One of the most interesting betting lines in college football is the under/over for win totals. For example, Alabama's opening line is 10.5 wins. If a gambler thinks Alabama will win 11 games, they would take the "over". Notre Dame's opening line is 8 wins. Will they be the "under" or the "over"?
Looking at Notre Dame's schedule there appears to be three types of games: "should wins", "could wins" and "probably nots".
Notre Dame's schedule features four games that Notre Dame should definitely win. These games are Navy, Purdue, Boston College and Wake Forest.
Last year, Navy finished 5-7 and are constantly outmatched physically against Notre Dame. Although they always put up a valiant effort, there should be no excuse for Notre Dame losing to the Midshipmen.
Purdue is an improving young team. They finished 7-6 last with a victory in the Little Cesar's Pizza Bowl. Notre Dame has been dominant in this series. There is no reason why Notre Dame should not continue to pound their in-state rivals.
Boston College played Notre Dame extremely tough on Senior Day last year despite being a sub par team. They lose their best player 1st rounder Luke Kuechly. Notre Dame should roll the Eagles in Chestnut Hill.
Pittsburgh won 6 out of 13 games last year. Former Head Coach Paul Graham resigned to take over at Arizona State. The Panthers then hired Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. Notre Dame should handle the Panthers at home.
Finally, Wake Forest was a 6-7 team last year that gave Notre Dame some good competition. With the Demon Decons losing a lot, the Irish should be able to handle them.
This category is where the Fighting Irish will make or break their season. Six games are in this category. They are Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford and BYU.
Michigan State has lost a lot from its 2011 team. However, the Spartans have been one of the most consistent teams in the past few years. With a night game at Spartan Stadium, Notre Dame will have a battle on its hands.
Michigan is expected to be one of the top teams in 2012. Notre Dame is bringing in the Wolverines at night. Will the Irish overcome the stage fright that overcame them in the USC game last year? The last three games between the two schools have been decided by a touchdown or less. This is without a doubt a toss up.
Miami brings a lot of talent into Chicago. However, it also brings a lot of baggage. It is unclear which Hurricanes football team will some up. Therefore, it is hard to predict what might happen in the game. Notre Dame probably has the advantage but could also find itself in tight game.
Stanford obviously lost the most valuable player in college football from 2011 in Quarterback Andrew Luck. The Cardinal will not replace him. It is impossible to replace a player like that. However, Shaw and his staff has been consistent in recruiting and developing players. Stanford will bring a tough and disciplined team into South Bend. This game will come down to the 4th quarter.
Bronco Mendenhall's Cougars have won 10 games five of the last six seasons. Their competition is not the best but winning 10 games that consistently takes good talent and coaching. Although some people are writing off BYU as a win. This game is a huge roadblock in Notre Dame's season.
This is the sad category for Irish fans. Notre Dame will most likely not beat USC or Oklahoma. However, they might have a chance.
Oklahoma features a large amount of talent on both side of the ball. Landry Jones is one of the top Quarterbacks in the nation. Oklahoma has lost most of its Offensive Line recently to injuries, suspensions and transfers. Norman will be a difficult place to pull out a win. However, Notre Dame will have a chance if they play perfect.
USC is one of the favorites to win the national title. They have a tons of talent on each side of the ball. Matt Barkley is one of the best players in the country. He is probably the front runner for the Heisman. It will be difficult for Notre Dame to win this game.
Overall, it appears that Notre Dame is set up for about 7 to 8 wins. If Irish Sports News was betting this line, it seems like it would be smart to take the "under" in this case. As the fan though, let's hope it is the "over".