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Oddsmakers predict improvement for Notre Dame football

Notre Dame's Brandon Wimbush runs drills during spring practice, in South Bend, Ind. | Becky Malewitz/AP

With the season a little more than three weeks away, Notre Dame will look for a fresh start after a disastrous 4-8 season in 2016.

Brian Kelly enters his eighth season in South Bend firmly on the hot seat. He has shaken up his staff and brought in new coordinators — offensive coordinator Chip Long from Memphis and defensive coordinator Mike Elko on defense — to make improvements. But oddsmakers at put 7-to-3 odds that he does not return for the 2018 season.

The Irish begin the season Sept. 2 against Temple. Oddsmakers set an over/under for total wins at 7.5 and set 2.5 games as the number of game in which they will be underdogs.

Three challenging games for the Irish will be against ranked opponents vs. Georgia (Sept. 9), USC (Oct. 21) and the regular-season finale at Stanford (Nov. 25). The odds that Notre Dame loses all three games in a three-team parlay is 11-to-1, while the odds they will all three games is 11-to-4.

The SportsBettingDime oddsmakers predict a slight improvement on the defense. Last season the Irish ‘D’ ranked mediocre 57th in points allowed with an average of 27.8. This year, they set an over/under at 23.5 points allowed per game.

The highly touted Brandon Wimbush will make his debut as the Irish starting quarterback. Oddsmakers set 8.5 games as the over/under for games started for the junior and 22.5 as the over/under for number of touchdown passes.

The Irish open the season Sept. 2 against Temple.