Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green Betting Preview: Odds, Predictions, and Picks

notre dame vs. bowling green betting preview: picks, predictions, odds

Bowling Green at No. 9 Notre Dame doesn’t exactly scream “marquee matchup,” but with Indiana online sports betting now live, this game marks the first time that in-state Fighting Irish fans can legally wager on their team with DraftKings Sportsbook in Indiana.

With Notre Dame currently installed by oddsmakers as a 46-point favorite, this game is also notable in that the Irish haven’t been favored by this many points in the 21st century. They were favored over SMU by 50+ late in the 1989 under Lou Holtz, so it has been awhile.

In fact, Notre Dame hasn’t been favored by more than 34.5 points in any contest dating back to the 2005 season and that game occurred only three weeks ago when they hosted–and dumped on–New Mexico State. Prior to that, the Fighting Irish were a 34-point favorite over Ball State last September and a 33.5-point favorite over Syracuse all the way back in November of 2005.

Quite simply, it’s not too hard to see why Notre Dame is such a big favorite this week.

Bowling Green stinks. Bad. I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but they’re just not very good. Consider this:

  • They’ve been outscored in two road games by a combined 114-20 margin.
  • The two teams that blew their doors off were Kansas State and Kent State, and no offense to those two squads, but neither team is going to be mistaken for a powerhouse.
  • They’ve scored just nine points per game over their last three contests.

Obviously, that’s not great, and yet, I like, nay, I LOVE Bowling Green to cover this week.

Against one of the country’s elite programs. On the road.

Call me crazy (you probably should), but I think the Falcons’ ineptitude may actually help them in this contest. We’ll get to why in just a little with our Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green betting preview that is loaded with odds, picks, trends and predictions.

Where to Bet on Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green


If you’re in the state of Indiana and on your couch, at a bar, tailgating in the parking lot, sitting in Notre Dame Stadium, or anywhere within state limits, you can get in on this game with  DraftKings Sportsbook Indiana and get your first bet matched up to $200. If you’re lucky enough to be at the game, you can pray to Touchdown Jesus that your bet cashes.

Don’t worry, it’s legal now. He won’t mind.

In addition to a strong welcome offer, DraftKings is holding a Free College Football Pick’em Contest in which users can compete for a share of $70,000 in cash prizes.



If you’re in Pennsylvania, be sure to check out our comprehensive rundown of PA online sportsbooks to find all of the best welcome offers, big odds boosts, and betting promos.


New Jersey

If you’re in the state of New Jersey, checkout our NJ online sports betting that’s loaded with comprehensive sportsbook reviews, welcome promos, and bonus offers.


How to Watch Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green

Date: Saturday, October 5

Time: 3:30 p.m. EST

Location: Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame, IN)

Network: NBC

Announcers: Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Kathryn Tappen, Terry McAulay


Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green Weather

Imagine dropping a bomb on a potent offense or hammering an over, only to find out at kickoff the game is being played in a driving rainstorm. Brutal.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to check the weather ahead of locking in a wager.

Temperatures are expected to sit in the mid-60s throughout the game under mostly cloudy skies. There will be a light 10 mph breeze which shouldn’t have a major impact on the game.


Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green Odds

Here are the current Notre Dame-Bowling Green betting odds at some of the top legal online sportsbooks:

DraftKings Sportsbook

      Spread     Money        Total
Bowling Green     +46 (-110)   OFF   O 62.5 (-110)
Notre Dame      -46 (-110)   OFF   U 62.5 (-110)


Win Probability

If you read our weekly betting previews, you know the deal by now. Projection models aren’t always accurate predictors of an event’s outcome, but we think it’s worth a look at comparing the implied probability of the moneyline odds with a second source to find out if there’s any betting value on the board. If there’s a pronounced disparity between the two sources, there could be an opportunity to exploit a certain betting angle.

ESPN’s FPI index gives Notre Dame a 99.6% win probability in this game.

That probably explains why the moneyline isn’t being offered. Just for kicks, if a sportsbook wanted to offer moneyline odds in line with a 99.6% win probability, they would have to set the number at -24900. In other words, a bettor would have to wager nearly $25,000 to win $100. Doesn’t quite seem worth it, does it?

Since the 2005 season, teams favored by 30 points or more are 215-2 straight up. Arkansas lost to UL-Monroe as a 30-point favorite in September of 2012, while Minnesota fell to South Dakota in September of 2010.

Meanwhile, teams favored by 31 points or more are 142-0 since the 2005 season and teams favored by 40 points or more are 9-0.

I write this to express that under no circumstances do I believe Notre Dame team will lose…I just don’t think they’re going to cover. More on that in a bit.


Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green Game Preview

The Fighting Irish finally get a chance to breathe after playing ranked opponents over the previous two weeks. Bowling Green comes to Notre Dame Stadium prior to the bye week for a game that figures to play out like, well, an extra bye week.

Quite the dichotomy we have here. One of the nation’s perennial powerhouses going up against this:

Going through the individual positional matchups in this one is probably a waste of time–Notre Dame is going to have the advantage at every spot on the field, but one contextual piece of this game I find interesting is that former Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who was fired in the middle of the 2016 season, will face his former team as Bowling Green’s defensive coordinator.

Maybe, just maybe, the Falcons defense, which is surrendering 448.5 yards and 38 points per game, will come with a little extra on behalf of their coach this week.

On the opposite sideline, Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book will look to get back on track this week after throwing for only 440 yards with two touchdowns and two picks on 72 pass attempts over the last two weeks. That shouldn’t be hard to do.



Betting Trends

Why Backing Bowling Green is a Good Bet

Big Favorites. Big Problems.

There are several troublesome trends in various roles that for big favorites that apply to this matchup.

  • Since 2005, home or neutral site teams that are favored between 45-50 points are only 38-57 ATS.
  • Since 2005, home or neutral site teams favored between 45-50 points are 6-12 ATS when coming off a win and playing their second straight home game.
  • Since 2005, home or neutral site teams that covered their previous game and are favored by at least 45 points are 17-32-1 ATS.
  • Top 10 teams favored by 45+ points after a win and cover in their previous game (Notre Dame won and covered last week against Virginia) are 2-10 ATS and 5-15 ATS when favored by 40+ points.

Notre Dame Hasn’t Performed Well as a Big Favorite

Since 2005, Notre Dame is only 1-3 ATS at home when favored by 30+ points and is 4-7 ATS when favored by 25+ points. They are also only 1-5 ATS when favored by 7+ points after a win and cover under Kelly.

Big Underdogs. Big Bark.

Conversely, there exists some information that supports a play on big underdogs off an ugly loss:

Road underdogs that lost by 40+ points in their previous game (Bowling Green lost to Kent State by 42 points) and are an underdog of at least 45 points in their following game are 11-5 ATS over the last 15 seasons.

Bowling Green Historically is an Active Dog

Here are two trends to consider regarding the Falcons as a road underdog:

  • Bowling Green is 34-25-1 ATS as a road underdog since 2005 but is 0-2 ATS this season.
  • Over that same time, Bowling Green is 3-0 ATS when a road underdog of 29 or more points.

Why Backing Notre Dame is a Good Bet

Bowling Green isn’t Good

The Falcons did manage to cover as a 23-point favorite at home against Morgan State, but were an 11-point underdog to Kent State and lost by 42. They lost by 28 points as a 12.5-point underdog to Louisiana Tech. They lost by 52 as a 25-point underdog to Kansas State. See what I’m getting at here?


Some Thoughts on the Total

When the game total is set at 50 points or higher, the over is only 22-31 in Notre Dame games coached by Brian Kelly.

When a Top 10 home team is favored between 44-47 points, the over is 14-6-1 and 9-2 when they’re favored between 44-45 points. Obviously, the spread would have to come back down for that last trend to apply.


Notre Dame vs. Bowling Green Prediction

Notre Dame is going to steamroll Bowling Green in this football game. Let’s be clear about that.

But when you pair the betting trends, which are overwhelmingly in favor of the Falcons, with the fact that the Fighting Irish are coming off back-to-back games against ranked opponents AND have a bye week week, USC and Michigan looming, this feels like a spot where Brian Kelly could ease off the gas late. I could see Bowling Green throwing up 10-14 points, surrendering 50, and still covering. I’m taking the points.

Prediction: Bowling Green (+46.5) over Notre Dame

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