Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview

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The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl kicks off New Year’s Day between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-2) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1).

Both teams had illusions of reaching the College Football Playoffs but will settle for the next best New Year’s Six Bowl. Oklahoma State suffered defeat at the hands of Baylor in the Big 12 Championship but have had a great run under Mike Gundy. The Fighting Irish have been one of the top teams in the country yet again in 2021, but lost head coach Brian Kelly to LSU following the conclusion of the regular season.

It will be Marcus Freeman’s first game as Irish head coach following his promotion from defensive coordinator. His team will be shorthanded, as both of the team’s top players (safety Kyle Hamilton, running back Kyren Williams) have opted out. 

The Cowboys have gotten things done on the ground, rushing for 181.8 yards per game and  4.1 yards per rush offensively while limiting teams to 89.2 yards per game and 2.7 yards per rush offensively. They should be able to limit this Williams-less Irish rushing game and force Jack Coan to throw the ball, giving them a chance at the upset. Notre Dame has stepped up defensively to end the season and remains solid upfront, so the onus may be on Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders to make things happen offensively. 

This has all the makings of a close, low-scoring affair. Notre Dame will be hungry to prove doubters wrong following the absence of Kelly. The Irish have consistently been blown out in big bowl games in the past, but there’s a key difference in this game. They aren’t playing Alabama. They aren’t playing an opponent that has them completely overmatched. They’re playing an Oklahoma State team that couldn’t squeak by Baylor in a must-win game. 

Pick: Notre Dame -2.5

All CFB game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid

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