Louisville football 2018

The Louisville football team takes the field before a game against Georgia Tech on Oct. 5, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Only 85 days until September 2, and Las Vegas has spoken about the opening weekend of college football by sharing its first collection of point spreads.

Notre Dame will make its first trip to Cardinal Stadium as a 19-point favorite against Scott Satterfield’s first University of Louisville team.

Kentucky will be favored by 13½ over Toledo in the Wildcats’ first game without Benny Snell and Josh Allen.

Indiana has opened as the pick by 16½ points over Ball State in the Hoosiers’ opener against the Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium. (All three lines were posted at VegasInsider.com.)

No line was posted for Western Kentucky, which opens against Central Arkansas, an FCS opponent.

Early thoughts?

The number for the Louisville game seems low. The Cardinals were beaten by more than 19 in their final five games as well as three others times while getting Bobby Petrino fired during a 2-10 season. The Cards' average margin of defeat last season was 24.3.

Satterfield earned terrific credentials at Appalachian State. But Notre Dame is a Top 10 team that returns 14 starters from a 12-1 squad that lost to Clemson in the national playoffs last season.

The Irish return quarterback Ian Book as well as receivers Chase Claypool and Chris Finke. There are gaps on the ND defense but they’re not as large as the gaps in the Louisville defense.

The game is booked for 8 p.m. Sept. 2. ND opened as a 16 1/2 point favorite. The number climbed to 20 but dropped to 19 Sunday.

UK by 13 1/2 seems reasonable. Kentucky has major personnel to replace on both sides of the ball. Toledo is the pick by Athlon Sports to win the West Division of the Mid-American Conference.

Athlon picked five Toledo players on the top three offensive teams in the MAC as well as three defensive players. The Rockets return their top two quarterbacks from a 7-6 team. The game is booked for noon on Aug. 31 at Kroger Field.

Ball State was picked to finish fifth in the six-team MAC West Division by Athlon. The Cardinals have one first-team all-MAC player returning from a 4-8 squad that lost four of its last five.

Indiana defeated Ball State, 38-10, in Bloomington last season. This game will kick at noon on Aug. 31.

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