College Football Predictions, Preview & Tips: Notre Dame vs. Louisville
Notre Dame vs. Louisville looks like one of the more intriguing Week 1 games and we have College Football Predictions available.
After reaching the College Football Playoff last season, the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin their 2019 campaign with a visit to the Louisville Cardinals.
The game will be played in primetime on Labor Day with kickoff scheduled for 8:00 EST on September 2.
The Irish are listed as 20-point favorites on the road with an over/under of 57 points.
This will be just the second-ever meeting between Louisville and Notre Dame. The first came in 2014 when the Cardinals won a 31-28 thriller in South Bend. However, the two programs are in different places than they were back then.
The Irish have re-emerged as national contenders while the Cardinals have fallen on some hard times.
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Louisville Cardinals Form
Louisville enters the 2019 season at the start of a full rebuild. It took just one bad season for the school to fire Bobby Petrino. In fact, Petrino didn’t even make it to the end of the 2018 season. He was fired with two games left in the seasons.
The Cardinals would lose their final two games anyway and finish the year 2-10 overall and 0-8 in ACC play. After the season, Louisville hired Scott Satterfield as their new head coach.
Satterfield spent the last six seasons at Appalachian State, taking the program from the FCS level in 2013 to winning their third straight Sun Belt title in 2018. However, he may have an even bigger task ahead of him at Louisville.
Offensively, the Cardinals were a mess last year without Lamar Jackson. Both Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham saw action at quarterback, and while Pass is the favorite to begin the season at quarterback, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to hold the job all season.
Cunningham may actually be a better fit for Satterfield’s offense, as he’s the better runner of the two. Unfortunately, that’s not the only issue facing the offense.
The Cardinals allowed the most sacks in the ACC last year and were second to last in the conference in rushing yards, indicating major issues with the offensive line. Until the offensive line starts to show improvement, it might not matter who’s playing quarterback.
If the Louisville quarterbacks can get some time in the pocket, the Cards have a nice set of receivers who can help them move the ball.
Louisville has nearly as many problems for Satterfield to fix on defense. The Cardinals will have their fourth defensive coordinator in as many years, so there is little continuity on that side of the ball despite most of Louisville’s defensive starters from last year returning.
The key on that side of the ball will be getting the players to play as a unit and show more effort than they did last year, although things may not turn around until Satterfield can recruit better players.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Form
At Notre Dame, things are looking a lot more positive heading into the 2019 season. The Irish have rebounded well from their disastrous 4-8 season in 2016. They went 10-3 in 2017 and finished the regular season in 2018 undefeated at 12-0.
Of course, Notre Dame was blown out in the College Football Playoff semifinals by Clemson, but reaching the CFP was a big step in the right direction in Brian Kelly’s quest to bring a national championship to South Bend.
The Irish should be in safe hands in 2019 with Ian Book returning at quarterback. Book took over as the starter midway through the 2018 season and ended up completing 68% of his passes with 19 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 22, 2019
He was remarkably consistent from game to game, and that isn’t likely to change with the Irish returning four starters on the offensive line to give Book plenty of time in the pocket. The Irish also look solid at receiver and have Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong as a capable backfield tandem.
On defense, the Irish have a scary collection of edge rushers to lead the way. Notre Dame could be vulnerable against the run with a young set of linebackers and a lack of proven depth at defensive tackle. However, elite pass rushers and one of the best safety tandems in the country will make for a great foundation for the Notre Dame defense in 2019.
From there, the Irish should be able to figure out how to put together a solid defense, even if they’re not as dominant as they were a year ago.
Notre Dame vs. Louisville Betting Trends
- Louisville are 1-11-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
- Louisville are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Notre Dame are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Over is 7-1 in Louisville’s last 8 overall.
College Football Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Louisville
This game is tough to pick because there’s no way of knowing how much progress Satterfield has made during spring practice and training camp.
With the home crowd behind them, there’s a slight chance they can surprise people and compete with Notre Dame. However, after what we saw from Book last season, it’s hard to believe the Cardinals can make this a game.
It’s not hard to envision Notre Dame winning this game by three touchdowns, so look for the Irish to win and cover.
College Football Predictions Notre Dame vs. Louisville: Notre Dame -20.5 (-105) @ 5Dimes