Football season is still seven months away, but that's no hinderance to gamblers. The sportsbook 5Dimes is already offering betting lines for the opening week's most prominent games. That includes Louisville's opener in Atlanta against Auburn. According to 5Dimes, were the game to be played today, Auburn would be a ten point favorite over Louisville.
Auburn being a ten point favorite should not come as a surprise. While Louisville is a quasi-preseason top 25 team in most analysts eyes, Auburn could very well be a College Football Playoff contender in 2015. ESPN has the Tigers at #14 in its Way Too Early Preseason Top 25.
Auburn finished the 2014 season 8-5 with a loss to Wisconsin in the team's bowl game, but they return 12 starters from that squad. The Tigers hired former Florida head coach Will Muschamp to coordinate the struggling defense, signed one of the nation's highest rated recruiting classes, and return defensive line stars Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson. Defending Malzahn's offense will be difficult despite the losses of quarterback Nick Marshall, running back Cameron Artis-Payne, and receiver Sammie Coates.
Louisville will hold its own up front. The defensive front seven will certainly be one of the best in the nation next year, especially with the addition of Devonte Fields. Josh Harvey-Clemons will soften the blow of losing Gerod Holliman and James Sample early to the NFL Draft. Most likely, as with much of the 2014 season, Louisville's ability to win will be determined by quarterback and offensive line play. Louisville is wide open at both spots heading into spring football.