Louisville +19 2.2% play
I think there is some value here on the home dog. Louisville quit on their coach last year, and now they bring in Scott Satterfield, who did great things at App State. Louisville returns 16 starters, and open up in a game against highly touted Notre Dame on national television. This is Notre Dame's largest road favorite role since 2000, and thought hey return their star QB in Ian Boo, they lose their top RB, and arguably their top 4 defensive players. Louisville is figured to feature more of the running game, and I think they should be able to get it going against a young Notre Dame defense. Louisville will run a very different offense than Notre Dame is used to seeing, and I think Louisville will be able to move the ball a bit here at home, with a heavy dose of the RPO, and lots of pre-snap motion deception and different formations. Also worth noting is special teams. Scott Satterfield has always had among the best special teams units in the country and I don't think it will be any different here at Louisville.
Situationally I also think this play makes a lot of sense. On one hand you have an Ap Top 10 team from the pre-season + Notre Dame getting hype here. I typically like to fade that situation, and aside from Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia who seem to cover regardless of hype, the other top 10 teams went 2-4 ATS, and it's been a losing proposition over the last 5 years to back a pre-season AP Top 10. Top tier first year head coaches in the Power 5 typically do extremely well as a dog in their first year. The last two years if you take the top tier coaches in their first year as a dog who had coaching experience they went 38-18 ATS and 40-18 ATS if we count this year's results. Those coaches are Kirby Smart, Tom Herman, Josh Wilcox, Matt Campbell, Justin Fuente, DAn Mullen, Scott Frost, JImbo Fisher, and Chip Kelly. I threw out coaches for this year like Manny Diaze (W ATS as a dog), Neal Brown, Mack Brown (W ATS as a dog), and Les Miles, and Scott Satterfield as potential coaches to back as a dog.
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