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Sam Hartman of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is featured in our top Notre Dame vs. Duke prediction.
Sam Hartman of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee State Tigers at Notre Dame Stadium. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP.

Notre Dame gets its first real test of the season when it visits NC State and we dive into the matchup with our Notre Dame-NC State prediction based on the top college football odds from our best sports betting apps.

In two victories against Tennessee State and Navy, both by a combined score of 98 to 6, Notre Dame ran off with ease. Quarterback Sam Hartman’s four touchdown passes against Navy were tied for the most during a debut in school history, joining Jack Coan in 2021 and Ron Powlus in 1994.

NC State has logged just one game under its belt, a tidy 24-14 road win over the UConn Huskies. The Wolfpack were picked to finish fourth in the ACC preseason poll, and they were one of four teams to receive at least one first-place vote.

Here is our best Notre Dame-NC State prediction and college football picks (odds via our best college football betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Notre Dame vs. NC State prediction: Week 2

NC State +7.5 (-110 via BetMGM, Caesars, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

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Notre Dame has continued its momentum from the final seven games of last season when it averaged 158 rushing yards per game, 5.6 yards per carry, and a plus-14.8 average scoring margin. Hartman always figured to take the offense to new heights, as he averaged 305 yards per game and 7.5 yards per dropback while producing a 78.1 total QBR in 2022. Notre Dame’s quarterbacks in 2022 averaged 244 yards per game and 7.1 yards per dropback while combining for a 69.9 Total QBR.

Notre Dame posted a plus-92 point differential through two weeks. But how much can we glean from those matchups considering one of those victories was against an FCS school? Additionally, we shouldn't overvalue the Fighting Irish’s dominance of Navy in Week 0, as the Midshipmen trailed at halftime by a combined 59-0 in their previous three season openers against inferior opponents (BYU, Marshall, and Delaware). And Notre Dame’s 39-point season-opening win was its largest since 2012. But who was its opponent then? That’s right, Navy.

Check out our college football Week 2 predictionsCollege football Week 2 upset picks, and College football player props for Week 2.

The Fighting Irish's defense ranked 61st in the country with a 42.9% success rate against the run in 2022, and the Wolfpack should enjoy similar success on the ground if Notre Dame plays more in coverage to slow down quarterback Brennan Armstrong.

The passer is reuniting with Robert Anae, his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from Virginia. Armstrong completed 65% of his passes while playing for Anae in 2021, ranking second in FBS in passing yards per game (404) while posting a 31-10 TD-INT ratio and a total QBR of 75. This will be the first true test for a Fighting Irish defense that finished outside the top 70 in defensive finishing drives.

Notre Dame is 2-0 against the spread as a double-digit favorite in 2023. But bettors should be wary after the Fighting Irish went 1-5 ATS and lost twice as a double-digit favorite in 2022. While the point spread hasn't reached double digits in this matchup, that trend shows how much Notre Dame can stumble as a heavy favorite.

Meanwhile, NC State is a perfect 4-0 ATS as a home underdog since 2020. Notre Dame is getting a 43.7% chance to win this game, according to ESPN's win probabilities, so getting more than a touchdown with the home team is excellent value.

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Notre Dame vs. NC State best odds

BetMGM, Caesars, bet365 (-110)

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
+7.5+7+7.5+7.5+7.5
-112-104-110-110-110

Three and seven (and multiples thereof) are the key numbers in football betting, so the half-point difference between FanDuel’s spread of +7 and the rest of our best sportsbooks at +7.5 draws the most attention.

For us, the less expensive -104 juice is not worth passing on the insurance the book provides, and we would only consider taking the +7 if the juice on the +7.5s was more egregious at -120 or higher.

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Notre Dame vs. NC State odds

Notre Dame vs. NC State odds analysis

Not only is FanDuel offering the lowest spread compared to other shops, but it was the only one of our best sports betting sites to even dip below the +7 and move to +6.5. Naturally, Notre Dame bettors gobbled that number up and the line returned to -7 within an hour.

Conversely, DraftKings and Caesars were the only shops to touch -9 on Sunday afternoon, but NC State backers quickly drove that number down to -7.5. Early point spread wagers are 3/1 in favor of the Fighting Irish.

Like the point spread, FanDuel is the only sportsbook differing on the total, with an O/U of 50.5 (-115/-105) compared to 51 at the rest of our best live betting sites. The point total reached highs of 52 at Caesars and 51.5 at BetMGM and DraftKings before settling in at 51.

From a moneyline perspective, BetRivers is the only shop outside the range of -300 to -305 for Notre Dame’s odds. That book is higher at -335 and +225 to back the underdogs. 

Notre Dame vs. NC State game info

  • When: Saturday, September 9, 2023, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
  • How to watch: ABC
  • Weather: 87 degrees, 50% chance of precipitation, southwest winds 5-mph

Notre Dame-NC State prediction made Sept. 9 at 6:29 a.m. ET.

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