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Notre Dame Needs Someone to Step Up This Season

Brian Kelly has turned the Notre Dame Fighting Irish into one of the most potent offenses in the nation over the past two seasons but he has plenty of questions to answer on both sides of the ball this upcoming season. The club has seen most of their starters leave and could be relying on players coming off season-ending injuries in several key positions.

2016 National Championship Odds

The Irish are +2000 to win their first national championship since 1988 – a team that featured the likes of ‘Rocket’ Ismail and Tony Rice.

Despite the team returning just eight starters from last season, Notre Dame is still a legit threat in any game they play. However, the important decision will be who gets the nod at quarterback with DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire – both quality signal callers – battling it out.

Kizer stepped in after Zaire was injured last season and led the Irish to an 8-3 record as the starter and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Zaire had a fantastic opener last year with 313 passing yards and three touchdowns against a solid Texas team. Coach Brian Kelly just needs to figure out how to get two talented quarterbacks to share one ball.

Season Win Total

Notre Dame has their season win total posted at 9.0 (-200/+110), which should be a close call for bettors. Since Brian Kelly took over as coach in 2010, the Irish have finished within less than nine wins three times, more than nine twice and exactly nine once.

And the schedule makers were not exactly kind to Notre Dame, as they have dates with Texas, Michigan State, Stanford, Miami and USC. The other seven games should be predicted as wins for Notre Dame, but going 3-2 against the above mentioned teams will not be easy.

Most Important Player: Torii Hunter Jr.

The Irish have plenty of talent at quarterback, but their receiving corps is sparse after losing four of their top five pass catchers from last season. The lone returnee is Torii Hunter Jr.

Now suddenly the old dog of the unit, Hunter will be expected to make a big leap after accumulating just 35 receptions and 428 yards in his first two years at Notre Dame. If Hunter can’t step up, then the Notre Dame offense could become one-dimensional and very stoppable. 

2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Futures Odds
MarketOdds
2016 National Championship+2000
Win Total9.0

Odds as of August 12 at Bovada

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