Notre Dame Season Preview: Betting Public Flocking to Irish, Should You?

Our expert betting preview on Notre Dame football amidst a ton of interest in backing the Irish to go to College Football Preview
Notre Dame Spring Football Game
Notre Dame Spring Football Game / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Notre Dame's big splash of the offseason was to land Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman.

One of the most prolific passers in college football, Hartman looks to inject some life into the Fighting Irish offense that floundered last year amidst injuries at the position. The Irish had some setbacks early in 2022, but the team finished strong with eight regular season wins and Gator Bowl victory over South Carolina in Marcus Freeman's first season at the helm.

Many are buying the upside for the Fighting Irish, the team is the most popular bet to make the College Football Playoff in 2023.

Is the hype warranted? Let me tell you why I'm not as interested in backing the Irish in 2023.

Bet Notre Dame UNDER Wins

Hartman has a ton of talent, but he comes from a Wake Forest offense that was incredibly unique with its slow mesh principles and talented wide receivers in AT Perry and Donavan Greene who hauled in over 100 catches, nearly 1,700 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns combined.

The Irish are an unknown quantity at wide receiver, replacing its best target in Michael Mayer at tight end. The team returns its second leading receiver in sophomore Jayden Thomas, but he only had 362 receiving yards.

This has been a team that prides itself on strong play on the offensive line to open up running lanes for its backs, and it returns its No. 1 from last year in Audric Estime. The team had limited explosive options, checking in below the national average in EPA/Play, but were strong down to down ranking just outside the top 30 in success rate.

After a slow start to the year, and injuries at quarterback, the Irish turned in a strong offensive effort over the balance of the season. However, the team must replace offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who left for Alabama. After a lengthy search, the team opted to promote Gerad Parker, who was the tight end coach.

I'm not sure how this group will come together, even though Hartman is an instant upgrade at quarterback.

On defense, the team was strong under Freeman, but must replace its leading sack generator in Isaiah Foskey. Overall, this group was top 25 in success rate and allowed about two points per drive against a strong offensive schedule.

This team is going to be good. I'm not calling for a .500 record or anything, but I'm concerned that even with a strong defense, the offense is going to hold the team back under an OC that has no experience.

The Irish also play one of the most difficult schedules in the country, traveling to North Carolina State, Duke, Louisville and Clemson, all games where the team will be single digit favorites or underdogs. Further, the team hosts Ohio State and USC, two of the best offenses in the country that can have the team playing catch up early.

There are way too many toss-ups to trust a team with such a small track record of success on offense in 2023. Don't follow the betting public on ND to make the CFP in 2023, instead bet under the Irish's win total.

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