On Friday the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Golden Nugget released its initial betting lines for some of college football's biggest games in 2014.
Golden Nugget - 2014 college football games of the year by Marcus DiNitto
Lucky for us, every Notre Dame game is listed except for the opener against Rice. Let's take a look at the current spreads for the other 11 games in 2014 for the Irish.
Michigan (+3) at Notre Dame
Notre Dame gets the home field advantage in what should be a close and bitterly fought game. Not much has changed my mind that this could be the biggest game of the Brian Kelly era (save the title game from 2012, of course) and it's nice to be favored.
Purdue (+21) at Notre Dame
The Shamrock Series rolls on this year inside Lucas Oil Stadium with the Irish heavy favorites over a languishing Purdue program. However, would even 25% of Notre Dame fans bet the Irish to cover this?
Notre Dame (-5.5) at Syracuse
Another neutral site game and a seemingly smaller betting line than what would be expected. Is Vegas not feeling Notre Dame's return to MetLife following the disaster in 2010? Perhaps the Orange are a sleeper pick this fall?
Stanford (-6) at Notre Dame
The first game of the season in which the Irish aren't favored. This begins a brutal three-game stretch for the team.
North Carolina (+2.5) at Notre Dame
As expected, it appears Vegas is really respecting North Carolina's strong finish to 2013 and how the Tar Heels are shaping up for the fall. We'll see if this line stays so close when the season actually begins.
Notre Dame (+24) at Florida State
That's a huge spread. When was the last time Notre Dame was that big of a dog in a game? Anyway, I wouldn't quibble too much with it as I think the Seminoles have the firepower to close out a game winning by that much.
Notre Dame (-3) at Navy
The third neutral site game and the sharps are expecting yet another close game. I don't want a close game here but I'm expecting it. We'll need to do work during the bye week.
Notre Dame (+4.5) at Arizona State
This was the one spread I was most interested to see for 2014. I thought there was a chance the Irish could be favored but that's not the line before the season starts.
Northwestern (+8) at Notre Dame
This feels about right for the time being. Northwestern had a bad record last year but lost a ton of close games and should be better in 2014.
Louisville (+8) at Notre Dame
I'm kind of surprised the line is this large given that the Cardinals are expected to be a fringe Top 25 team. I bet they aren't feeling the loss of Teddy Bridgewater.
Notre Dame (+10) at Southern California
There it is. We ain't getting any respect! Well, the Trojans did win 10 games last year and figure to be pretty good this year too. Let's hope this is a huge game for both teams.