Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Navy +21 over Notre Dame
Aviva Stadium – Dublin, Ireland
2:30 PM EST. Opening day of college football and this is the first game on the board with the ever popular Fighting Irish ready to make a run for a championship season. The Irish come in as the 13th ranked team in the nation. In other words, if you bet Notre Dame here, you would be paying a premium to do so. That is something we rarely recommend doing.
For any new readers or sports bettors, another theory or strategy you will hear about often on social media is ‘closing line value or +EV. We’ve dug into this theory or better yet bad practice vehemently but we will reiterate briefly that it’s a strategy that is overused and highly unsuccessful. It applies here, as Notre Dame opened as a 18½-point favorite and +EV bettors that jumped on the Irish at that price are smiling from ear to ear today because Notre Dame is now -20½ (at the time of this writing). That’s closing line value or beating the closing line. However, it also means that the entire world is on Notre Dame and +EV bettors are on the same side as the betting public. If 99% of sports bettors lose money, how can being on the same side as the public be beneficial? We much prefer to be on the same side as the house. If you bet Notre Dame today, you would be playing them at a “bad number” and it’s a horrible practice that should be avoided.
It is worth noting that this contest is not being played in South Bend or Annapolis, but rather the Emerald Isle. The Aer Lingus College Football Classic is an annual kick-off game played in Dublin, Ireland and with the location of the venue comes many distractions. These are college-age kids, after all, and the chance to venture out to Europe and take in the sights of Dublin can almost make the game an afterthought. When you add in the difficulty that comes with defending against an option offense like Navy’s, covering a number like this becomes even more challenging. We're not saying that Notre Dame won't justify its top-20 ranking in the end, but we're not close to being sold on spotting this many points with them to open the year in a foreign place. What we do know is that this team has seen heavy media attention and betting action this offseason, and coming into Week 0, the bandwagon is already full and all the value is tapped. Even if you're buying that the Irish are legit and you end up being right, the best edges will probably not be in August or early September.
Navy +20½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)