Toledo vs Notre Dame Picks and Predictions: Fighting Back

The Irish have a lot of questions to answer on the defensive side of the ball, and their issues might just propel the Rockets to a cover against a big spread. Find out why with our Toledo vs Notre Dame picks.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Sep 10, 2021 • 10:52 ET • 4 min read
Bryant Koback Toledo Rockets college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Coming off an overtime thriller, Notre Dame has more defensive questions than at any point in the last four years, perhaps not the best time to have them with Toledo’s veteran offense coming to South Bend. 

Here are our free college football betting picks and predictions for Toledo vs. Notre Dame on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Toledo vs Notre Dame odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

After opening at 18.5, the Irish performance at Florida State helped knock this down to 17.0 and even 16.5 in some spots. The total opened the week at 52.5 but has consistently ticked upward to 55.5.

Be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets, and also view the full line movement for this game.

Toledo vs Notre Dame picks

Picks made on 9/10/2021 at 4:35 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Toledo vs Notre Dame game info

Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: Peacock

Toledo vs Notre Dame betting preview


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

Toledo: Dan Bolden LB (Out)
Notre Dame: Blake Fisher LT (Out), Marist Liufau LB (Out), Paul Moala LB (Out), Shayne Simon LB (Out), Jordan Botelho DE (Out), C’Bo Flemister RB (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home openers and 9-0 SU in home openers since 2012. The Irish have beaten 33 straight unranked opponents and won 24 straight at home. Find more NCAA betting trends for Toledo vs. Notre Dame.

Toledo vs Notre Dame predictions

Notre Dame entered 2021 with lofty expectations and nearly shattered them all in the fourth quarter on Sunday night at Florida State. Picking up those pieces quickly will be paramount to keeping the season on track.

Toledo entered the year with similarly lofty expectations, at least for a MAC team. The Rockets return 21 of 22 starters and should be favored in every game this season except this one. They had no trouble with Norfolk State last week in a 49-10 romp. In addition to blocking two punts for touchdowns — yes, two — Toledo’s run-pass ratio stood out, a lopsided 39 rushes to 18 passes. Clearly, it worked, with the Rockets gaining 7.74 yards per play.

Notre Dame did little to inspire in last week’s second half, only able to win in Tallahassee because Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell called an unfortunate timeout. The Irish defense was exposed on the ground, giving up 298 yards and 6.6 yards per carry (sacks adjusted), while their offense barely moved the ball at all in the running game, taking 31 carries for 81 yards (again, sacks adjusted).

Meanwhile, Toledo running back Bryant Koback should crack 3,000 career rushing yards in the coming weeks, moving the ball behind a veteran offensive line.

Even chalking up some of Notre Dame’s defensive errors to Week One jitters or the effects of the Doak Campbell Stadium crowd, some of them were inherent to new coordinator Marcus Freeman’s scheme. It is a high-risk, high-reward approach. It paid off at points, with the Irish intercepting three Seminoles passes, but it was also exposed via missed run fits and poor chase down angles.

Only so many of those mistakes can be corrected in a short week, a short week in which Notre Dame lost a third linebacker from its rotation, and is coming off an overtime game in Florida’s heat.

Just one such mistake could allow Toledo the extra touchdown needed to cover a 17-point spread. Given the Irish are now considering a sophomore receiver as part of their linebacker rotation in Xavier Watts, one of those mistakes should occur, whether courtesy of Watts or someone with a touch more defensive experience, in Freeman’s aggressive scheme.

In the last three seasons, the Rockets have been held below 21 points just three times in 19 games, all three coming in 2019. They have cracked 21 points in seven straight games, averaging 37 points per game in that stretch.

Given the state of Notre Dame’s defense, and the reality that its offense will likely rely on quick strikes to score and thus give the ball right back to Toledo quarterback Carter Bradley, the Rockets should have no trouble finding the end zone three times.

NCAA parlays

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Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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