Week 1 of the college football season wraps up under the lights on a Monday night. Covers checks in on the action and odds movement for the lone matchup, with insights from Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars Palace sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Louisville Cardinals – Open: +20; Move: +19.5; Move: +20; Move: +20.5; Move: +20; Move: +19.5; Move: +19; Move: +18; Move: +18.5; Move: +19; Move: +19.5
Notre Dame posted a perfect regular season last year to reach the College Football Playoff, then got thoroughly outclassed in the semifinals. The Fighting Irish mustered just a field goal, losing to Clemson 30-3 as 10.5-point underdogs to finish 12-1 SU and 7-5-1 ATS.
Louisville found Lamar Jackson’s exit to the NFL a difficult barrier to overcome in the 2018-19 season. The Cardinals got drubbed by Alabama in a neutral-site season opener, beat lesser-knowns Western Kentucky and Indiana State – failing to cover either time as heavy favorites – then lost their final nine games.
Coach Bobby Petrino was fired after the seventh loss in that stretch, and Louisville finished 2-10 SU and a nation-worst 1-11 ATS. Scott Satterfied is the new coach, after leaving Appalachian State.
“Early sharp money was on Louisville +20.5,” Davis said, noting the line’s high point for this 8 p.m. ET kickoff. “But there’s three times as many tickets and 2.5 times more money on the Irish.”
That has Caesars books needing the big ‘dog Louisville to cover. In addition, the total is seeing a lot of back-and-forth, opening at 57, dipping to 54, then bouncing between 54.5 and 55 Sunday and today.
“Two different groups are on opposite sides of the total, Under 55.5 and Over 54.5,” Davis said, while noting the Over is winning that battle. “Twice as many tickets and money on the Over.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.
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