The Golden Nugget released 111 college football lines Monday, and the indispensable Adam Kramer (@KegsNEggs if you're on Twitter) consolidated them all together here. Among the dozens of early point spreads were ten Notre Dame games, giving us an early look at what Vegas thinks of their entire regular season, save for Purdue and Wake Forest.
(If you'd like a quick tutorial in gambling lines, hop to the bottom of this post and I will help you on your way to becoming a degenerate like the rest of us.)
Navy vs. Notre Dame (-13.5)
Notre Dame at Michigan State (-3)
Michigan at Notre Dame (-1)
Miami vs. Notre Dame (-9.5)
Stanford at Notre Dame (-5)
BYU at Notre Dame (-9)
Notre Dame at Oklahoma (-11)
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (-12.5)
Notre Dame at Boston College (+12)
Notre Dame at USC (-13)
A few quick thoughts:
- That Navy line seems really inviting. The Irish wailed on the Midshipmen last year, and while it's hard to guess the effects of playing a game in Dublin, it's hard to believe that the dominance of the Notre Dame lines won't keep this comfortable. Navy could capitalize on the Irish breaking in a new starting quarterback, but leaning on Cierre Wood and the defense ought to deliver this one by two touchdowns.
- MSU by three seems fair. This is going to be a low-scoring rock fight, as both teams bring in strong defenses and the Spartans must replace Kirk Cousins.
- I'm not going to talk about the Michigan game. Per rules instituted even before last year's collapse, I'm going to just assume the Wolverines win in the most soul-sucking way imaginable until they don't.
- 9.5 seems like a lot against the Hurricanes, but this is the same Miami team that looked like they were ready for an arctic expedition playing in El Paso. If there's a stiff breeze at Soldier Field, it might prove to be too much for our visitors from Coral Gables.
- People keep saying Oklahoma is going to be in trouble because they don't have receivers, but they return basically everyone else and I'm sure Stoops can scrap together a fast guy or two who can catch. Not only do they have future first round pick Landry Jones, but his backup Blake Bell is Tebow-like. Phil Steele just named them his number two team. They are going to be pretty good, and the Irish will be on the road and coming off two tough games and yeah, I think -11 might be a little low.
- I know Boston College kept it close last year, but Luke Kuechly is gone and by the time Notre Dame travels to Chestnut Hill it is likely there will be an interim coach leading the Eagles. Boston College is terrible, and I will take the Irish to win by two touchdowns every day of the week.
- The USC line is going to balloon up well past two touchdowns unless A) Matt Barkley gets hurt B) Notre Dame is way better than anyone has any right to think they will be. Let's hope this turns into a recreation of the Mitch Mustain/Tommy Rees battle and the Irish can steal one late.
QUICK LESSON ON SPORTS LINES FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED:
So the basics of sports wagering is that Vegas wants everybody to bet equal money on both sides, then they make their money on the vigs (the percentage they take on every bet - great business) and the idiots who do massive teasers and parlays (which are great! But seriously don't do them - unless you're really sure, then go ahead). Their goal is to make the line so that it's appealing to bet the underdog, no matter how terrible they may be or how good the favorite is. They are really good at their jobs.
When it says Notre Dame is -13.5 against Navy, that means that the Irish have to win by more than 13.5 points for you to win your bet. If you bet Navy at +13.5, you're betting them to either win or lose by less than 13.5 points. The team that is minus is the favorite (they're laying points) and the team that is plus is the underdog (they're getting points). Using the lines above, Notre Dame is the underdog in three games (Michigan State, Oklahoma, USC) and the favorite in the rest.