College football betting preview schedule
Bet: Notre Dame under 9 wins (-105)
Best case: The Irish have a ton of positivity after entering this 2022 campaign after just missing the College Football Playoff (they finished fifth in the rankings) last season. They return 15 starters, and players absolutely love new head coach Marcus Freeman, who previously served as defensive coordinator under Brian Kelly. Freeman's first game as head coach came in the Fiesta Bowl, where the Golden Domers built a 28-7 lead before falling to Oklahoma State. Now that he has a full offseason, Freeman should be just fine with a program that faces only a few really tough games: at Ohio State and USC and at home against Clemson.
Worst case: Kelly may have acted like a clown with the microphone and his fake southern accent, but the guy is no joke with the headset. He won 40 of his final 41 games when Notre Dame was favored. Sure, he may not have covered the point spread, but when he had the better team, the Irish won outright. That is a sign of a very good coach, while the verdict is still out on the 36-year-old Freeman. Will Freeman ensure the Irish handle their business against mediocre opponents like Cal, BYU, Stanford and Boston College? He needs to because he will be outmatched against the elite coaches and players at Ohio State, Clemson and USC.
Betting spin: The Irish have churned out double-digit wins for five straight years, and now we need them to max out at eight to cash this bet? I am taking a bit of a leap here, but losing a top-tier coach like Kelly should have a significant impact. He has won at every stop throughout his three-decade head-coaching career. I just can't dismiss that sustained success with a newbie now taking over the reins. It takes 10-plus wins to lose this wager, so I like my chances to push or cash.