5.

The team’s second-half swoon last year did little to impact this year’s Notre Dame national championship odds, which were pegged at a respectable 14/1 following their 38-3 Week 1 victory over the Texas Longhorns.

With the loss of quarterback Malik Zaire, whose season was ended by an ankle injury in the team’s slim 34-27 win over Virginia in Week 2, Notre Dame’s odds slid to 33/1.

However, with a narrow 24-22 loss to Clemson as the only blemish on the team’s record, and upcoming matchups with three currently-ranked schools still on the schedule, the Fighting Irish remain in the College Football Playoff conversation.

No. 1 Ohio State continues to lead the way as favorites to repeat as national champions with 12/5 odds. Faced with an embarrassment of riches at quarterback the Buckeyes have posted 20 straight SU victories, but they have been a betting disappointment going 2-5 ATS this season.

No. 2 Baylor has tallied an eye-popping 63.8 points per game this season, and has climbed to 11/2 after opening at 14/1, while No. 8 Alabama sports strong 6/1 title odds ahead of No. 5 LSU, who rounds out the list of betting favorites with 15/2 odds.

On the Heisman Trophy odds, LSU running back Leonard Fournette leads the way as a -200 favorite. The sophomore has averaged over 200 rushing yards per game, including a trio of three-touchdown performances, and has 14 major scores on the season.

Baylor Bears pivot Seth Russell is Fournette’s closest competition on the Heisman Trophy odds, pegged at +650. The sophomore has averaged 317.8 passing yards per game, and has thrown an incredible 27 TD passes in just six outings this season.

TCU Horned Frogs passer Trevone Boykin rounds out the top three with +850 odds, followed by Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott at +1200, and Crimson Tide rusher Derrick Henry at +1600.

Resilient Irish heavy favorites over Minutemen

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( The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be looking to extend their current straight up winning streak to five games on Saturday when they play host to the Massachusetts Minutemen as 29-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by

The Irish continued their climb up the AP Top 25 with a 30-22 win over No. 14 Georgia Tech in Week 3, picking up the against the spread win as slim 1-point favorites, and boosting them to No. 6 in the national rankings.

However, Notre Dame continues to lag behind the leaders in the OddsShark College Football Power Rankings, where they have risen just two spots, to No. 50, ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Minutemen vs. Fighting Irish betting matchup at Notre Dame Stadium.

The greatest challenge in the Irish’s quest to qualify for this year’s College Football Playoff has been the rash of injuries that has sidelined six players for the remainder of the season.

Most notable are running back Tarean Folston, who went down with a knee injury in the squad’s 38-3 win over Texas, and starting quarterback Malik Zaire, who briefly joined the favorites in Heisman Trophy prop betting before suffering a season-ending knee injury a week later, in a 34-27 win over Virginia.

But pivot DeShone Kizer stepped up in Notre Dame’s win over the Yellow Jackets, throwing for 242 yards and one score, while CJ Prosise‘s three rushing touchdowns lifted the squad to victory.

Wide receiver Will Fuller continued to justify his consideration as this year’s Heisman winner, tallying over 100 receiving yards for a third straight game, and fifth game in his last seven, cementing his 33/1 odds on those prop lines.

The Minutemen make their first-ever visit to South Bend riding a four-game SU losing streak, 1-3 ATS.

Massachusetts has been particularly brutal on the road, claiming just one SU win in 13 contests since the start of the 2013 season, but are 6-7 ATS during that stretch, 4-6 ATS as double-digit underdogs according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

September has been equally cruel for the Minutemen, who are 0-23 SU in their last 23 September dates, including last week’s 25-23 loss to the Temple Owls, while covering as 13-point home underdogs.

The Minutemen are 0-7 SU in their last seven against ranked schools, with their most recent clash with a Top 25 team coming in 2013.

Notre Dame odds falling before Georgia Tech

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( – 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

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.