Notre Dame 2019 Betting Guide: Can Irish Repeat Last Season’s Magic?
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ian Book
Notre Dame 2019 Betting Odds
- National Title: 50-1
- To Make The Playoff: 12-1
- Win Total: 9
Notre Dame Schedule, Projected Spreads
What to Like about Notre Dame
Last season was a magical run for the Irish. An opening win over Michigan, a seamless transition between quarterbacks, and being the 10th program to compete in the College Football Playoff. With no conference championship game, it’s now abundantly clear that Notre Dame must have an undefeated season to compete for the national title.
Brian Kelly retains his coordinators, as Clark Lea proved himself one of the best defensive coaches in the country. Lea had long followed Mike Elko, now with Texas A&M, as an assistant. Notre Dame was 25th in defensive success rate and 9th against explosive plays.
This season, the Irish return three defensive backs that accounted for 23% of the teams total havoc in 2018.
With Brandon Wimbush’s transfer to Central Florida, Ian Book is locked in as the starting quarterback. Backup redshirt freshman Phil Jurkovec is the most highly-rated recruit at the position, but may lack a bit of polish before kickoff.
What Could Cause Problems
The skill positions took a hit in the offseason, resulting in a returning production rank of 97th overall. Running back Dexter Williams tallied 995 yards and 12 touchdowns, while wide receiver Miles Boykin accounted for 23.8% of the total passing targets.
While the offensive line will be missing just one player with double digit starts, the Irish must get better at controlling the line of scrimmage. Notre Dame ranked 121st in stuff and 112th in opportunity rate. In translation, the rush attack could not get the job done in short yardage situations.
The schedule will be much tougher to navigate in 2019. Notre Dame now faces Georgia, Michigan and Stanford on the road. South Bend will be the backdrop when USC, Virginia Tech and Virginia meet the Irish.
We mentioned the higher rank in strength of schedule. Under further investigation, Notre Dame will play a fresh team off double-digit rest in more than half its games.
Has anyone actually inspected Notre Dame’s schedule? The Irish play 7 teams off a bye week… something I have never seen in a single CFB season
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) May 14, 2019
New Mexico, Bowling Green, USC, Virginia Tech, Duke, Navy and Boston College all have a bye week before Notre Dame. The Irish do have their own against Michigan in late October, but the remainder of the schedule should see a teams healthiest version.
Bets to Watch
With an Action Network win total projected at 9.1, there is a high probability the Irish do not make the College Football Playoff. While no play can be recommended on a win total of 9, odds at -600 or better to not make the playoff have value.
As for a situational spot, look at Bowling Green catching close to 6 touchdowns on Oct. 5. The Eagles will be off a bye week catching Notre Dame after physical matchups against Georgia and Virginia.
To add to the spot, the Irish take on rival USC the following week. Backing some MACtion takes intestinal fortitude, but Ball State had an easy cover in this same spot last season.