This Saturday, the 9th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face what will potentially be their final legitimate test of the 2021-22 NCAAF season when they battle the 7th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats in South Bend, Indiana.
The odds posted at 18+ NCAA College Football betting sites list the Irish as 2-point underdogs at home for Saturday’s game against the Bearcats, but after last weekend’s upset on the road against the Wisconsin Badgers, it is hard to bet against Notre Dame at the moment.
Both teams enter the game with unblemished records that reflect a solid effort thus far. While quality opponents have been hard to come by for both programs, their current positioning in the AP Top 25 grants them each a chance to advance to the CFP if they can finish their regular season schedule undefeated.
That outcome will only remain a possibility for one of these teams at the conclusion of Saturday’s contest, and the only question now is which one has the right combination of talent, confidence, and preparation to seize their own destiny and march on to the postseason.
Notre Dame was one of the final four College Football Playoff teams just last year, earning the number 4 seed as a member of the ACC for one year only.
This year the Irish have the chance to make the final four once again as an independent, at-large selection, and online CFP sportsbooks that cater to 18 and over bettors are granting Notre Dame greater odds than Cincinnati to do so in 2021-22.
That said, those very same online betting sites are predicting that the Bearcats will win by 2 points or more on Saturday, although the Fighting Irish are drawing a moneyline of +105 which is practically even.
Cincinnati is the only ranked opponent remaining on the Notre Dame football schedule for the remainder of 2021-22, and the same can be said for the Bearcats regarding the Fighting Irish.
Of course, there is the potential for the College Football Playoffs Selection Committee to side with another program from a Power Five conference due to the lackluster strength of schedule for both the Cincinnati and Notre Dame football teams.
Right now, with the Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks, Georgia Bulldogs, and Alabama Crimson Tide sporting undefeated records, Cincinnati and ND fans will need to scoreboard watch for the remainder of the season to wait for their opportunity to sneak into the top quartet of NCAAF postseason qualifiers.
Online sports betting sites that cater to 18 and over gamblers currently feature Notre Dame and Cincinnati as the 7th and 9th ranked teams in the NCAAF futures, but the winner of this weekend’s game will likely move up a peg or two and will be located in prime position to pounce when the opportunity arises later on in the season.
Not that they should need it, but there’ll be a little extra fire under the bellies of the Bearcats this weekend as their fanbase was incensed by comments made by Notre Dame’s head coach Brian Kelly when he compared their program to Central Michigan.
Pride, CFP opportunities, and future NCAAF relevance are on the line – at least for Cincinnati – this weekend, so get your college football bets in before the 2:30 kickoff unless live odds are on the docket.