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College Football Betting – Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Louisville Cardinals

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Sep/02/2019

The first full weekend of the college football season concludes on Monday night when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take the field for the first time since their blowout loss to Clemson in last season’s CFP semifinal. The Golden Domers ran the table through the regular season and return Ian Book for a full season after he turned the offense up a notch when taking over last season. The rebuilding Louisville Cardinals don’t appear to be much of a threat and they opened as a 20-point dog in this matchup.


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Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Louisville Cardinals

Date and Time: Monday, September 2, 2019, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY

Opening CFB Odds: Notre Dame -20, O/U 59

Fighting Irish at Cardinals TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Despite their 2-10 collapse last season and a new coach for 2019, the Cardinals have been getting plenty of action at offshore sportsbooks. The line opened in favor of Notre Dame at -20 and has since been wagered down to ND -18. With the Irish looking to replace a number of playmakers on offense and the Cards not wanting to get embarrassed in Scott Satterfield’s first game, look for a methodical approach that will keep the Cards hanging close, at least through the first half. That thinking also caused movement with the total going from an opening 59 to a wagered down 55.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Irish know how difficult it is to reach the CFP. As an independent they have to be perfect, and they were last season until a meeting with Clemson in the Cotton Bowl semifinal. Notre Dame enters this matchup ranked No. 9 in the preseason poll, which looks to be generous. This isn’t the same Irish team from last year with several key performers on defense having to be replaced.

However, this is a game they should win and you can expect the Irish to come out blazing to silence a partisan Louisville crowd. Offensively the Irish will look to Book for leadership. He took over early last season and was spectacular throwing for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing over 68 percent of his passes with just seven picks. The Irish averaged 37.2 points in their last nine regular season games. And Louisville’s struggles defensively last year brought about a number of changes and Book will exploit an evolving group.

Notre Dame lost leading rusher Dexter Williams and several players on the defensive line, prompting Brian Kelly to say his team’s success depends on how well they run the football and defends the run. Jafar Armstrong is first in line to take over as the lead back with Tony Jones Jr. looking for an opportunity. The Irish will need some time to integrate a host of new players around Book and that will keep this game closer than it probably should be.

Louisville Cardinals

The crumbling of the Cards came quickly with Bobby Petrino not even lasting the 2018 season. Louisville turned to Satterfield to rebuild the program after its worst season since 1997. The former Appalachian State coach is good get for the Cards program, however it’s going to take some time to get through the rubble left by Petrino. Satterfield is familiar with transitions after leading the Mountaineers into the FBS in 2014, winning three straight Sun Belt Conference titles and going undefeated in three bowl games.

Getting the team to be competitive is first on the list, and the porous defense from last season got a makeover. The Cards allowed 44 points and over 483 yards per game last season and new coordinator Bryan Brown is switching to a 3-4 scheme. A new staff and defense, but a lot of the same players and it isn’t going to be easy to stop the Irish. Louisville allowed at least 52 points in each of its last five games in 2018.

As bad as the Cards were stopping opponents last year, they were equally putrid trying to move the football. They averaged 353.5 yards and less than 20 points per game. With no other options at quarterback, Satterfield and new offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford are turning to Jawon Pass, who will start his second straight opener. Pass completed just 54 percent of his attempts with 12 interceptions last year and the hope is a simplified game plan will help him and the group.

Bet Fighting Irish at Cardinals at BookMaker.eu

Facing the Irish in the opener isn’t ideal for Satterfield, but it will give him an idea of how his coaching strategy is working. There are a lot of moving parts with the Cards and expecting everything to work against a top-caliber opponent is wishful thinking. Notre Dame has to replace a number of playmakers on offense and several key cogs on defense, but they shouldn’t have much of a problem covering the line. I also like the under in this game with both teams trying to figure things out.

CFB Score Prediction: Notre Dame 33, Louisville 13

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- This article courtesy of Phil Simon and Bookmaker.eu

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