Notre Dame vs. LSU, Citrus Bowl: Pick, line, prediction, odds, live stream, watch online

Notre Dame and LSU are making a bit of a habit of meeting in bowl games. This date in the Citrus Bowl will only be the 12th time the two schools have played, but it will be the third consecutive time they've done so in a bowl game and fourth time overall. Notre Dame won the last matchup, beating LSU 31-28 in the 2014 Music City Bowl, but LSU won the previous two (2007 Sugar Bowl, 1997 Independence Bowl).

Viewing information

Date: Monday, Jan. 1 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Camping World Stadium -- Orlando, Florida 
TV: ABC | Live stream: Watch ESPNWatch ESPN apps

Storylines

Notre Dame: Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish had a major turnaround in 2017. After going 4-8 last season, the Irish managed to go 9-3 this year, but even if that's an impressive recovery, the Irish still enter this game with a bitter taste in their mouths. It wasn't that long ago that the Irish were in the College Football Playoff discussion, but after losing two of their final three games (to Miami and Stanford) they must settle for the Citrus Bowl and a chance to win 10 games.

This is a Notre Dame team with two All-Americans on its offensive line in Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, who have helped open up holes for Josh Adams all season long. Those three, along with QB Brandon Wimbush, are the engine of the Irish offense that will find itself tested against LSU.

LSU: You might expect that the talk around LSU these days would be about the 9-3 season the Tigers had in their first full year under Ed Orgeron. Sure, there'd be rumbling about a 30-point loss to Mississippi State, that 24-10 loss to Alabama, and obviously, everyone would like to pretend the Troy loss never happened, but even with those setbacks, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.

Unfortunately, that's not the story. All anybody is talking about is the reported discord between Orgeron and his offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada was brought in to modernize an LSU offense that had grown stale, and given a lot of money to do so. But now reports say that Canada will be leaving Baton Rouge following the game because he and Orgeron just don't agree on what the LSU offense should be going forward.

Prediction

I had already been leaning toward Notre Dame before all the news about Orgeron and Canada broke, and now I'm even more confident in the Irish here. It's not that I believe Notre Dame to be a much better team than LSU -- it isn't -- but I'd rather have the good team with everyone on the same page than the one without. The Irish won't be able to run all over LSU, but they'll find enough success, and I just can't trust the LSU offense to cover this spread. Pick: Notre Dame +3.5

So what side do you need to be all over in the Citrus Bowl? Visit SportsLine now to get a strong pick for Notre Dame vs. LSU from data scientist Stephen Oh, who's on a 33-23 run in college football picks.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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