FanDuel has look-ahead spreads for five crucial games that feature current Top-10 teams squaring off against each other.
The first is a Week 7 battle in South Bend, where Notre Dame will play host to undefeated USC on Oct. 14. FanDuel has the Fighting Irish installed as a 1.5-point home favorite. Marcus Freeman’s team is -118 on the money line, while the Trojans are -102.
Notre Dame (5-1 straight up, 5-1 against the spread) bounced back from a gut-wrenching loss to Ohio St. by winning 21-14 at Duke thanks to Audric Estime’s 30-yard TD run with 31 seconds remaining. The Irish even covered the spread for their backers as 5.5-point road favorites thanks to a successful two-point conversion once they went ahead 19-14 in the final minute.
Now Freeman’s team has to face an undefeated opponent for a third consecutive week when it gets Louisville on Saturday at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. When the Trojans come to town, Notre Dame will be playing its eighth game in eight weeks.
Like the Irish, USC (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) also played in Week Zero. However, Lincoln Riley’s squad had its open date after a 56-10 win over Stanford in Week 2. Since then, the Trojans have won 42-28 at Arizona St. and 48-41 at Colorado. They failed to cover the spread in those two games by 36 combined points.
USC at Notre Dame will feature two of the nation’s premier quarterbacks. Caleb Williams has completed 74.5 percent of his passes for 1,603 yards with an incredible 21/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also has 83 rushing yards and three TDs.
USC is ranked #1 in the nation in scoring with its 53.6 points-per-game average. The Trojans are ranked #3 total yards and #4 in passing yards. However, USC is ranked #102 out of 133 FBS teams in total defense, #105 in pass defense and #84 against the run. Unlike last season, the Trojans’ stop unit isn’t forcing turnovers galore, as they have only three takeaways.
USC hosts Arizona on Saturday.
Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman is the best signal caller this program has had in decades. In six games, the former Wake Forest QB has connected on 66.2 percent of his throws for 1,458 yards and 14 TDs without an interception. Hartman also had a pair of rushing TDs.
For his career, Hartman now has a 59.7 completion percentage, 14,425 passing yards and a 124/41 TD-INT ratio. He also has 869 career rushing yards and 19 TDs. Hartman is ranked is seventh in NCAA history in career passing yards and ninth in TD passes.
There’s another can’t-miss Week 6 showdown that’ll take place at Husky Stadium in Seattle, where Washington will host its biggest home game in years vs. Oregon. Both teams have this weekend off to get healthy and prepare for each other.
FanDuel has Washington installed as a three-point home favorite against the Ducks, who are +122 on the money line. According to Phil Steele, the outright winner has covered the number in 22 straight games in this rivalry, with the favorite going 18-4 both SU and ATS.
Oregon (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) has home wins by margins of 74, 45 and 36 points, in addition to road victories at Texas Tech (38-30) and at Stanford (42-6). The Ducks are ranked #2 nationally in both total yards and scoring with their 51.6 PPG average. They’re ranked #6 in rushing yards and #11 in passing yards.
Dan Lanning’s defense has been outstanding, too. Oregon is ranked #7 in total defense and #8 in both pass defense and scoring ‘D’ (11.8 PPG). QB Bo Nix has completed 80.4 percent of his passes for 1,459 yards with a 15/1 TD-INT ratio. The former Auburn QB also has 87 rushing yards and one TD.
The Ducks have owned the Huskies for most of the past two decades, compiling a 15-3 record both SU and ATS in the last 18 head-to-head meetings. However, Oregon will be in revenge mode here after losing 37-34 to Washington as a 12.5-point home ‘chalk’ last season.
Washington (5-0 SU, 3-1-1 ATS) is ranked #1 nationally in both total yards and passing yards, and it is fourth in the country in scoring with its 46.0 PPG average. QB Michael Penix leads the nation in passing yards (1,999) and has a 16/2 TD-INT ratio.
For an Oct. 21 battle in Columbus, FanDuel has Ohio St. (4-0 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) listed as a 6.5-point home favorite (with a -115 price) vs. Penn St. (+6.5, -105). The Nittany Lions are +205 on the money line.
The Buckeyes have beaten PSU in six straight meetings, but the Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in those six setbacks. James Franklin’s team has its open date in Week 6 before hosting UMass, so PSU should be fresh and healthy for its visit to The ‘Shoe.
On Nov. 11, Penn St. will host Michigan. FanDuel has the Wolverines listed as 2.5-point road ‘chalk’ (at -115 juice) with a -137 money-line price. Bettors wanting to back the Nittany Lions can get +2.5 at a -105 price or +114 to win outright.
Jim Harbaugh’s team blasted Franklin’s bunch 41-17 as a seven-point home favorite in Ann Arbor last year.
Finally, FanDuel has Michigan as a 3.5-point home favorite (-115 price) vs. Ohio St. in the regular-season finale. The Buckeyes had won 15 of the previous 16 games over the Wolverines in this rivalry going into the 2021 matchup at the Big House, but it’s been all Michigan the last two seasons.
Harbaugh’s club thumped OSU 42-27 as a seven-point home underdog in 2021. Then in a battle of unbeatens in Columbus last season, Michigan won 45-23 as an eight-point road underdog.