Hotly devoted fans on both sides believe there’s a big difference between the University of Miami and Notre Dame. Cold-eyed oddsmakers disagree.
The Fighting Irish opened as a one-point favorite over the Hurricanes in Saturday’s contest in South Bend, Indiana, according to VegasInsider.com, which gives a consensus of several Las Vegas and offfshore sportsbooks.
Actually, that means the books give a slight edge to the Hurricanes on the field. Line setters tend to alott three points for home field advantage. Also, books want betting money coming in somewhat evenly. Because Notre Dame’s large national following means it draws heavy money for high profile games, lines on such games must be more enticing than usual toward bettors on Notre Dame’s opponent.
Both programs come into the game crawling under the weight of increasing failure while getting lashed by fan anger. The Hurricanes (4-3 and 4-3 against the spread) come in injured and in need of a happy Saturday after three consecutive losses, each worse than the one before. And they’re looking like a throwback to the good ol’ Catholics vs. Convicts days compared to Notre Dame (2-5, 2-5), which played the bye to a tie last weekend.
3 consecutive University of Miami losses to Notre Dame
On a much smaller scale, the other FBS team in the 305 opened as a big underdog at home for the second consecutive week. Then again, FIU (3-5 and 2-6) failed to cover the spread, which ranged from 16 to 18, in a 44-24 Homecoming loss to Louisiana Tech Saturday. Meanwhile, this week’s FIU opponent, Middle Tennessee State, was outscoring Southeastern Conference foe Missouri 51-45 on the road to get to 5-2 and 4-2 with a push against the spread.
No eyebrows raised, then, that FIU opened as a 16.5-point underdog to Middle and moved quickly to a 17-point underdog.