Irish Writing A Championship Story For Sportsbooks

Posted on August 28, 2019 - Last Updated on September 25, 2019

Unlike the NFL team they share a state with, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish aren’t out of Luck. The 2019 season could be an exciting one in South Bend if the 2020 Notre Dame College Football Playoff odds prove true.

The Irish are among the favorites to contend for a national championship if senior quarterback Ian Book and the rest of the characters in the story perform as expected. Because of that, winning bets on the Irish won’t require a lot of luck.

2020 Notre Dame College Football Playoff odds

As head coach Brian Kelly enters double digits in that role for Notre Dame, the offense appears primed to be his most efficient yet. Four of last year’s five starters on the offensive line are still on the roster.

Junior Jafar Armstrong has made the transition from wide receiver to running back and figures to benefit from that offensive line. Among the Irish players who didn’t make that transition, senior Chase Claypool is back to provide his classmate with a dangerous and reliable target.

Dangerous and reliable are good words for the Irish pass rush as well. Seniors returning to power the pass are:

  • Daelin Hayes
  • Khalid Kareem
  • Julian Okwara

Julian Love is gone but junior Tony Pride Jr. is back as an emergent cornerback. If Notre Dame can find a bookend to Pride, that could make up for inexperience in its linebacking ranks.

The potential for the Irish this year based on the talent is huge. Because of that, odds on the Irish taking home some serious hardware at sportsbooks aren’t huge.

Breaking down the 2020 Notre Dame College Football Playoff odds

Legal Indiana sports betting is ready to launch on Sept. 1, which is just in time for the Irish season that begins on Labor Day. Expect odds on whether Notre Dame will claim the greatest prize in college football to be available at Indiana casinos.

Hoosier State residents and visitors can start preparing themselves to bet now, however. Las Vegas has the Irish 50/1 to win the College Football Playoff.

Other books, some of which will be part of college football betting in Indiana on launch day, have similar odds on the same bet.

  • DraftKings +6600
  • FanDuel +5000
  • PointsBet +5000
  • William Hill +3500

Three of the above books and Sugarhouse have bets available on whether Notre Dame will be one of the four playoff teams. DraftKings and Sugarhouse have the best action on the Irish being selected at +1100.

As the Irish aren’t part of a conference for football, the only other team futures bet available at most books is Notre Dame’s win total. Book is the subject of another futures bet himself.

Irish futures: Win expectancy and Heisman hopes

The Irish’s win total varies a bit from book to book, ranging from 8.5 to 9.5. Which line is best depends heavily on bettors’ outlook on Notre Dame this year.

FanDuel Sportsbook has the best line for Irish detractors. That book is on the low end of the win total at 8.5 and pays out +150 on the under.

DraftKings and Sugarhouse are the superior options for Notre Dame optimists. The over/under is set at 9.5 and the line on the over currently rests at +135.

As favorable as those books are to the Irish’s record, they are the same to Book himself. His Heisman candidacy is legitimate this year.

Vegas lists Book 100/1 to have his name called at the next Heisman Trophy ceremony. FanDuel and PointsBet have the best odds elsewhere, currently resting at +5000.

If Book does win the first Heisman as a member of the Irish since Tim Brown in 1987, it will signal a strong season for Notre Dame. Bettors could reap those spoils as well.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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