Notre Dame Win-Total Pick
Can Brian Kelly get the Notre Dame Fighting Irish back on track in the 2017 season, or will the Irish struggle once again?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Notre Dame is listed with 45/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this season. When it comes to the over/under for regular-season wins for the Irish, they are listed at 8. The over carries a line of +110, while the under is listed at -140.
Kelly is entering his eighth season as head coach of the Irish. Notre Dame reached the BCS National Championship Game in 2012 and went 10-3 in 2015, but are coming off a 4-8 record in 2016. The Irish are 59-31 in Kelly’s seven years as head coach. Kelly is considered to be on the hot seat entering the 2017 season.
The Irish were a mess offensively last year, which is uncommon for a Brian Kelly team. ND averaged 30.9 points per game, but just 418 yards per contest in 2017. The Irish lose DeShone Kizer, their quarterback, who threw for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns while also rushing for 472 yards in 2016. Junior Brandon Wimbush is getting his chance to lead this team in 2017. He saw limited action as a freshman in 2015, but has never started a college football game. Wimbush will have a pair of experienced receivers to throw to in Equanimeous St. Brown and Kevin Stephenson. They combined for 14 touchdowns receptions last year. Wimbush will also have the team’s leading rusher joining him in the backfield. Josh Adams had 933 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 2016. Defensively, the Irish gave up 27.8 points and 379 yards per game last season. Returning to lead the unit this year is Nyles Morgan, who had 94 tackles with six tackles for loss and four sacks in 2016. He led the team in tackles and sacks, as the Irish produced just 14 sacks as a team in 2016. The Irish will have a lot of starters to replace up front and will be working with a new defensive coordinator in Mike Elko, who is coming over from Wake Forest.
Notre Dame will once again have a competitive schedule. The Irish open the season with home games against Temple and Georgia before hitting the road to face Boston College and Michigan State. ND will also host Miami (Ohio), USC, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Navy during the season while making road trips to North Carolina, Miami (Florida) and Stanford. I don’t feel good about the Irish having success when they are breaking in a new quarterback and new defensive coordinator. ND has a lot of issues to fix and Brian Kelly seems to be losing his support in Notre Dame. If the Irish struggle early, it will likely lead to another poor season as players give up on a lame-duck coach.
2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: NOTRE DAME UNDER 8 (-140)