The only thing that’s a certainty for the Louisville Cardinals this year is they’re going to look a whole lot different.
Jeff Brohm – fresh off a trip to the Big Ten Championship at Purdue – takes over his alma mater and brings in a new quarterback who is the polar opposite of the former. The defensive line will need to replace 33.5 sacks.
Through the portal, they traded 1,000-yard receivers with Georgia State transfer Jamari Thrash in and Tyler Hudson out.
Even so, the Cardinals return 13 starters, added a ton through the portal, and have one of the easiest schedules of any Power 5 squadron.
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Louisville Cardinals odds used in this report are current as of Tuesday, Aug. 8, at noon ET at the sportsbook(s) cited.
Louisville: Win National Championship (+50000)
I wouldn’t bet this at (+50000) on BetRivers, so I’m not touching it at the far lower price on other sportsbook operators.
It’d take a level of craziness we’ve never seen in College Football for Louisville to win it all. A completely revamped system with a first-year head coach and a far less athletic – but better passer – at quarterback.
And although Louisiville’s defense was the best it’s been in a decade last season, it lost two all-ACC defensive ends and depth at the position.
Brohm may end up building something special at his alma mater, but it won’t be this year.
Louisville: Win ACC (+1200)
The more I look at this bet, the more I don’t completely hate it.
After all, the Cardinals avoid Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State in ACC play – the only three teams ahead of them in the ACC CFB odds. I believe Brohm is a fantastic coach and he’s been impressed with the depth and athleticism of both sides of the ball.
Even so, Louisville has plenty of question marks including replacing Malik Cunningham and two stud pass rushers.
Brohm is also expected to completely revamp the offensive scheme. He has never had a team average of over 152 rushing yards per game; Louisville has rushed for over 200 per game in four straight seasons.
Personally, I’m not quite ready to back them to beat a potential juggernaut in Clemson or a breakout Florida State team, but at this price, I wouldn’t knock you if you did.
Louisville Best Prop Bets
Louisville: Over 8 Wins (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit @ Caesars Sportsbook
In a vacuum, I wouldn’t recommend betting win total Overs on units with a first-year head coach who is rebuilding an entire offensive scheme – albeit to the degree he no doubt would like to.
This situation is different for a couple of different reasons.
Brohm brought in a guy he’s worked with before – and seemingly trusts – at quarterback with Jack Plummer. He was able to retain several key pieces on both sides of the ball.
And he brought in capable players through the transfer portal, including seven offensive linemen, to bolster a unit that must be better in pass protection without Cunningham’s legs to bail them out.
Notre Dame and Kentucky in the non-conference isn’t exactly a dream draw, but every other game on the schedule – and including those two – is winnable. I’ll bite on Over 8 wins with the revamped Cardinals.
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