Notre Dame at Texas College Football Week 1 Expert Pick
There is no head coach in college football on a hotter seat than Texas’ Charlie Strong. I’m not saying he would be fired on Monday if his Longhorns are crushed at home on Sunday night by No. 10 Notre Dame, but I’m also not ruling it out. UT is a home dog in online college football betting.
How To Bet on the Notre Dame at Texas College Football Week 1 Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Sunday, Sept. 4, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin
Radio: Notre Dame / Texas
Opening NCAAF Lines: Irish -3 (60)
Notre Dame vs Texas Historic Betting Trends
Texas’ 886 wins all-time are the third-most in college football history, while their .710 winning percentage is the seventh-best. Notre Dame’s 892 wins all-time are the second-most in college football history, while their winning percentage of .732 is the best all-time.
Why Bet on Notre Dame?
Did you not see what the Irish did in Week 1 at home to Texas last year? Final score: 38-3. Irish QB Malik Zaire was 19-of- 22 passing, an 86.6 percent completion rate that was second-best in school history. Steve Beuerlein completed 10 of 11 passes against Colorado in 1984, a 90.9 percent completion rate. Ten of those passes went for 15 yards or more. Zaire threw for 313 yards and three scores. The Irish had 527 yards of offense. Texas had 163. It was UT’s first season-opening loss since 1999.
As good as Zaire was in that game, he will share time with DeShone Kizer on Sunday. Kizer took over last year when Zaire was hurt in the Irish’s second game and ruled out for the year. Coach Brian Kelly hasn’t said how he will rotate them. He’s open to pulling one during a series if the situation best suits the other. Kelly knows changing QBs during a drive could disrupt their rhythm, but he’s more concerned about countering the Longhorns’ game plan than keeping his quarterbacks comfortable.
“I think that you want to keep your quarterbacks — flow is important, rhythm is important,” Kelly said. “But if we get into a particular field zone that I think another quarterback can be more effective based upon what Texas is doing, I may have to supersede the hot quarterback, if you will, for the right person at the right time.”
Notre Dame leads the series with Texas, 9-2, including a 4-0 record in Austin. This is the first meeting between the Irish and Longhorns in Texas since a 27-24 Notre Dame victory on Sept. 21, 1996, in Austin, Texas. Notre Dame last played a non-Saturday regular season game on Thursday, Sept. 5, 1996, collecting a 14-7 season-opening win at Vanderbilt.
Why Bet on Texas?
In all honesty, I wouldn’t. This year’s team should be improved and the defense very good. But it’s still not on par with Notre Dame’s talent. And we still don’t know who will start at quarterback with Strong saying everyone will find out publicly when UT’s offense takes the field.
It will either be freshman Shane Buechele, who was stellar in the Texas spring game, or senior Tyrone Swoopes, who started last year’s game vs. Notre Dame and was terrible. He’s 6-8 as a starter career, with only three wins over winning teams (a 10-win Baylor team and a pair of 7-6 teams in West Virginia and Oklahoma State) and he has accuracy issues. Strong says the starter he used Sunday will be the starter all season unless “something happens.”
Texas is 3-8 against ranked opponents under Strong, but has won two consecutive games over such foes (24-17 W vs. No. 10 Oklahoma, 23-17 W at No. 12 Baylor). Texas is 102-18- 3 (.841) all-time in season openers, including a record of 106-14- 3 (.874) in home openers. The Longhorns are 68-15- 3 (.808) in openers at Darrell K Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium dating back to the home opener in the middle of the season on Nov. 8, 1924. UT has won 16 consecutive home openers, dating back to 2000.
My Betting Pick
Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
Fighting Irish are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games on fieldturf.
Longhorns are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
Give the points in online NCAA betting and go under the total.