Football season is back, but it doesn’t officially start until Monday, September 2nd when Notre Dame kicks off the season against Louisville at 8:00 PM. The lines opened up at Notre Dame -16 and the over/under at 60, which quickly moved. The largest spread was Notre Dame at -21 and the under is now at 54.5. These lines will be fluctuating until kickoff, and I can see the spread going lower in a favorable position to bet Notre Dame and the over/under as low as 51.
Let’s take a look at this matchup to see which is the best bet.
It is the first game of the season, and we should expect to see both teams struggle to find their chemistry at the beginning of the game. Notre Dame QB Ian Book won’t have some of his primary receivers that are either out with injuries or suspensions. Notre Dame is also replacing some key skill players on offense and their linebacker core on defense from last year’s Playoff team.
This game will be used to get Ian Book and the receivers on the same page before their big test in Athens in a few weeks. Notre Dame is returning four of their offensive linemen, and the run game will be the reason why their offense stays on the field and can put up enough points to walk out of Louisville with a W.
Louisville is welcoming their new head coach, Scott Satterfield, who will take some time to get his team going now that he is playing against the big dogs. Also, these are Petrino’s players who put together a very disappointing 2-10 season last season.
It will take Satterfield a few recruiting classes before he is successful at Louisville. But for this game, look for the Louisville crowd to help keep it a game in the first half. The crowd won’t be enough, and the Fighting Irish pass rush will be torturing the QB all game. Expect Notre Dame to get a good amount of sacks and keep the Louisville offense off the field. The Cardinals and their crowd won’t have any answers in the second half.
Best Bet of the Week (Under 54.5):
My favorite bet for this game is the under at 54.5. These lines have been changing daily, and it would be best to lock it down at 54.5 or higher if given the opportunity. The reason why the under is my bet of the week is that the slow start of both teams and Notre Dame run game will keep the clock running and result in the game hitting the under. My prediction of the final score is 34-17, which doesn’t have the Fighting Irish covering the 19-point spread. But if the spread drops which I can see happening, it wouldn’t be a bad move to take them at -16.5 or better.
When it gets closer to game time, and the props are available, I will tweet out my favorite ones. Follow me on Twitter @PeterCarlay for your live locks.