Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame prediction, pick for the 2022 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

What are the current odds for the 2021 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, and what is our prediction and pick for Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame?

For two teams that ended the regular season with College Football Playoff hopes, the Fiesta Bowl might not be the New Year’s Six bowl game they’d have hoped to be playing in. However, for college football fans, the 11-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys taking on the 11-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish could prove one of the best games of the bowl season. Let’s take a look at the current Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame odds and make a pick and prediction for the 2021 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame betting odds and trends

  • Spread: Notre Dame -2 (Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Total: 45.5
  • Moneyline: Notre Dame -135, Oklahoma State +115

Do you want a fighting chance of making some money betting on the Fighting Irish? Perhaps you fancy the Cowboys to pony up a little cash for you from the Fiesta Bowl? If you’re looking to make a little money predicting the future, it’s worth considering the past before you lay down your hard-earned cash.

As the fifth-ranked team in the nation, Notre Dame comes into the Fiesta Bowl as a small favorite. They’ve been the moneyline favorite in nine of their 12 games this season, winning all nine. Favorites have also won 73.2% of all college football games this season.

Don’t discount the Cowboys, however. Oklahoma State is 2-1 this season when they’re an underdog. Although they lost to Iowa State by 3 points and Baylor by 5, Oklahoma State has covered the spread in all three games where they’ve been the underdog.

Moreover, the Fighting Irish have failed to cover the spread twice as a favorite (against FSU and Toledo to open the season). This Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame clash is going to be a tight affair.

This is reflected by the total line of 43.5. Both teams have been impressive defensively, and between them, their games have hit the over just 10 times this season. That said, 14 of their games have covered the 43.5 line in the Fiesta Bowl. If one team takes an early two-score lead, there’s the potential for it to become a slugfest. It is, after all, bowl season.

Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame prediction

If the old adage that defense wins championships rang true, Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame might be the national championship matchup. However, after their bids for the College Football Playoff came up just short, the Cowboys and Fighting Irish face each other for the first time in the Fiesta Bowl.

Notre Dame has a checkered history with the Fiesta Bowl. This will be their fifth appearance in the game, and four of those have ended in defeat. The Fighting Irish’s only victory came in 1989, a 34-21 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Can they conjure up another victory over the Big 12 conference today?

This is a Notre Dame team that has overcome a difficult start to mature into one of the most competitive teams in the nation. They struggled past Toledo and FSU in their opening two games, giving up huge chunk plays while struggling to protect new quarterback Jack Coan or carve open rushing lanes for Kyren Williams.

As the season has progressed, however, the Fighting Irish have developed and gelled into a team unrecognizable for those early weeks of the year. Coan has earned multiple all-star game invites after completing 67.6% of his passes for 2,641 passing yards. Michael Mayer has established himself as one of the best tight ends in the nation, and Williams came up just short of 1,000 yards while adding 14 rushing touchdowns.

Notre Dame’s defense puts the fight into Fighting Irish

Meanwhile, the defense overcame the loss of all-world safety Kyle Hamilton to injury to rebound from those early-season deficiencies. DJ Brown and Cam Hart have developed into dangerous defensive playmakers, snagging 5 interceptions between them. Defensive end Isaiah Foskey is flying up draft boards after a season that saw him log a team-high 8.5 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, and a frankly ridiculous 5 forced fumbles.

Additionally, the Ademilola twins — Jayson and Justin — have combined for 14.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks. The result of these impressive individual performances is a team defensive unit that ended the season with an average of just 18.3 points allowed per game. They haven’t given up more than 14 points since a swashbuckling win over North Carolina at the end of October.

Can the Cowboys ride their own defense to a Fiesta Bowl win?

While Notre Dame has grown into the season, Oklahoma State has enjoyed its best campaign since 2011. Although they’ve been bowl-eligible in all but Mike Gundy’s first season in charge, the Cowboys ended that 2011 with their last appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. The result? A 41-38 win over Stanford. In fact, the Cowboys are 2-0 in the Fiesta Bowl (they also beat BYU in 1974).

Despite the loss of Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard to the draft, the Cowboys’ 30.6 points per game average is actually better than last season. In his third season under center, Spencer Sanders has thrown for a career-high 2,468 passing yards. His main target, Tay Martin, has earned an all-star game invite after tallying 942 yards and 7 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has their own rushing threat with Jaylen Warren (1,134 yards, 11 touchdowns).

Yet, it’s a swarming defense whose production is only matched by their intensity that should give Oklahoma State the advantage vs. Notre Dame. Their defense has five players that have registered double-digit TFL this season. Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez is a 5’11”, 225-pound heat-seeking missile who leads the team with 118 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 4 forced fumbles.

Rodriguez is joined by Collin Oliver (15 TFL, 10.5 sacks), Tyler Lacy (11.5 TFL), Brock Martin (12 TFL), and Devin Harper (10 TFL). They’ve made a habit of living in the backfield this year, and as a result, they’ve allowed just 89.2 yards to the ground game. With Williams opting out for Notre Dame to prepare for the NFL Draft, Oklahoma State’s ability to suffocate the Fighting Irish offense should be the difference-maker.

Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame Prediction: Oklahoma State 24, Notre Dame 21

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