The Daily Sweat: Louisville starts the Jeff Brohm era as a road favorite

Louisville opens the Jeff Brohm era as a 7.5-point favorite at Georgia Tech on Friday night.

The Cardinals are sleepers in the ACC thanks to an incredibly manageable schedule that doesn’t include either Florida State or Clemson. Louisville could be the biggest beneficiary of the ACC’s move to scrap divisions starting in 2023 as its toughest games are trips to Pittsburgh and Miami.

But the Cardinals first need to take care of a Georgia Tech team that was feisty after the firing of Geoff Collins in 2022. The Yellow Jackets were 4-4 in Brent Key’s eight games as interim coach after a 1-3 start under Collins and beat Pitt, Duke and North Carolina in those four wins.

Both teams are starting transfer quarterbacks. Former Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer followed Brohm from West Lafayette to Louisville after a year at Cal, and former Texas A&M QB Haynes King is set to start for Georgia Tech.

FILE - Louisville athletic director Josh Heard, left, presents newly named football coach Jeff Brohm with a jersey in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. The arrivals of Brohm and Georgia Tech's Brenty Key this year mean that nearly half the ACC's coaches have turned over in the past two seasons, compared to the 2021 season when all 14 football coaches returned to the job. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
Former Louisville QB Jeff Brohm is now the Cardinals' head coach. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Plummer played three seasons for Brohm at Purdue and threw for 3,045 yards and 26 TDs on 492 pass attempts. He played in all 12 of Cal’s games a season ago and completed 63% of his passes for 3,119 yards and 21 TDs and nine interceptions.

There shouldn’t be too much of a learning curve for Plummer in his new environment as the Louisville offense is going to look a lot different in 2023. Just three starters return for the Cardinals but Louisville also added WR Jamari Thrash through the transfer portal. The former Georgia State WR had 61 catches for 1,122 yards and seven scores in 2022 and could be one of the most productive receivers in the ACC in 2023.

RB Jawhar Jordan also returns for Louisville after rushing for 5.7 yards a carry on 142 attempts in 2022.

At Georgia Tech, King is part of an entirely new set of skill position players on offense. All four of Georgia Tech’s returning starters are up front. The Yellow Jackets also added significantly through the transfer portal as former Alabama wide receiver Christian Leary is now in Atlanta. King struggled in his time at Texas A&M and we’re fascinated to see how he does in a new environment.

We’d lean to betting the Cardinals to open the season and are also eyeing the over at just 49.5 points. Both teams could break 20 and Brohm will likely have some tricks up his sleeve.

Miami favored over Miami (Ohio)

The Hurricanes are 16.5-point favorites in the battle of Miami on Friday night. It’s a big season for Miami of the ACC in Mario Cristobal’s second season following a disappointing 2022. QB Tyler Van Dyke looks to bounce back from a disappointing and injury-filled 2022 season and safety Kam Kinchens is one of the best in college football.

Elsewhere, Michigan State is favored by 14 points over Central Michigan after losing starting QB Payton Thorne (Auburn) and leading WR Keon Coleman (Florida State) over the spring after a 5-7 season in 2022. MSU has not named a starting quarterback ahead of the game as Noah Kim and Katin Houser have been competing for the job.

Can West Ham keep its run going?

West Ham has been one of the positive surprises over the first three weeks of the English Premier League season and is -135 to get a win on the road at Luton Town. The Hammers beat Brighton & Hove Albion, 3-1, a week ago despite having just 20% possession.

Newly promoted Luton is playing its first EPL game of 2023 at Kenilworth Road and its fans should be rowdy ahead of the massive fixture. Luton has looked like a team that will be in the thick of the relegation battle all season long and is +350 to win. The draw is at +280.

Who cashed tickets Thursday?

Under bettors loved Minnesota’s 13-10 win over Nebraska on Thursday night. That was an ugly game as Nebraska handed Minnesota the chance to win with two turnovers in the final five minutes. Utah easily beat a mistake-ridden Florida team, 24-11, despite not having QB Cam Rising.