Notre Dame at USC: Odds, expert picks with Trojans trying to stay in College Football Playoff race

It’s been a while since a USC–Notre Dame game has felt this big. One or both teams have been down for many of the recent matchups. The Trojans are chasing a College Football Playoff spot and Notre Dame is chasing a New Year’s Six bowl berth. This time around USC is favored by almost a touchdown.

With USC likely controlling its destiny for a CFP berth, it’s a tough road ahead. Not only is Notre Dame playing as well as it has all season, but the Pac-12 title game awaits next week.

Caleb Williams was massive last week in a close win against UCLA and has two more showcase games to cement his Heisman Trophy campaign. Williams has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the country this season with 33 touchdown passes and 3,480 yards with only three interceptions.

Running back Travis Dye is out injured, but Austin Jones stepped up last week with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

The Irish have had a solid defense all season, but the offense labored for much of the first half of the season. However, in each of the last five games Notre Dame has scored at least 35 points. ND has had 100-yard rushers in four of the past five games.

Notre Dame has won four in a row against the Trojans, but just one of those was in LA.

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What is the spread for USC vs. Notre Dame?

How to watch and stream USC vs. Notre Dame

This game will get primetime treatment with coverage on ABC starting at 7:30 pm ET on Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum. You can also stream the game on the ESPN app with authentication.

Expert picks against the spread

Picks made at USC -6.5

(Photo of Jordan Addison: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)

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