College Football Betting: Duke at Louisville

College Football Betting:  Duke at Louisville

Four college football games on Friday and at the top of the board is an ACC matchup between the Louisville Cardinals and Duke Blue Devils. Duke is 3-3 SU/ATS and is coming off a 13-6 win over Army. Louisville is off their first loss of the season, a 42-36 shootout against Clemson at ‘Death Valley’. They’ve also had a bye week since then and will no doubt be anxious to get back on the field for the first time since the loss to the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see how Louisville responds coming off the disappointing result in what was easily their biggest game of the season.

Duke might be down somewhat from recent years and caught a really tough break when they lost starting QB Thomas Sirk for the season. It’s definitely hurt their ability to put points on the board and they rank #76 in yards per game and #97 in points per game. Even those numbers are a bit misleading–factor out Duke’s 49-0 win over FCS North Carolina Central and they’re ranked #117 in points per game averaging 19.6. That’s going to make things difficult trying to trade points with the best offense in college football. Duke’s defense is solid but not to the point that they can slow down this opponent.

Blue Devils’ head coach David Cutcliffe is one of the sharper guys in the sport and likely knows that this is a horrible tactical matchup for his team. It’s also an awkward scheduling situation off the win over Army and with a game at Georgia Tech on deck. Moreover, it’s a nasty stylistic transition going from Army’s option to Louisville’s high octane assault and then back to the option against Georgia Tech. Duke defends the option as well as any team in the country so why would they divert their focus from the Georgia Tech game to ‘circle’ this matchup? Maybe they could turn in an inspired defensive effort against a team averaging 58 points per game but would it matter if their offense can’t do their part? And would it be worth it if they go into the game in Atlanta against Georgia Tech ‘flat’ and lose a game that they would have otherwise had a great chance to win?

Duke won’t roll over but there’s no logic to leaving everything on the field in an almost impossible matchup when they face an opponent offering a good tactical matchup and a very strong chance of victory in two weeks. Louisville drops 50+ on the Blue Devils.