Oklahoma-Notre Dame Preview

Oklahoma/Notre Dame Preview


By Tony Salinas

One game I had circled on the schedule before the 2013 season even started was the Oklahoma/Notre Dame rematch that’s set for Saturday in South Bend. You longtime readers know I’ve spent a lot of time fading BOTH of these teams because they’re generally overpriced by oddsmakers. Notre Dame pulled off a big shocker last year in Norman, a win that ultimately helped vault them to a national championship showdown against Alabama. Is Oklahoma capable of getting revenge?

I’ve often said that you’ll be getting about 7-to-5 or 8-to-5 the best of it by fading teams the public loves to bet on. It’s worked out even better than that this year with these two teams…who are 2-5 combined against the number. Though, that’s a little misleading: Oklahoma has a winning record at 2-1 ATS! It’s Notre Dame who is once again way overpriced. The Irish are 0-4 ATS out of the gate.

Notre Dame (-28) beat Temple 28-6

Notre Dame (+4) lost to Michigan 41-30

Notre Dame (-21) beat Purdue 31-24

Notre Dame (-5) beat Michigan State 17-13

That’s bad enough on its own. But, when you dig deeper, it gets even worse. Temple has been horrible all season, and just lost outright to Fordham last week as 20-point favorites. Michigan almost lost to Akron and Connecticut in the two games they played after Notre Dame. Purdue was routed by Cincinnati and Wisconsin, then barely beat Indiana State. Michigan State’s offense has mostly been a joke this season.

It looks like oddsmakers were about a touchdown too high in their initial Power Ratings, and the media polls had Notre Dame ranked WAY too high.

Some would argue that the line has now fully adjusted. It’s not like Notre Dame is a field goal favorite this week, or even pick-em. Notre Dame is actually (+3) at home against a team they beat on the road last season…when that team had a better quarterback!

I will say this about Oklahoma: they started to play a lot better when Blake Bell was installed as the starting quarterback in Game Three against Tulsa. He ended up passing for over 400 yards, though a lot of that came on relatively short throws that broke loose for big plays. What I noticed when watching the game is that he wasn’t quarterbacking in fear. Trevor Knight won the job before the season started, but then was intimidated and erratic against Louisiana Monroe (11-28-1-86) and West Virginia (10-20-2-119). Add those two together and you have one really bad game against two bad opponents! The combined numbers for Knight were 21-48-3-205, which would be embarrassing for any Oklahoma quarterback against a good team, let alone two bad ones. Bell settled the ship and got the offense moving

Bell is the right man for the job for now. Though, playing on the road at Notre Dame (on notoriously slow grass that will have been grown even taller to slow down OU’s speed merchants) is a much different animal than hosting Tulsa.

I can’t release official picks here in my web articles. That wouldn’t be fair to my paying clients! I can tell you that I do believe both of these teams will be overrated moving forward. Whoever wins Saturday in South Bend will get too much of a media push in subsequent weeks. Whoever loses will still be installed as favorites in most of their remaining games.


  • I may or may not be taking Notre Dame Saturday. But, I will be looking to fade them against Navy, Pittsburgh, BYU, and Stanford later in the season…and possibly even next week against Arizona State depending on how USC/ASU goes.

  • I may or may not be taking Oklahoma Saturday. But, I will be looking to fade them against TCU, maybe Texas Tech, at Baylor, and possibly in the season finale at Oklahoma State depending on how the rest of the season plays out.
  • Also, keep in mind that there may be an Over/Under option there that’s better than a team side option…

    You can purchase my official game day releases right here at the website with your credit card. I tend to focus on underdogs because that’s where the value usually is. But, if I see a small favorite I like, I’m not afraid to step out with big money. If you have any questions about my personal approach or my seasonal programs, talk to one of my representatives at the Vegas-Sports-Masters office. The number is 1-888-777-4155. I’m usually either at a sportsbook betting and watching games on the big screen TV’s, or at the poker tables enjoying the largesse of tourists. One of my representatives will have all the information you need.

    Back with you early next week to present another “Bonehead of the Week” award. Enjoy this great weekend of college and pro football ahead. And, make sure you’re GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!


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