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NCAAF · 2 months ago

Notre Dame’s Championship Odds Take Hit After Week 4 Loss

Grant White

Grant White

Notre Dame’s Championship Odds Take Hit After Week 4 Loss

For 59 of the 60 minutes, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looked like they were National Championship contenders. Behind their home faithful, the Fighting Irish limited the Ohio State Buckeyes to just three first-half points and 366 total yards. 

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But a key fourth down conversion in the waning moments and a last-second goal line plunge delivered the Buckeyes to victory.

In doing so, Notre Dame’s National Championship odds went plummeting with it. 

Stout Defensive Effort

The boxscore doesn’t do the Fighting Irish justice. 

Led by captain JD Bertrand, Notre Dame pressured Ohio State’s offense throughout. The defense stepped up with critical stops at nearly every juncture of the game. The front seven were able to pressure Kyle McCord while the secondary simultaneously covered the Buckeyes’ dynamic receiving duo downfield.

In total, Ohio State mustered just 240 yards through the air, highlighting Notre Dame’s championship-caliber defense. 

That’s akin to what we’ve seen from the Fighting Irish all season. Notre Dame ranks seventh in the country in yards allowed, falling slightly to 15th in points per game allowed. 

Containing a title contender for virtually an entire contest is the type of effort that looks good on a playoff resume. More importantly, it’s been Notre Dame’s standard throughout the campaign.

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Efficient Offense

Notre Dame’s proficiency isn’t limited to the defensive side of the ball. Sam Hartman has efficiently moved the offense down the field, unlocking the team’s full potential. 

As usual, the run game is being used to set up the aerial assault. And both are working together harmoniously. 

Through five games, Audric Estime has totaled 591 on 77 carries for a robust 7.7 yards per carry. Moreover, the team features seven different pass catchers with at least 113 receiving yards. 

Although Hartman fell short of leading the Fighting Irish to victory in Week 4, he’s been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country. Combined with his arsenal of playmakers, we’ve seen the Fighting Irish keep pace with the best the FBS has to offer. 

Notre Dame’s Championship Odds Are Not Going Lower

Still Contenders

The drop from +3000 to +4000 represents an ideal entry point for futures bettors. 

Of the 11 teams ahead of them, three are from the Big Ten and Pac-12, two from the SEC and Big 12, with the last coming from the ACC. Rarely do multiple teams from the same conference make the playoffs, which certainly bodes well for the Irish.

With conference schedules just starting, some teams ahead of Notre Dame will inevitably start to fall. If Hartman and company can take care of business, they should undoubtedly emerge as playoff contenders when rankings are announced later in the year. 

It starts with a crucial Week 5 matchup against the upstart Duke Blue Devils. But as we’ve seen all year, the Irish will be up for the fight.

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