It is a matchup of marquee programs in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day on ABC, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the LSU Tigers. The Irish come into this game ranked No. 14 in the country, while the Tigers are ranked No. 17. Both teams come into this game at 9-3 according to USA Sportsbooks. Both head coaches have a lot of respect for the opposing team. “We’ve had a great match-up with them before,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said to the media, “We know what to expect, one of the top teams in the country.” “You have the utmost respect every time you play Notre Dame,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “It’s going to be a physical game. It’s going to be a war, but we’re looking forward to playing in it.”
Notre Dame vs. LSU
Both Notre Dame and LSU like to run the ball, as the Fighting Irish were 7th in the country in rushing yards per game at 279.1 yards per game. The Tigers were 30th in the country in rushing at about 210 yards per game. The Tigers feature running backs Derrius Guice and Darrell Williams. “They have outstanding athletes and physicality up front,” Kelly said. “Certainly, LSU is known for that, having a great running back, and they’ve got another one now in Guice.”
Notre Dame features running back Josh Adams who rushed for over 100 yards in six of Notre Dame’s first eight games. “He is very big and strong,” Orgeron said to the media of Adams. “With the big offensive line like Notre Dame usually has, he’s a tough runner.”
LSU might have a new offensive coordinator, as Matt Canada is reported to be looking for a head coaching job. It has been reported that tight ends coach Steve Ensminger will call the plays if Canada is gone. LSU expects that both of their star players, running back Derrius Guice and linebacker Arden Key will play and not skip the game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Notre Dame and LSU met in the Music City Bowl a few years ago with Notre Dame winning 31-28. This will be the second straight year for LSU in the Citrus Bowl. They won 29-9 last year over Louisville.
Citrus Bowl Odds at Gambling Websites
LSU -3, total 51.5
The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS at sports betting sites in their last 5 bowl games. The Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
The Under is 4-1 at gambling websites in the Fighting Irish last 5 games overall. The Over is 5-2 in the Fighting Irish last 7 Bowl games. The Under is 5-2-1 in the Tigers last 8 non-conference games. The Under is 19-8-2 in the Tigers last 29 games overall.
Citrus Bowl Picks
We know that both teams want to run the ball and play defense. That should result in a low scoring game and the total at gambling websites is more than 50. Notre Dame gave up just about 22 points per game, while LSU gave up just about 19 points per contest. It is hard to see either team doing enough to turn this game into a shootout, so we’ll play the game to go under the total.