2016 Week 1 Notre Dame Vs Texas Winning Favorites
The Texas Longhorns will look to get their 2016 season off to a solid start while extract some serious revenge for their embarrassing loss against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish when the two playoff hopefuls square off in an intriguing Week 1 matchup that I offering a ton of value. Now, let’s get down to business with these college football spreads!
Analyzing The 2016 Week 1 Fighting Irish Vs Longhorns Winning Favorites
When: Sunday, September 4 at 7:30 PM ET
Where: Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
NCAAF Odds: Notre Dame -4
Bet The Texas Longhorns at +4 Because…
Because they’re playing ‘at home’ and owe the Fighting Irish some serious payback! The Texas Longhorns (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) enter a must-win season under Charlie Strong, but they still have plenty of questions they need to answer.
On offense, Texas will have a new coordinator in Art Briles disciple Sterlin Gilbert and likely a new starting quarterback in strong-armed freshman Shane Buechele, the Horns’ top recruit this past offseason. Whoever starts under center, will play behind an offensive line returning three starters while handing the ball off to big backs, D’Onta Freeman and Chris Warren and throwing to a pair of wide receivers that could reach the ext level in John Burt and Collin Johnson.
On defense, Texas has eight returning starters and added to their defensive line in a big way by signing five top-ranked recruits. While the defensive line will be inexperienced with at least three new starters, the Longhorns have a solid linebacker unit led by 2015 Freshman All-American Malik Jefferson. Texas looks like it could be downright scary in the secondary with sophomore cornerbacks Davante Davis and Holton Hill both looking like future NFL performers even as freshmen a year ago.
Bet The Notre Dame Fighting Irish at -4 Because
Notre Dame has the best quarterback, head coach and defense in this Week 1 pairing. The Irish (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS) finished the 2015 season ranked inside the top 35 in almost every significant offensive category including total yards (466.7 ypg, 26th) and scoring (34.2 ppg, 34th). The bad news is that Notre Dame lost six starters on offense including a trio that will be playing a the next level in star running back C.J. Prosisse, tackle Ronnie Stanley and wide receiver Will Fuller.
The good news is that Brian Kelly has two gifted quarterbacks in DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire that he can turn to at a moment’s notice, no matter which one is deemed the starter. Kelly needs to find two new starters on the offensive line, but the Irish are stacked at the wide receiver position and shouldn’t have much trouble replacing Fuller.
Notre Dame finished the 2015 campaign ranked 45th in total defense, 372.6 ypg) and a respectable 40th in points allowed (24.0 pg). Unfortunately, they also lost an absolute stud linebacker in Jaylon Smith and another very good linebacker in Joe Schmidt. The Irish also need to find replacements for tackle Sheldon Day, end Romeo Okwara, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and strong safety Elijah Shumate.
The good news is that Notre Dame has a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball and on the defensive line in particular. Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish could struggle with a defensive backfield that lost three starters, including both safeties from last year’s squad.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
The Fighting Irish have, not one, but two gifted quarterbacks in DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire while Texas enters Year 3 of the Charlie Strong era still hoping to find a consistent signal-caller, among other pressing needs.
The Irish pounded the hell out of the Longhorns in their commanding 38-3 home win last season and are the easy college football futures odds pick to get the road win in this opener after going 6-4 ATS as a favorite a year ago and taking on a mediocre Texas team that went 3-5 ATS as an underdog.