College football begins on August 27th, but NCAA Football betting fans don’t have to wait until then to pick their favorite for next year’s title. The sportsbooks might tell you there are only two teams who are contending for next year’s national championship (Alabama and Clemson are currently tied for favorites with +730 odds) but NCAA Football betting fans know the sport is riddled with surprises. One school whose 2016 success might not come off as a complete surprise is Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish enjoyed moderate success during the previous season, even though the season ended with a recurring nightmare. Notre Dame faced Ohio State University in the Fiesta Bowl and was humbled with a 44 – 28 defeat. That loss marked 70 years that the Irish have been unable to beat the Buckeyes. 70 years is definitely a hallmark, but Notre Dame also set some positive records. The Irish posted 14 plays over 50 yards setting a school record, and they were able to double the school’s count for touchdowns over 90 yards by posting two last season. Some might say that last year’s offense was one of the most explosive that Brian Kelly has coached and part of that can be attributed to first year offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. Now entering his second year Sanford will be looking to build off last year’s triumphs. The sportsbooks think he’ll find moderate success as the Irish don’t have the worst odds in the nation.
Odds to Win NCAA Football National Championship
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +2350
While there are a good handful of teams that have better odds, there are many more ranked beneath Notre Dame. Notre Dame is ready to get to work and prove those odds were not misplaced as they begin training camp on the 6th of August. Last season the Irish only lost two games during the regular season, one to Clemson and the other to Stanford. While they did lose it certainly wasn’t as one-sided as the Fiesta Bowl defeat they suffered to Ohio State. This season’s schedule looks even tougher; they’ll have to face Syracuse, USC, and Michigan State. The Irish will be relying on their running game to help them maintain control and win these ballgames. Last season the Notre Dame averaged 5.76 yards per carry, which ranked 5th overall in the nation.
Next season the Irish will be returning healthier than ever. C.J. Sanders, wide receiver and return specialist, is no longer riding around in a scooter as his hip flexor has completely healed. Parker Boudreaux has made a speedy recovery in his battle against viral meningitis and is now cleared to begin training camp in August. While that may be good news for NCAA Football betting fans who favor the Irish, there are still some losses. Several players from last year’s roster have entered the NFL draft and are now getting acquainted with their new homes. This includes Ronnie Stanley, Will Fuller, Jaylon Smith, and Nick Martin. All four of those players were selected in the 1st or 2nd rounds, a monument to the talent of last year’s squad. Joe Schmidt is another leader who departed, however he elected not to follow a career in the NFL, saying his dream was simply to play for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is well accustomed to filling needs and they are looking to do that with the 23 commitments they’ve accepted from the 2016 recruiting cycle. Included in those 23 are two 5-star recruits and even one student from a Canadian province.