Brian Kelly Record Against Top-5 Opponents Points to Big Notre Dame Loss Against Georgia in Week 4
By David Hayes
It's hard to deny the kind of success Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has brought back to the Fighting Irish's football program since he became a part of it in 2010. Notre Dame has put together three double-digit win seasons in the past four years, including a perfect 12-0 regular season in 2018 on the way to the Irish's first College Football Playoff appearance in program history.
While the Irish have proven they can consistently beat lesser opponents under Kelly, his track record in his team's biggest games against top competition has presented a troubling pattern.
Since 2000, Notre Dame has gone just 1-17 against top-5 opponents and 0-4 in those matchups under Kelly. To make matters worse, three of those four losses under Kelly have come by more than 14 points, which would prove a critical margin for sports bettors paying attention to Notre Dame's Week 4 matchup.
That recent history certainly doesn't bode well for Kelly and the Irish as they head into Athens as 14.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, to battle No. 3 Georgia on the road this Saturday night. And the oddsmakers seem to have noticed too.
For some added perspective on Notre Dame's odds of leaving Athens with an outright victory, Clemson (+175) and Alabama (+300) both currently have better odds to win the national championship than Notre Dame's moneyline odds (+460) of winning this game.
Even though you can't expect anyone beyond, perhaps, Dabo Swinney's Clemson or Nick Saban's Alabama to beat college football's best all the time, you'd have to expect a true blue-blood program like Notre Dame to do it a few times, at least.
The last time Kelly and the Irish faced a top-5 team, Clemson handed Notre Dame a dominating 30-3 loss in the first round of the 2019 CFB Playoff.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.