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National Pundits Predict BYU vs Notre Dame

National Media forecast a close game Saturday night.

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Utah State v Brigham Young Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

BYU-Notre Dame head to Las Vegas in a prime time matchup on NBC. We round up national pundits’ predictions of the game outcome below.

Stewart Mandel of The Athletic predicts a BYU victory.

“It’s good these two finally met in what wound up being BYU’s last season as an independent. It’s unfortunate the Irish aren’t ranked themselves. QB Drew Pyne inspired more confidence in his last outing against North Carolina, but for perspective, the Tar Heels defense is ranked 120th nationally. BYU (No. 38) is much stingier.”

BYU 24, Notre Dame 20

Pick: BYU +3.5

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic predicts a Notre Dame win and cover.

“The Cougars’ run defense has gotten roughed up the past few weeks, and the Irish ground game finally got cranked up its last time out against North Carolina. Playing the hunch that the Irish sustain the momentum.”

Notre Dame 27, BYU 23

Pick: Notre Dame -3.5

ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s SP+ projections see a narrow Notre Dame win.

“Notre Dame was projected seventh in SP+ but has fallen to 30th. BYU was 19th after a rousing Week 2 win over Baylor but has fallen to 39th. Notre Dame should be able to run the ball, but if there’s an explosive play, it’s far more likely to come from BYU. It won’t take that many big plays to produce an upset.”

Current line: Notre Dame -3.5 (up from -2.5 on Sunday) | SP+ projection: Notre Dame by 2.8 | FPI projection: Notre Dame by 7.2.

Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports predicts BYU to cover and win straight up.

“Notre Dame managed to find some offense against a horrific North Carolina defense. Does that mean the unit is fixed? Unlikely. Outside of scoring 45 points against the Tar Heels, Notre Dame has averaged just 18.3 points per game. Notre Dame didn’t produce a 50-yard rusher in its two losses, either.

On the other sideline, BYU boasts a quarterback in Jaren Hall and some wide receivers that are next level-worthy, plus a few truly physical defenders. The Cougars have been inconsistent over the last two games in average performances against bad Mountain West teams. Still, this game was circled on the schedule early. Like the Baylor game, BYU will get up for this matchup. Pick: BYU (+150)”

Ralph Russo of The Associated Press forecasts a BYU win.

“Shamrock Series game for Irish against major college football’s other independent power ... BYU 27-24.”

Will Backus of 247 Sports predicts a BYU victory.

“BYU 20, Notre Dame 17: This game is the opposite of Kansas vs. TCU. BYU is more capable of putting points on the board than Notre Dame and could be aided by a fully healthy wide receiver corps.”

All three writers at Athlon Sports are siding with the Irish.

Pete Fiutak of Sporting News did an in-depth preview and picks BYU to win 27-23.