Fiesta Bowl Betting Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys – Saturday, January 1, 2022

by Spooky Express | December 29, 2021 |

Both of these teams were in contention for the College Football Playoff down to the end of the season, but ultimately 11-1 Notre Dame came up one spot short, finishing fifth in the final rankings, while 11-2 Oklahoma State couldn’t convert a first and goal situation to pull out a win over Baylor in the Big 12 championship game that might have vaulted them into the CFP, but instead they’ll be facing the Irish in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day in Glendale, Arizona.

Notre Dame somehow got through the season with just one loss, a 24-13 defeat by CFP participant Cincinnati that turned out to be the deciding factor of which team would have a chance to play for the national championship.

In addition, the success of the Irish was also instrumental in the 13-0 Bearcats convincing the CFP committee to make them the first Group of Five conference team to qualify for the playoff.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Betting Preview: Inches Away from the Playoffs

We’ll never know what the CFP committee would have done if the Cowboys would have been successful in punching the ball into the end zone to win the Big 12 title, but their loss to Baylor made the decision pretty clear, given the Bearcats’ win over Notre Dame.

Oklahoma State had an impressive record, but they weren’t particularly impressive on offense with the exception of a pair of blowout wins over conference cellar dwellers Kansas and TCU, the only two games where the Cowboys managed more than 37 points.

Unlike many of head coach Mike Gundy’s prior teams, this edition won primarily with a defense that was eighth in the nation in points allowed at just under 17 a game, taking the pressure off an offense that scored barely 30 points a game.

Oklahoma State was third in the nation in total defense, holding opposing offenses to just 274 yards a game and only 2.7 yards per rushing attempt.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview: Taking a Step Up in Class

Notre Dame started the season sluggishly, with some close wins, and then suffered the loss to Cincinnati, followed by a 32-29 win at Virginia Tech that cast some doubt on their ability to continue to put up wins against a tough schedule.

The Irish come into the Fiesta Bowl on a roll, winners of seven contests in a row, and they’ve outscored their last four opponents by an average of 41-6, highlighted by a season-ending 45-14 beat down at Stanford.

While Notre Dame’s season-long statistics on both sides of the ball are unspectacular, the way they completed the season was impressive, and they may have played the best football of any FBS team down the stretch, although they caught a break by not having to face the nation’s leading passer in Brennan Armstrong in their 28-3 defeat of Virginia.

With an offense that relied on balance provided by an effective running game, they’ll be challenged by the best defense the Irish have faced all season.

Cowboys vs. Fighting Irish Betting Odds & Lines

MyBookie has Notre Dame at -2.5, with both sides of the wager paying out at odds of -110.

Free Betting Pick

Notre Dame may have been dominant at the end of the season, but none of those victories came against a team that was anywhere close to Oklahoma State in talent and execution, especially on defense.

The Cowboys have a lot to prove after their close call against Baylor, but can they beat Notre Dame?

At this point, we are going to hold off on releasing a play, as we just are not certain which way to go. Check back the day of the game for our official Fiesta Bowl play.

Update 12/29/2021 – After crunching numbers and careful consideration, we are taking Notre Dame here on the Moneyline -132. We just think they come out on top and will win this game.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Notre Dame ML -132

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