College Football Predictions In Friday Night Matchup Duke vs Louisville

Louisville Cardinals Player

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 4:04 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 4:04 PM UTC

The initial movement on the NCAA football odds has been in favor of Louisville, pushing the Cardinals to huge favorites Friday night at home against Duke.

It is difficult not to feel at least a little sorry for the Duke Blue Devils. But then, this it's Duke, and never easy to for most non-Dukies to express much compassion.

The sports books and early college football bettors certainly aren't sympathetic for the Blue Devils' in their Friday matchup at the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff at the pizza parlor is set for a little past 7 PM (ET) on ESPN, and the Cardinals have been bet up to 34 point favorites at 5Dimes after opening -28½. The first totals that went out stuck on 71.

Like the clash between Villanova and Pitt earlier this season, this is a gridiron mismatch that would be far more enjoyable to watch on the hardwood. Fortunately for us, we get to see their hoops teams collide when Duke visits Louisville in mid-January. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they also have to make this trip, just the second time the two schools have met in football and very likely to end much like the first meeting. That came in 2002 when the Blue Devils hosted the Cardinals in an interconference contest, Louisville leaving Durham with a 40-3 win as 18 point chalk on the NCAA football odds.


Can Duke Repeat South Bend Magic?

Granted, Duke (3-3 straight up & against the spread) did pull off a sizeable upset earlier this campaign when the Blue Devils traveled to South Bend as three-touchdown underdogs and came away with a 38-35 upset over Notre Dame. Three Irish turnovers did them in, as well as allowing Duke nearly 500 yards in offense.

The Blue Devils could only manage 189 yards last week at home vs. Army, covering as 5 point favorites in the 13-6 victory. They could be missing two key players on offense this time with center Austin Davis (leg) and leading rusher Jela Duncan (leg) listed currently as questionable. Duncan did play against Army after being hurt in the loss to Virginia, but only sparingly and reinjured his leg.


The Ville Eager To Put Clemson Loss Out Of Mind

Louisville (4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS) has had two weeks to get over the tough 42-36 loss to Clemson. The Cardinals led 36-28 midway through the fourth, but Deshaun Watson led the Tigers back into the winner's circle with a couple of late TD passes. That game was scoreless through the first quarter before both offenses started to click.

Lamar Jackson certainly didn't hurt his Heisman chances in the loss, running for a pair of scores and passing for another to give the super soph a hand in 28 touchdowns through Louisville's first five games. The Cardinals come into this one ranked first nationally in total offense (659 ypg), first in scoring (58.0 ppg), fourth in rushing and 12th in passing. Thanks to playing large part to playing North Carolina Central and Army, Duke is 24th in the country allowing 345 YPG; take away the wins over the Eagles and Black Knights, however, that number goes up nearly 100 yards per match.

There isn't anything in the current Louisville forecast to get excited about for Friday (low-60s at kicoff, a few clouds and light easterly breeze), but it's certainly worth checking before getting your wager down. Bettors are obviously excited about a Cardinals rout, and though oddsmakers are rarely wrong by this much on their opener in a game like this, it's probably justified. Still, laying five TDs is never fun, so my free college football pick will be to go 'under' in a 50-14 'Ville victory.

Season: 11-15-2 (-4.80)


Free College Football Pick: Under 71 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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