Top-25 teams will clash on Saturday as the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0) take on the No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1). The Badgers will host this one, albeit at the neutral site of Soldier Field, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 pm ET.
Last week, the Fighting Irish were able to take down Purdue 27-13. In the win, Jack Coan threw for 223 yards and two scores while Kyren Williams rushed for 91 yards and another score.
Wisconsin enjoyed having last weekend off after a 34-7 win over Eastern Michigan two weeks ago. After losing to Penn State by six points in their opener, the Badgers are trying to take down a ranked team in Notre Dame.
The Badgers are the favorites in Saturday’s matchup. They are -250 to win while the Fighting Irish’s moneyline sits at +198. The spread features Notre Dame +6.5 (-114), and the over/under for total points is 46.5.
Wisconsin has the fourth-best odds of winning the Big Ten championship at +1000.
In terms of the National Championship, Notre Dame is +10000 to win it while the Badgers are +15000.
By The Numbers
In their last 20 games, Notre Dame is 18-2 overall; however, in their last six, they are just 2-4 against the spread.
For Wisconsin, they are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games, but interestingly they are 6-0 in Week 4 over their last six seasons.
Notre Dame Looks To Stay Unbeaten
They haven’t always been pretty, but at 3-0, Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish still have to be pleased. Granted, their first two games against Florida State and Toledo were probably closer than they wanted (just a three-point win in both), but the win over an underrated Purdue team last week was nice.
Under center, Brian Kelly has looked to Jack Coan to lead the way. On the year, Coan has thrown for 828 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions.
His favorite receivers thus far have been tight end Michael Mayer (206 yards, three touchdowns), running back Kyren Williams (155 yards, two touchdowns), and wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr (154 yards, one touchdown).
Speaking of Williams, he leads the team in rushing with 211 yards on 46 carries and two scores.
Defensively, Notre Dame currently ranks 67th in scoring defense allowing opponents 26.7 points per game (38 on the road).
Wisconsin Looks For Quality Win Over Ranked Irish
Through two weeks, the defense has definitely played up to its potential as a top-ranked unit. In fact, the Badgers rank seventh in scoring defense allowing just 11.5 points per game.
The real question is whether the offense can match it. Despite pounding Eastern Michigan in their last matchup, quarterback Graham Mertz has thrown for just 326 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions through the first two games of the season.
For a team that is looking to do big things this year, the Badgers have to get more out of their quarterback.
While Wisconsin has struggled through the air, they have been very successful on the ground. Chez Mellusi leads the way with 265 yards on 51 carries and has two scores.
Isaac Guerendo has also performed well with 17 carries for 148 yards and another touchdown.
Taking Notre Dame And The Points
This is a tough matchup to read. Neither team has played particularly dominant, which is why it is so surprising to see a spread of +6.5 for Notre Dame.
Even more interesting is the fact that the over/under sits at 46.5. In what is expected to be a low-scoring game, just under a touchdown on the spread seems substantial.
For that reason, take the points, which means taking Notre Dame +6.5.