2021 College Football Preview: Over/unders for Notre Dame, Independents

By Tim Murray and Dave Tuley  (VSiN handicappers) 

August 9, 2021 07:23 AM
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VSiN’s 2021 College Football Betting Guide is now available for order. Get access to over 300 pages of information, including over/under picks for all 130 FBS teams and our experts’ favorite season win total bets right here.

Here is the 2021 CFB betting guide preview for the Independents, including Notre Dame.

NOTRE DAME

Unlike most teams in college football this season, Notre Dame does not bring back the bulk of its starters. Nine players were selected in the NFL draft, including the school’s all-time wins leader, QB Ian Book. The Irish must also replace four starters on the offensive line. According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, Notre Dame returns only 55% of its production, 124th in the FBS. Notre Dame added a pair of grad transfers who are expected to start in OL Cain Madden from Marshall and QB Jack Coan from Wisconsin.

The Irish’s strengths offensively in 2021 will be in the backfield and at tight end. RB Kyren Williams rushed for 1,125 yards and 13 touchdowns, while RB Chris Tyree is a home run threat, averaging 6.8 yards per carry in 2020. With unproven commodities at wide receiver, Michael Mayer has a chance to contend for the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end. The former five-star recruit tied for the team lead in receptions as a freshman last season. If Notre Dame wants to reach double-digit wins for the fifth consecutive year, WR Kevin Austin will have to emerge as a legitimate target. The senior has dealt with injuries throughout his career.

Notre Dame lost defensive coordinator Clark Lea after he took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, but the Irish grabbed Cincinnati DC Marcus Freeman to fill the vacancy. Freeman was highly sought, and Notre Dame beat out LSU for his services. Despite having a future top-10 draft pick at safety in Kyle Hamilton, the strength of the Irish defense will be the line. Notre Dame has a ton of depth up front. Isaiah Foskey and Jordan Botelho are names to keep an eye on as potential disruptors in the backfield.

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