Notre Dame vs. Louisville Betting Odds & Pick: Blowout Brewing in South Bend? (Saturday, Oct. 17)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Book
- Louisville will hit the road to South Bend, Indiana on Saturday to face Notre Dame in an ACC college football matchup.
- The Fighting Irish have rolled early in the season, and BJ Cunningham doesn't think the Cardinals will be a big hurdle.
- Check out Cunningham's full breakdown with updated odds below.
Notre Dame vs. Louisville Odds
|Notre Dame Odds||-16.5 [BET NOW]|
|Louisville Odds||+16.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-800/+520 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||61.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||2:30 p.m. ET|
Notre Dame looks to continue its undefeated season on Saturday against a reeling Louisville squad. The Irish have taken care of business with three convincing wins at home to open their season.
With a date with Clemson looming in three weeks, it’s paramount that Notre Dame takes Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech seriously if it wants a shot at the College Football Playoff.
Louisville’s season is heading in the wrong direction. After an opening win over Western Kentucky, the Cardinals have lost three straight in the ACC behind some terrible defensive performances. They’ll have to pick up the pieces and find some sort cohesiveness on defense, or else this is going to turn into a blowout.
Scott Satterfield’s offense may not be very efficient, but it sure is explosive. The Cardinals are a top-12 team in passing and rushing explosiveness but rank in the bottom half of college football in Passing and Rushing Success Rate.
The inconsistencies on offense can really be boiled down to their offensive line play, as they’ve allowed 14 sacks and 40 tackles for loss in their first four games.
The Cards have done most of their damage through the air with quarterback Micale Cunningham, who is a legit dual-threat QB, but he’s regressed from last year. Last season, Cunningham averaged 11.2 yards per attempt, but this year, he’s dropped all the way down to 8.0. He’s also only completing 58.9% of his passes, so he’ll need to improve that number in order to buoy Louisville’s consistency in 2020.
Cunningham shares a backfield with sophomore phenom running back Javian Hawkins. The shifty underclassman has been fantastic this year, running for 5.5 yards per carry. However, he’s likely going to find a hard time running the ball against Notre Dame’s stout defensive line.
The Cardinals’ defense rivals its offensive line among the team’s top concerns.
Louisville has struggled versus the run so far this season, allowing 4.5 yards per carry. The Cards allowed Georgia Tech to run for 5.6 yards per attempt last Thursday. Things likely won’t improve on Saturday since they’re going up against the best rushing attack they’ve seen up to this point.
As for defending the pass, the Cardinals have allowed 8.2 yards per attempt, so things haven’t really improved from last year, where they ranked 61st in Defensive Passing Success and 90th in passing explosiveness.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Ian Book has been even more efficient than last year, throwing for 8.1 yards per attempt in his first three starts. Of course, losing his top three pass catchers from last year was always going to be difficult, but Notre Dame has a lot of talented players at the skill positions, which has made the transition seamless. The Irish rank 12th in Passing Success.
The strength of the Fighting Irish offense lies in their running game. Notre Dame brought back all of its starters on the offensive line and has an incredible dual-threat running back in Kyren Williams.
Williams is already running the ball for a ridiculous 7.5 yards per carry and has over 100 receiving yards on the year. Notre Dame should utilize Williams effectively against Louisville’s poor defense.
The Notre Dame defense has gone through some changes, losing three starters on both the defensive line and in the secondary. So far, both of those units have made a seamless transition, as they rank 12th in Defensive Passing Success and ninth in Rushing Success.
The defensive line, in particular, has been terrific, and that will come in handy against Louisville’s dynamic rushing attack of Cunningham and Hawkins.
Notre Dame has also done a fantastic job in creating Havoc (ranking eighth nationally), which should give it an advantage, as Cunningham has already turned the ball over six times this season.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
I think this game could very easily turn into a blowout. Louisville has struggled on both sides of the ball and hasn’t developed any sort of consistency.
Notre Dame should control the line of scrimmage and run the ball all over the Cardinals defense. Having Book under center doesn’t hurt either, so the Irish should be set up for a fantastic matchup on Saturday.
I have Notre Dame projected as -24.82 favorites, so I think this line a touchdown short. I’ll back the Irish at -17 and would play it up to -19.5. There’s a -16.5 available at FanDuel as of Friday morning.
Pick: Notre Dame -17, play up -19.5