College Football Picks: Back Duke +7.5 vs. North Carolina in Huge ACC Rivalry Game

Joe Catalano

Thursday, November 5, 2015 5:37 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 5:37 PM UTC

Not only are these two schools hated rivals in college basketball, but they're also rivals in College Football and on Saturday, they'll meet up again. Check our free college football pick.

Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th, at 12:00 p.m. ET at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. According to 5Dimes, the Tarheels are a 7.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 58 on the college football odds. North Carolina has one of the better defenses in the country, allowing just 17 points per game and this will be a huge test for the Blue Devils offense, but Duke also is one of the top teams defensively and that will make this game competitive.


Big Victory Over a Top 25 Opponent
In their last game, North Carolina came up with a huge 26-19 victory against Pittsburgh which catapulted them into the top 25 and they did it by not creating turnovers and producing offense in a well balanced attack. Wide receivers, Mack Switzer and Ryan Hollins, both caught bombs for touchdowns from starting quarterback, Marquise Williams, and running back, Elijah Hood ran for 98 yards. If they duplicate last week's performance, the Heels will be tough to beat.


Marquise Williams
Make no mistake about, Marquise Williams is the straw that stirs this drink as hall of famer Reggie Jackson would say. He's a double threat on offense as he can pass the ball and is the 2nd leading rusher on the team behind Elijah Hood (744 yards, 8 TD).

For the season, Williams has thrown for 1623 yards with 11 TD and 7 INT and has ran the ball for 528 yards and 5 TD's. Williams has plenty of outlets to choose from on the offensive end, but must stay away from turnovers or this game will be up for grabs. Look to Williams to be somewhat conservative as this is a rivalry that neither team takes lightly.

Duke also has a top-notch defense, allowing just 16.1 points per game and this could be a defensive battle as both teams look to avoid commiting the big mistake. Duke has beaten top 25 teams such as Georgia Tech and has had their share of cupcakes in Army as they demolished the Black Knights. This week features two evenly matched teams.


Thomas Sirk
As I stated, these two teams mirror eachother as Duke starting quarterback, Thomas Sirk is somewhat similar to Marquise Williams in that he can throw and run with the ball. So much, that Sirk leads the Blue Devils in rushing with 481 yards and 3 TD's and has been very efficient throwing the football with 12 TD's and just 3 INT's on 1788 yards passing.

A very interesting stat to add in; Sirk has 7 TD's and 0 INT's on the road. Look for Thomas Sirk to play well against a tough North Carolina defense as he attempts to target his favorite receiver, senior, Max McCaffrey. Last game, McCaffrey caught 9 balls for 90 yards in a 30-27 loss to Miami. Expect McCaffrey to be a key factor in this game.

Look for this game to go down to the wire and the 7.5 points will be enough for Duke to cover the spread as  Thomas Sirk plays well on the road. Take Duke as your college football pick.

College Football Pick: Duke +7.5 at 5Dimes

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