Fiesta Bowl Notre Dame vs Ohio State NCAAF Betting Odds Overview
This year, the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl NCAAF betting odds overview features #7 Ohio State and #8 Notre Dame on New Year’s Day from Arizona. Ohio State was all set to go to another College Football Playoff until they fell to Michigan State in the penultimate game of the regular season, leaving them with an 11-1 finish. Notre Dame has two losses — one to #1 Clemson but the other to Stanford, so they are in a Fiesta Bowl that must seem like a consolation prize to them as well. Ohio State is favored by 6.5 points, and the over/under total is 56 points.
— Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) December 30, 2015
Why should you bet on Ohio State (-6.5)?
The Buckeyes feature Ezekiel Elliott, one of the best tailbacks in the nation, and the only team that has come close to stopping him was Michigan State, who shut down the Buckeyes’ running came on a cold, icy evening. He is fifth in the nation with 1,672 yards, gaining more than 100 yards in 11 of the team’s 12 contests. In the finale against Michigan, he ran for 214 yards — and the Wolverines have a strong rushing defense. Notre Dame is #65 in the nation in rushing yards permitted per game. Ohio State could have a big day on the ground against the Fighting Irish.
Why should you pick the Fighting Irish (+6.5)?
Notre Dame’s hopes rest on the shoulders of DeShone Kizer, the backup quarterback who has stepped in for Malik Zaire quite nicely this year, leading the team to an 8-2 record as a starter. The Buckeyes have the #12 passing defense in the nation, but they only have 11 interceptions on the year. Ohio State did sack opposing quarterbacks 34 times this season, but Kizer’s mobility could allow him to run wild when the Buckeyes overcommit to the pass rush. If Kizer can limit his mistakes, this could be a Notre Dame win.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I look for Ohio State to suffer a bit of a letdown in this bowl, given that their hopes were set so much higher. Notre Dame has played well through adversity given the loss of their starting quarterback in Week 2. I like Notre Dame to pull off the upset and win, 31-27.