2023 College Football Week 1 First Game Future Bets to Make Right Now
We’re slightly less than two months away from the college football season kicking off if you can believe that.
I can, because summer breezes by in a flash, and splash, boom done. Pool season is ovah.
But we’re going to get through this awful heat wave and embrace a lovely fall throughout this country – and Ireland.
It all starts Saturday, Aug. 26 with a good one: A tilt in Dublin between Notre Dame and Navy. (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
Here’s a look at that magnificent stadium.
Fun facts: “Aviva Stadium is located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity of 48,000 for American Football. The Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be held at the magnificent Aviva Stadium, which also held the 2012 Emerald Isle Classic between the University of Notre Dame and U.S. Naval Academy, as well as the 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College and Georgia Tech. It is built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road stadium, which was demolished in 2007, and where Boston College played in 1988. It is home to the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Football Association of Ireland.”
More info from Wikipedia:The Navy–Notre Dame football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Navy Midshipmen football team of the United States Naval Academy and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team of the University of Notre Dame. It was played annually from 1927 to 2019, which made it the longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football, the third-longest uninterrupted college football rivalry overall, as well as the second-longest never-interrupted rivalry in Division I college football (FBS). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 game was canceled, ending these lengthy streaks, even though both schools still played a fall season schedule in 2020.
Oddsmakers don’t believe it’s going to be much of a game. I disagree.
A 20.5-point spread between century-old rivals is too much.
Last season, the Irish squeaked out a 38-35 victory over a Midshipmen team that finished 4-8.
Plus, last year’s Irish quarterback Drew Pyne left for the portal and is now with Arizona State. Incoming Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman, who threw for 3,701 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last season, will be the starting QB.
Will that be sixes?
Stability and consistency are usually key at QB, especially at the college level.
But here’s another thing: Notre Dame stud tight end Michael Mayer (team-high 809 receiving yards last season) declared for the NFL Draft and was drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders.
Navy struggled the past three seasons, winning only 11 games during that stretch, which led to the firing of head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
The academy hired defensive coordinator Brian Newberry to guide the Midshipmen and hired Kennesaw State’s Grant Chesnut as its new offensive coordinator.
Navy’s throwback triple option attack will be back, but Chesnut will add plenty of new wrinkles, which certainly means more passing plays.
So the recovery of QB Tai Lavatai, who started the first eight games last season before suffering a knee injury is crucial. Lavatai sat out spring camp but he’s expected to start the opener.
Xavier Arline, who took over as the starting QB, has also been limited to individual drills and is recovering from an injury sustained while playing lacrosse.
If it’s one of two freshmen QBs, Teddy Gleaton and Blake Horvath, to start, Navy could be in for a very long season.
The good news is the Midshipmen should have a solid offensive line this season, with four returning starters.
Defensively, Midshipmen are stout. Last season, Navy was the best in the AAC in third down stops, second in sacks, and second in the nation at stopping the run.
They also bring back a veteran secondary which will be big against the Irish.
All of this leads me to the conclusion that a fresh start with new coaches will give the Midshipmen a jolt of energy and renewed enthusiasm.
I’m also saying that with Navy’s uncertainty on offense, they’re not going to score much on Notre Dame and will try to control the clock when they do have the ball.
Its defense should keep the Irish in check.
So, in the end, I love these two bets:
Navy +20.5 and UNDER 48.5 points.
Book ‘em now.