College Football Betting: Texas at Notre Dame

Added September 04, 2015 by Levi Watkins

The first Saturday of college football for the year and we’ve got at least one competitive game on the board. This matchup between Texas and Notre Dame has the makings of an entertaining affair for which both teams deserve credit not scheduling an overmatched FCS opponent in this spot.

One of the real challenges in sports betting–particularly as it concerns college sports–is keeping up with a never ending stream of information. A successful handicapper must quickly assimilate new information while keeping it the proper context. It’s a trick not to give things like injuries and suspensions the right amount of emphasis in ranking a team since the natural tendency is to think it’s ‘no big deal’ or ‘a huge deal’ (humans have a strong bias toward this type of ‘all or nothing’ thinking). It’s also necessary to know when once actionable information is past it’s ‘shelf life’. For example, in theory it’s never a good thing when a team loses a starting quarterback. If, however, the backup plays as well or better it could be a net positive.

That being said regarding the always transitory nature of sports betting, some things are timeless and never seem to change. One such ‘timeless’ component of handicapping is at work in this game: Notre Dame is always overvalued in the betting line. This does deserve a bit of nuance–there have been times recently at the nadir of Charlie Weis and Tyrone Willingham’s tenure that the Irish faithful turned on their team. But if they’re having even a modicum of success, this rule applies.

And so is the case here. Notre Dame shouldn’t be as much as a touchdown favorite over Texas. There’s been a lot of preseason excitement over the Irish but after a collapse down the stretch last year it’s tough to think they’re as far along as some would think. They’re facing a decent Texas team that has recruited well for as long as I’ve been alive. But line value is key and that’s why it’s almost always a good plan to go against Notre Dame as a favorite. They’re currently on a 7-14-1 ATS run when laying points.


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