Last Updated Sep 30, 2021, 8:00 AM

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 2, 2021
Eytan Shander
VI Football Betting Expert

A couple of Top-10 teams will convene in South Bend this weekend with way more than a home winning streak on the line. Yes, the Irish have won 26 straight at home, but they have their sights set on the same thing as Cincinnati, a playoff spot. The Irish and Bearcats kick off in Notre Dame Stadium at 2:30 p.m. ET this Saturday on NBC.

Score Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Cincinnati 27

Best Bet: Over 50.5

Best Bet: Notre Dame ML

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Predictions

Both teams are undefeated with lofty goals of making the playoffs. But it’s the Irish who come off a dominating victory against Wisconsin, pounding the Badgers into the ground in the final frame. Jack Coan looks healthy and leads an Irish passing attack that’s bit into opposing defenses all season. They have put together a bunch of long scoring plays in the air, but their rush offense is stagnant.

The Bearcats may not have faced the top teams in the country, but they handled business right through the Hoosiers last weekend. Cincy boasts a tough and physical defense that has been stellar against both pass and rush. They will give Coan a hard time all afternoon, but the bigger concern will be the Bearcats offense keeping up with the Irish, especially in the air.

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Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Odds

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Cincinnati is a 2-point road favorite in South Bend. Cincy is 2-1 ATS and Notre Dame is 2-2 ATS.

The total for this game is 50 points. The Irish have played just two games at home this season with the average ppg being 50.5.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Resources

  • Matchup: AAC vs. Independent
  • Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
  • Venue: Notre Dame Stadium
  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • TV-Time: NBC - 2:30 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-0
  • ATS: 2-1
  • O/U: 2-1
  • ATS - Home: 1-1
  • ATS - Away: 1-0

Don’t expect the Bearcats to be mesmerized by the large – and loud – Irish crowd, and do not expect them to be intimidated by anyone on the field. This team is battle tested and Luke Fickel will have his kids thoroughly prepared. If there’s one thing we’ve seen with his teams, especially on the road against ranked opponents, it’s defense will control the tempo.

This isn’t a shootout, at least that’s not what Fickel wants. QB Desmond Ridder is more than capable of making some throws, but Jerome Ford has been the safer option on the ground. Can they force a turnover or two? That might be the only way they leave Indiana victorious.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 4-0
  • ATS: 2-2
  • O/U: 3-1
  • ATS - Home: 1-1
  • ATS - Away: 1-1

Coan was playing about normal before going down to Wisconsin and all systems appear to be a go for this weekend. He’s far from perfect, and the Bearcats can certainly pressure him. Coan’s accuracy dipped a bit over the past two weeks – as the defenses got better. This one is the best they may face all season, but the Irish have a ton of talent to counter.

If Brian Kelly can keep utilizing the speed on the outside, he has a chance of luring Fickel into a shootout – or at least as much of one as can be. Either way, expect some deep shots down field from Coan, as they stretch the Bearcats just enough to squeeze out a win.

Inside the Stats - Cincinnati Bearcats

  • Record: 3-0
  • VI Ranking: 8
  • Points Scored: 129
  • Points Allowed: 45
  • PS/G: 43 (9th)
  • PA/G: 15 (13th)

Inside the Stats - Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • Record: 4-0
  • VI Ranking: 9
  • Points Scored: 141
  • Points Allowed: 93
  • PS/G: 35.2 (38th)
  • PA/G: 23.2 (67th)

Key Players to Watch

  • CIN: Desmond Ridder - QB (54/83, 748 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT)
  • CIN: Jerome Ford - RB (50 carries, 300 yards, 6 TD)
  • ND: Jack Coan - QB (77/128, 986 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT)
  • ND: Michael Mayer - TE (24 catches, 267 yards, 3 TD)


  • ND: Jack Coan (Ankle-Questionable)
  • ND: Prince Kollie - LB (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • ND: Kurt Hinish - DL (Concussion-Questionable)
  • ND: C'Borius Flemister - RB (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • ND: Blake Fisher - OL (Undisclosed-Out)
  • ND: Tyler Buchner - QB (Hamstring-Probable)
  • ND: Michael Carmody - OL (Ankle-Questionable)
  • ND: Kevin Bauman - TE (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • ND: Marist Liufau - LB (Lower Body-Out)
  • ND: Paul Moala - LB (Achilles-Questionable)
  • ND: Lawrence Keys III - WR (Left Team-Out)

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Conclusion

The total is the best play here although the return on the Irish ML will be better. Cincy’s defense versus Coan will be the storyline, but the Bearcats can score on their own. While the concern about the Irish defense isn’t enough to sway from taking them to win – it should be with the total.

The game will be close, but both Coan and Ridder will have some chances to go deep. Lastly, the Irish offensive line has given up quite a few sacks, so expect some solid field position to impact scoring.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Trends

  • Notre Dame has failed to cover the spread in five of its last seven home games.
  • Notre Dame has won 20 of its last 22 games.
  • Cincinnati has covered the spread in seven of its last 10 games.
  • Cincinnati has gone UNDER the point total in 11 of its last 16 road games.

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