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Free Pick: Cincinnati (3-0) at Notre Dame (4-0) 10/2/21
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Cincinnati (3-0) at Notre Dame (4-0) 10/2/21

This is a very big, early season showdown that could affect the winner down the road concerning the playoffs. The Bearcats are a Group of 5 team, and they need a marquee win over a big name and no one has a bigger name than Notre Dame. And to top it off, the Irish are undefeated and ranked in the Top-5. Meanwhile, Notre Dame with a win, has a very legitimate chance to run the table. Talk about a big game, this is it.

A Quick Look at Cincinnati: The Bearcats are coming off a hard-earned 38-24 win over Indiana. They have had two weeks to prep for the Irish and they have the talent to stay with them, but there are some question marks. Indiana out-gained them 376 to 324 yards. And this is an Indiana team that was struggling on offense. They turned the ball over three times and that will get you beat in South Bend. Quarterback, Desmond Ridder, is going to have to have a big game and he is capable. He has been solid for the first three games ( 54 completions in 83 attempts for 748 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back, Jerome Ford, has rushed for 300 yards and is averaging 6 yards per carry. The receiver corps is deep and will be a handful for Notre Dame. They are balanced between the run and the pass and might have the best offense the Irish have played. Defensively, Cincinnati are led by linebackers, DeShawn Pace (25 tackles), Darrian Beavers (21 tackles), and Joel Dublanko (20 tackles). The secondary has played well and have held teams to 160 yards per game and have forced seven interceptions.

A Quick Look at Notre Dame: The Irish defeated the Badgers 41-13 in Chicago in a game that was much closer than the score. They are 4-0 and that’s the bottom line. Quarterback, Jack Coan has been very good (77 completions in 127 attempts, for 986 yards, and 9 touchdowns) and he has done what he has been asked to do. Tight end, Michael Mayer is off to an outstanding start with 24 catches for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns and wide receivers, Kevin Austin, (14 for 230 and 3 touchdowns) and Avery Davis (12 for 208 and 1 TD. They are improving each week. Kyren Williams is the leading rusher with 244 yards, but against Wisconsin the ground game was completely shut down. Defensively, JD Bertrand has 42 tackles credited to him and has been all over the field. All-American candidate, safety, Kyle Hamilton has 24 tackles and 3 interceptions and defensive tackle, Jayson Ademilola has 19 tackles and 2 sacks. Other than a 4th quarter breakdown in the opener against Florida State, they have played pretty well.

As we have said this is a huge game between these two teams. Cincinnati has been pointing to this game since practice started last Spring. They are experienced, talented, and have the athletes to go into South Bend and win. Notre Dame lives for these moments and this game will not be anything new for them. For the 2nd week in a row, Vegas has made them the underdog. It is dangerous to go against the Irish in South Bend when they are the underdogs and they have a good team. Cincinnati is a 2-point favorite.

DUDES WHO BET SPORTS PICK: Notre Dame +2 Confidence Level 7 out of 10

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