We are officially less than two weeks away from real Notre Dame football and as of today, the season is still scheduled to take place. On the same day we were reminded of how abnormal this season will be with the announcement of extremely limited capacity at Notre Dame Stadium, we got one sign of normalcy with the first betting lines for Notre Dame’s week one contest and the Irish are big-time favorites.
When Duke visits Notre Dame Stadium in less than two weeks, they will be nearly three-touchdown underdogs based on the opening line released today. Notre Dame opened as a 20.5 point favorite over the Blue Devils.
The over/under opened at 53.5 according to Vegas Insider. That projects to something like Notre Dame 38-17 according to the current odds from Vegas.
Notre Dame and Duke last played as recently as November when the Irish traveled to Durham and blew out the Blue Devils 38-7 behind the arm and legs of Ian Book.
Duke’s trip to South Bend will be their first visit to Notre Dame Stadium since they upset the Irish in 2016 in the game that resulted in Brian Vangorder’s dismissal the very next day.
Notre Dame opened as a 20 point favorite for Duke’s last visit four years ago when they were upset but were just an eight-point favorite last fall when they left with a 31 point victory.
Notre Dame covered the spread in each of their last five games of the 2019 season including their bowl game victory over Iowa State. Notre Dame was just a three and a half point favorite in that contest, but beat the Cyclones by 24. Notre Dame covered a 20.5 spread on Senior Day against Boston College as well as a 17 point spread Thanksgiving weekend on the road against Stanford.
Betting college football in a normal year is a crapshoot. Betting college football this year, however, will be a whole other beast given all of the potential availability issues possible while playing football during a pandemic.
That said, all things being equal with regards to availability, This line and over/under sound about right for Notre Dame. The Irish didn’t have any issue with Duke last year and this year shouldn’t be much different.