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Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Week 1 Betting Odds & Analysis
The season opener for the Ohio State Buckeyes is set to be one of the most significant games of the year in college football. Ohio State hosts Notre Dame on Saturday, in a battle of top-five teams in Columbus.
Ohio State enters as a 17-point betting favorite, as they look to bolster their playoff resume in non-conference action, against a Notre Dame team that could be vulnerable to some growing pains.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame faces a tough test to start their college football season, as they have to test their inexperienced quarterback group against one of the top teams in the country. Only two quarterbacks on the Notre Dame roster have any experience, with Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne having a combined 68 pass attempts for their careers. Here, Buchner will get the start for the Fighting Irish in a true baptism by fire.
For Buchner, the goal in this game is going to be avoiding mistakes so as not to set the Buckeyes up with easy scoring opportunities. Buchner is not expected to be on the level of C.J. Stroud right away, but as long as he does not give this game away, that will be considered a victory for the Irish. He has thrown three interceptions in his 35 career pass attempts at the collegiate level, making turnovers something to keep an eye on here.
Ohio State Buckeyes
For Ohio State, this game represents a golden opportunity to start off on the right foot. The Buckeyes are 17-point favorites going into this matchup against a top-five team, largely thanks to their advantage at the quarterback position. In this game, C.J. Stroud will look not just to prove that he is better than Tyler Buchner but that he is a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy this season.
Last season, Stroud threw for over 4,000 yards and had 44 touchdown passes for the Buckeyes. His expectations are massive going into this season, though he will have to cope with the loss of Chris Olave to the NFL this year. But even without his top target from last year, Stroud will still be expected to do more than enough to help Ohio State pick up a win to start their season.
Keys to the Game
The biggest key to this game for Notre Dame is their defense, even if the focus will be on their updated quarterback situation. Without any real idea of what to expect from Buchner, the defense of Notre Dame is going to be huge if they want to stay in the game. If they are not able to slow down Stroud and give Buchner a little room for error in what will be a hostile environment, it may not matter how Notre Dame’s new quarterback performs.
For Ohio State, the biggest key to this game is a strong start. With style points being so important in the playoff conversation later in the season, a game against a team with an inexperienced quarterback is a golden opportunity to win by a large margin. If the Buckeyes can take an early lead and take the pressure off of themselves early, they could cover the spread in a big way to make an early statement to the playoff selection committee.
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