Notre Dame’s Julian Love, Drue Tranquill on facing heavily favored Clemson amid a nation of Irish doubters
Mike Berardino, IndyStar
Even with its undefeated record, steady offense and smothering defense, the Notre Dame (12-0) football team is not feeling the love from the bettors in Las Vegas.
Vegasinsider.com released its odds to win the National Championship on Monday. Of the four College Football Playoff semifinal teams, the no. 3-ranked Fighting Irish have the longest odds to win the National Championship at 12/1.
No. 4 Oklahoma has 10/1 odds, followed by No. 2 Clemson (3/1) and favorite No. 1 Alabama (5/12).
Notre Dame has no problem with being doubted, but Vegas may be right in labeling the Irish as a title long shot.
Of the four schools in the CFP, the Irish have the lowest team efficiency rating at 81.8, placing them sixth in the nation. Efficiency ratings (scored 0 to 100) are based on per play contributions of the offense and defense and are adjusted for strength of schedule and weighted for “garbage time” per ESPN.
Alabama leads the nation in team efficiency at 96.6. Clemson ranks third in efficiency at 90.8. Oklahoma comes in just above Notre Dame at 83.4.
The only area where Notre Dame ranks ahead of its semifinal opponent Clemson is on special teams. The Irish rank 44th in special teams efficiency with a 54.2 rating. Clemson ranks sixth from last in all of Division I with a 33.7 rating.
Unless Notre Dame can pull off a couple return touchdowns, or win the a playoff game with field goals, smart bettors should stay away from the Irish.
Follow IndyStar sports producer Akeem Glaspie on Twitter at @THEAkeemGlaspie.