One of college football’s traditional rivalries is set to kick off this weekend with national championship implications as USC welcomes Notre Dame on Saturday.
Notre Dame, playing inspired under first-year coach Marcus Freeman, comes in riding a five-game win streak that includes victories over both teams that will play for the ACC title, North Carolina and Clemson, and while it’s not in the playoff chase this year, Notre Dame can still directly affect it.
That is, by beating USC, the newfound favorites in the Pac-12 in Lincoln Riley’s first season as head coach, compiling a 10-1 record and clinching a berth in the conference championship game.
If they win out, the Trojans are poised to move into the final four, given that either Ohio State or Michigan, respectively the second- and third-ranked teams in the CFP rankings, will have to lose this weekend.
What can we expect from the greatest intersectional rivalry in sports? Let’s take a look around from the experts to judge who is favored and who should win.
USC vs. Notre Dame picks, predictions
Point spread: USC comes into the game as 5.5 point favorites to win, according to the lines at SI Sportsbook, which set the over/under at 64 points.
SP+ prediction: The model devised by ESPN analyst Bill Connelly projects that USC has the 72 percent chance to win the game outright and defeat the Fighting Irish by a score of 36 to 25.
FPI prediction: USC has the 65.5 percent edge to win the game, according to the Football Power Index computers that predict winners by simulating a team’s season 20,000 times. Notre Dame has a 34.5 percent edge, according to the index.
Team Rankings prediction: Team Rankings projects that USC will defeat Notre Dame by a score of 34.0 to 28.4 on Saturday.
College Football HQ prediction: Our own projections indicate that USC has a 61 percent chance to defeat Notre Dame outright, by a score of 36 to 23, and cover the spread. USC -5.5
How to watch: The game is set for Sat., Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and 4:30 p.m. Pacific on the main ABC network and streams on fuboTV (Try for free).
Bet USC vs. Notre Dame and other college football games on SI Sportsbook
fuboTV provides full, total, and live coverage of the top college football games on the NCAA schedule every season from the major TV networks as well as the SEC Network, Big Ten Network, ACC Network, Pac-12 Network, and others — all without cable, in addition to 100+ channels of live TV and thousands of hours of on-demand titles.
You can stream college football, the NFL, and other programming from any device, including your phone. There’s no contract, no hidden fees, and DVR is included.
>> Click here to watch college football for free on fuboTV
Place your bets: Week 13 picks, predictions against the spread
Projections: USC vs. Notre Dame picks, predictions by college football computer: Week 13 odds, spread, lines
The rivalry: What USC’s move to the Big Ten means for the Notre Dame rivalry
Going bowling: College football bowl predictions: Playoff, New Year’s Six game projections
Top 25 rankings: ESPN unveils Week 13 college football rankings
More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | All Teams
Follow College Football HQ: Bookmark | Rankings | Facebook