Notre Dame fans might be all doom and gloom these days since learning that Everett Golson won’t be the starting quarterback for Notre Dame this fall after being dismissed from the University, but the sudden and abrupt departure of Golson hasn’t dimmed Las Vegas oddsmakers outlook on the 2013 Fighting Irish.
In very early odds released by the Golden Nugget at the end of last week, Notre Dame is currently favorited in 10 out 12 games and in one of the two games they are the underdog, the game is marked as a pick ’em right now. Here is the full rundown of the current odds for all games on the 2013 Notre Dame Football schedule.
- Temple at Notre Dame (-24)
- Notre Dame at Michigan (Pick ‘em)
- Notre Dame (-14) at Purdue
- Michigan State at Notre Dame (-6)
- Oklahoma at Notre Dame (-2)
- Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (-4)
- USC at Notre Dame (-5)
- Notre Dame (-18) at Air Force
- Navy at Notre Dame (-18)
- Notre Dame (-10.5) at Pittsburgh
- BYU at Notre Dame (-11)
- Notre Dame (+5.5) at Stanford
Before jumping into some of the more interesting lines here, take all of these lines with a huge grain of salt at this point and remember that Vegas goal is not to accurately predict the outcomes of football games – its goal is to make money by creating lines that influence people to bet the way they want them to so that they make the most money possible.
With that being said, some of these lines are still a little surprising to me given the shake up the quarterback position will see for Notre Dame with the loss of Golson.
The USC and Oklahoma lines immediately jump out to me. Notre Dame didn’t put USC away until very late in the game and hard a heck of a time scoring points with Golson at the helm last year in LA. The Irish get the Trojans at home this year, but the last time Tommy Rees started a game at home against USC, things didn’t go that well for him or the Notre Dame offense.
Notre Dame beat Oklahoma 31-13 last year in Norman, but the final score of that game was a bit misleading since that was a close, hard-fought game for three and a half quarters of football. The Irish did run the ball on Oklahoma with a bit more ease than they did USC though.
Some of these early lines look really high too. Notre Dame as a 24 point favorite in week one against Temple? The Owls might not be a tough week one matchup for Notre Dame, but at the same time the Irish offense will be ushering in a new starter at quaterback, tight end, running back, center, and right guard on August 31. That has the look of a game Notre Dame could win easily, but with the offense struggling at times.
An 11 point spread against BYU looks a bit high too considering all the trouble that the Cougars gave the Irish last year in South Bend in the one game Rees started when Golson was sidelined with a concussion.
The Arizona State line worries me a little bit too. Notre Dame being less of a favorite right now over ASU than USC could mean Vegas wants people to take Notre Dame in that game right now meaning they feel Arizona State has a good chance to beat the Irish.
Notre Dame was terrible against the spread last year after playing so many close games and it’s likely they won’t perform much better against the spread this year if the actual lines resemble these early ones from the Golden Nugget. Of course, Vegas could also be looking to take advantage of emotional bettors fans by having the Irish favorited in so many games right now in hopes they will over-react and beat heavily against the Irish.
At the end of the day, all of these lines don’t mean a whole lot come kick-off time, but if nothing else , it is very interesting to see that even after losing last year’s starting quarterback very unexpectedly that Vegas still favors the Irish.