BYU vs. Notre Dame: Have Faith In These Bets

BYU vs. Notre Dame: Have Faith In These Bets
Image ©Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Ty Bronicel
Ty Bronicel
May 19th 2023

It’s the Mormons against the Catholics in a college football showdown that will have each school’s faithful fans in a frenzy – and what better place to tempt these two teams than Sin City?


No. 16-ranked BYU (4-1) plays unranked Notre Dame (2-2) Saturday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It’s the latest game in the Irish’s Shamrock Series and it’s considered a home game for Notre Dame, which is why BYU fans were limited to only 25 percent (or about 16,000) of the tickets available in the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium.

BYU fans were not happy with their allotment, and even though Provo, Utah, is just 377 miles north of Vegas, there will likely be more Irish fans than Cougar fans in the stands.

Shouldn’t be that big of a factor either but rest assured, BYU is geeked up for this one.

The team unveiled some admittedly pretty sweet alternate uniforms for the game and the university has told its fanbase to wear black in Vegas. For what it’s worth, Notre Dame will be in all white. Evil vs. good/villains vs. heroes, or vice versa?

Whatever. Anyhow, so, with the attire plans laid out, let’s look at what’s important: the three best plays for Saturday’s duel in the desert.

The odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. But don’t forget about all the other great gambling options available in your state including BetMGM, FanDuel, and more. 

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Game to be tied at half with NOTRE DAME winning game (+1200)

Here’s a fun one and it also offers terrific odds for an outcome that, by god, I believe could happen — and it wouldn’t take a miracle for this to come true.

Over the next two bets, I’ll explain why. So if you wager on this, you’ll need the score to be tied at halftime (at any score, but hopefully it’s 7-7 or something like that, at the half) and then the Irish have to win the game (no point spread involved).

Definitely worth a sprinkle at that price.

BYU vs. Notre Dame UNDER 52.5 (-105)

The Irish’s offense finally busted out with a big-time performance against North Carolina two weeks ago, scoring 45 points in their romp over the Tar Heels. Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne was sharp and Audric Estime rushed for 134 and two TDs on just 17 carries. BYU counters with QB Jalen Hall, who’s shooting up NFL Draft boards, and for good reason. He’s completed 70 percent of his passes and has 12 TDs to just one interception. So clearly both teams can score. However, the biggest concern is if the Irish rely heavily on the run – and they’ll certainly try since BYU ranks 93rd in the country in rushing defense – with hopes of slowing the pace, controlling the clock, and keeping Hall and Co. off the field. Oh, and here’s a serious concern: BYU place kicker Jake Oldroyd has missed five of his last six field-goal attempts, all from inside the 40-yard-line.


BYU vs. NOTRE DAME -3.5 (-105)

Now to the final pick. I liked this spread much more when it started at -2.5. But as typical with marquee Notre Dame matchups, the money starts pouring in on Notre Dame like green beer flows on St. Paddy’s Day. The Fighting Irish are 9-1 straight up (SU) and 8-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games against teams with winning records. Further, BYU is 0-3 ATS in its last three games while Notre Dame is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games.

But the biggest reason to take the Irish is that they’re coming off a bye week, while the Cougars were lackluster the past two weeks with tougher-than-expected victories over Utah State and Wyoming, who are not exactly world-beaters.

If BYU plays as it did against Baylor, there’s a shot--but Notre Dame seems like it’s turned things around with back-to-back wins over Cal and UNC. With fresh legs and minds, the Irish will hand the Cougars their second loss of the season.

Call it Notre Dame by 6-8 points for a victory and the cover.

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