The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have only lost one game this season to the undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats. Perhaps no player has been more responsible for the team’s success this season than JD Bertrand. The junior ND linebacker leads the team in tackles, and it’s not particularly close. Bertrand has 58 tackles, making him a dependable force against the run.
In Week 8, the Fighting Irish have a home game against long-time rival USC. The Fighting Irish are 7-point favorites according to the college football betting lines from BetMGM.
Notre Dame should win easily against a struggling Trojans team, especially if Bertrand can continue his torrid tackles pace. Read on to find out just how well Bertrand is playing and what to expect from him in Week 8 of the NCAA football season.
JD Bertrand Has Been a Tackling Machine
If you’ve been betting on JD Bertrand prop bets this season, you’re probably doing pretty well for yourself. Notre Dame has a long history of producing elite linebackers. Football fans will remember the name Manti Te’o, but a new Notre Dame linebacker is getting close to breaking some of Te’o’s records.
JD Bertrand had 48 tackles in the first five games of 2021, the most since Te’o had 64 through five games in 2010. In Notre Dame’s last game against Virginia Tech, Bertrand added ten more tackles, putting him on pace for a 125-tackle season.
Bertrand Might Have to Fight for Stats Against USC
The Trojans do not have a particularly strong run game. USC is averaging 129 rushing yards per game, ranked 93rd in the NCAA. Linebackers like Bertrand can usually rack up tackles when the other team decides to run the ball on every down.
USC’s defense is giving up over 380 yards per game. So if you’re looking at college football bets this weekend, I don’t think betting on USC is a great play.
If the Trojans find themselves down early against the Fighting Irish, USC will likely have to lean on the pass, which will make it harder for Bertrand to add to his tackle total.
If there’s one area in which Bertrand hasn’t produced any eye-popping stats this year, it’s in the pass rush. JD Bertrand’s stats are a wonder to behold, but his sack totals are noticeably low. Bertrand has just one sack on the year, and he’s unlikely to get many more against a USC offensive line that has given up the 18th fewest sacks in the NCAA.
Predicting JD Bertrand’s Performance Against USC
While I don’t expect Bertrand to have a spectacular individual performance, I believe the Notre Dame defense to shut down the USC run game and force the Trojans to become one-dimensional. That will spell trouble for a USC team that’s already struggling to find its footing this season.
Do you agree that JD Bertrand and Notre Dame will pull off the victory, or do you think that the Trojans can find a way to upset the Irish? Either way, sign up for BetMGM’s Indiana sports betting site and place your bets on this and other college and NFL football games.