Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. South Carolina Gamecocks: Gator Bowl Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/30/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Gator Bowl

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Notre Dame -2.5; Notre Dame -140, South Carolina +120; O/U 51.5
FanDuel: Notre Dame -2.5; Notre Dame -134, South Carolina +112; O/U 51.5
BetMGM: Notre Dame -2.5; Notre Dame -135, South Carolina +115; O/U 51.5
Caesars: Notre Dame -2; Notre Dame -135, South Carolina +115; O/U 52

Season record
No. 21 Notre Dame: 8-4
No. 19 South Carolina: 8-4

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Notre Dame - South Carolina preview, analysis and prediction

Notre Dame analysis
I think when we look back at the last six games of the season that was for the Notre Dame fighting Irish, I think we will officially come to grips with the fact that it was one of the better runs in the history of college football. This is the team that started off really small going with only one win in its first few games and then closing the year 5-1 and getting some wins over Syracuse and Clemson, it truly is remarkable what that team was able to do in terms of turning it around and being as competitive as it was. Sure, Notre Dame was coming off a 38-27 loss at USC to close the season but the fact that they were able to stay as competitive as they were against USC, as expected, Notre Dame has a lot to feel good about going into next season under coach Marcus freeman. They even have a lot to look forward to going into this bowl game in the Gator bowl. Notre Dame has split its last six in terms of against the spread, winning three and losing three. That is expected considering how some of those wins were very on the cusp and very close on both sides. So I am not going to hold Notre Dame against that for sheer understanding. But Notre Dame has been able to get by with a really stingy defense and a rather interesting offense that is either hit or miss depending on the day. If quarterback drew pine is able to play a solid game much like he did against USC, Notre Dame is very hard to beat. Pine through only three incompletions in this game and through for 318 yards and three touchdowns. That is stellar of the highest order and is very capable of Notre Dame erupting for that kind of offense again. And given the opponents and the uncertainty of how that team has looked over the last few weeks, this is shaping up to be the perfect storm for Notre Dame.
South Carolina analysis
The South Carolina Gamecocks had about as tremendous of a run to close the year as I think any team in the SEC could have had. For a team that finished 8-4, South Carolina picked up seven of those wins in its last nine weeks and did so with the understanding that they were able to dominate the way that they did. He looked at the winds that South Carolina racked up. There's one at Kentucky in which they won by 10, there is one in which they beat Texas A and M as three-point underdogs by six. And of course the close the season there's the thrashing by 25 against Tennessee, and then the surprising 31-30 victory over Clemson in Clemson to close the regular season. South Carolina is one of those teams where I don't know if you can fully believe in them to get you to the finish line, but they are gonna be very much alive in the picture to where they are confident that you can find a way to win some games. And even if you look at Clemson and how they were unable to pull off the win against South Carolina, it was one of the better games that we've seen in a college uniform for quarterback Spencer rattler who despite throwing two interceptions in that game, did throw two touchdowns. South Carolina got nothing from its running game, but got plenty from its defense and from the young quarterback. South Carolina has been just as solid against the spread as it has been straight up covering in five of its last seven games. That also includes a run of three of the last four in which South Carolina easily covered the final two despite being underdogs of 23.5 and 14. Get on them at your own risk.
But I will be taking that risk in this one because there is no team that has been as impressive to close the year than Notre Dame. And I truly believe that the way that Notre Dame played in the final six weeks is an indication of what kind of team we have been wanting to expect Notre Dame to be. And if that is the case, then this is going to likely be a defensive battle that will dominate the headlines. Notre Dame 24, South Carolina 17

Betting trends

Notre Dame is 14-5 ATS after two games over the last 2 seasons.

Notre Dame is 6-0 ATS after forcing 1 turnover or less the last 2 seasons.

South Carolina is 8-1 ATS in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.

Statistical leaders

Notre Dame:
Passing: Drew Pyne – 2,021 yards, 22 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Audric Estime – 825 yards, 11 TD
Receiving: Michael Mayer – 809 yards, 9 TD

South Carolina:
Passing: Spencer Rattler – 2,780 yards, 16 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Marshawn Lloyd – 573 yards, 9 TD
Receiving: Antwane Wells Jr. – 898 yards, 6 TD

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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