Michael Dyer's decision to play football at the University of Louisville has not changed the Cards' odds in Las Vegas -- yet.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Questions about Michael Dyer, the former Auburn halfback, will be the rage around the University of Louisville football program all season now that there is official word he plans to enroll at U of L. Eric Crawford and I have already discussed several of them about Dyer's troubled past.
But here is one more intriguing question:
What impact does Dyer's impending move into the Louisville backfield have on the way that the folks in Las Vegas view the Cardinals' 2013 season? Dyer gained more than 2,300 yards in two seasons at Auburn, easily averaging better than five yards per carry. He starred in the BCS title game.
I asked Brian Edwards, a senior handicapper at VegasInsider.com.
Here is what Edwards said in an e-mail:
"I think he's worth at least one point, perhaps 1.5 or 2, if he shows the form he displayed in 2010 & 2011. But for now, the Vegas books haven't made any odds adjustments at all for Louisville.
"Cards remain favored by 16 over Ohio in their opener (Sept. 1). Their odds to win the national title remain the same as well (20/1 at most books)."
Hmm. As good as Dyer was at Auburn, I had suspected he would move the odds as well as the pile. Why not?
"The lack of impact on odds is for a couple of reasons," Edwards wrote. "First of all, he's been off a year and with a track record of off-the-field issues, odds-makers can't be 100% confident that he'll be the same player he was at Auburn.
"U of L is already favored in every game at books that have Games of the Year posted. In fact, Cards are double-digit favorites in every game with the lone exception being four-point favorites at Cincy (Dec. 5).
"Therefore, Dyer or no Dyer, U of L is already expected to have a great chance at going undefeated."
Edwards also tackled another topic that many have been discussing: Louisville's chances of earning one of the two spots in the BCS championship game – even if the Cards go 12-0.
This was his answer: "Even in that scenario, due to the weak non-conference schedule, a lot of things are going to have break right for U of L to get to Pasadena (site of the BCS final).
"U of L needs Ohio to win the MAC (Mid-American Conference) and needs Kentucky to have a respectable year. And Cards need to crush their opponents -- one-possession wins over SMU and/or UConn aren't going to cut it. It would also help if UCF could pull an upset at Penn St. or vs. South Carolina - same thinking w/ Rutgers at Fresno St. and vs. Arkansas.
"Unless U of L is winning every game in blowout fashion, I don't think it gets to BCS title game ahead of a one-loss SEC (team) and/or one-loss Stanford or Oregon (and maybe not a one-loss Clemson or FSU)."