College Football betting preview and best bets: Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame


Is today the day Cincinnati turns from contender to contender for the college football playoffs? It’s no exaggeration to call their showdown with Notre Dame the biggest game in their history. With a win, the Bearcats would have a clear path to an undefeated season, and that could bring in a place in the CFP and all that glitz, glamor and riches that come with an invitation to the party.

Notre Dame could be a little overrated as this game draws closer thanks to an extraordinary 31-point fourth quarter against Wisconsin. The number next to their name is now a single digit.

Cincinnati might have hoped they would be in contention for back-to-back road wins against top teams, but Indiana’s season didn’t quite go as planned. Yet if they emerge victorious from their two trips to Indiana, they will be ready for a race in history.

Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0), NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bearcats vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish College Football Betting Odds


  • Cincinnati Bearcats -124
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish +102


  • OVER 50.5 (-106)
  • LESS THAN 50.5 (-114)


  • Cincinnati Bearcats -2.5 (-102)
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish +2.5 (-120)

Cincinnati Bearcats Irish College Football betting odds against Notre Dame Fighting Irish are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.ET.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Outlook

If the Bearcats have a special season, they have to win this game. Even that might not be enough to get them into the PSC even with an unbeaten record, but we know they don’t stand a chance without it. If you think they have a chance, bettors agree with you as they are a little favorite in South Bend. This team is consistent on offense thanks to experienced quarterback Desmond Ridder, a double-threat talent. Running back Jerome Ford averages exactly 100 yards per game and has six rushing touchdowns.

Cincinnati was away last week which gives them a chance to be nice and fresh for this one. The offense can move the ball and score points, and the defense remains strong, even after losing defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to Notre Dame. Coach Luke Fickell is a defense guy and there was no reason to expect the unit to slip. Cincinnati have yet to face any high profile attacks, and neither will they in this game. The strength of this group is a big reason the Bearcats are favored.

Warning: Irish people are not as good as they seem

A 41-13 win over Wisconsin in a marquee game is a godsend for the Irish. Still, it wasn’t a shock that they were underdogs at home the following week. Offense hasn’t been what we thought it would be this season, and that’s not all quarterback Jack Coan. The offensive line just doesn’t live up to what you would expect from Notre Dame. However, they only average 80 yards per rushing game. And it’s not an attack that’s designed to separate defenses in the air.

Defensively, the Irish seem to be getting more comfortable with Freeman’s style. Kyle Hamilton is a safe stallion and already has three interceptions. They scored two late defensive touchdowns against the Badgers to open this game, which shows great opportunism. They’ll still need them against Cincinnati, as they’re not special enough to just line up and master the Bearcats.

College Football betting trends to consider for the Cincinnati Bearcats vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • Cincinnati are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a winning record at home.
  • The Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
  • The Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
  • Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games as a home underdog.
  • The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last five games after allowing less than 100 rushing yards in their previous game.
  • The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last five opponents against the AAC.

Best bet for the Cincinnati Bearcats vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Cincinnati -1.5

I have to admit I have a certain prejudice against Notre Dame, they are just one of those teams that I love to see fight. Nevertheless, a defeat this weekend will not be an upheaval according to the lines. Cincinnati are much better at the most important position on the field, and I expect Ridder to make the plays that give the Bearcats the victory they need.

It will be a tough game and we will have to endure all the commentary on the game between Freeman and his former team and what it means. Usually the best dogs do well against their followers, so I don’t expect a real advantage for the Irish. It will be a well-played game.

College football score prediction: Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame

Cincinnati 27, Notre-Dame 17

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