NCAAF Picks: Pittsburgh Favored by a Field Goal at Home vs. Duke

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:57 PM GMT

Despite racing out to a 6-1 start this season, the Blue Devils are classified as the college football betting underdogs for Saturday's road game against Pittsburgh. Which way are we leaning with our picks?

Odds Overview
The lines have grown throughout the week, and we now see the Panthers favored by the full three points at almost all of the top sportsbooks. If you want to play it safe and do a strict money-line play, you can find Pittsburgh at -150 on the college football odds board, with a Duke win available at right around +125.

A total for Saturday's game has yet to have been released, but we don't expect too high of a number, considering both teams have shown some good things defensively this season.

 

Pittsburgh Panthers
Things were looking up for the Panthers after three straight wins to open the season. Unfortunately for them, they've gone the other way recently, having lost four of their last five games.

Over that five-game span, Pittsburgh's lone win came over Virginia Tech, while the Panthers lost to Iowa, Akron, Virginia and Georgia Tech. Their overall record now stands at an even 4-4, while they've managed two wins and two losses in conference play so far.

Pittsburgh was a mess from the start in last weekend's 56-28 loss to the Yellow Jackets. The Panthers got down 28-0 after one quarter, and from there it was always going to be a mountain to climb. In all, Pittsburgh had six turnovers, all of which were lost fumbles, and that's just asking for trouble.

Individually, RB James Conner had a very productive game despite limited touches, as he finished with 10 carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns. QB Chad Voytik had 193 passing yards but couldn't record a touchdown pass, while WR Tyler Boyd had nine catches for 137 yards in the loss. 

Needless to say, looking at the score we can see how bad Pittsburgh performed defensively against Georgia Tech. The Panthers will be eager to get back that winning feeling, and this weekend sets up nicely for them to do just that. Avoiding another terrible start could go a long way.

 

Duke Blue Devils
Aside from a road loss to Miami (FL), the Blue Devils have been enjoying another wildly successful season. They're 6-1 on the year, with wins over Georgia Tech and Virginia, and they currently occupy the top spot in the ACC Coastal.

We last saw Duke in action two weeks ago in a hard-fought 20-13 home win over the Cavaliers. The honors were all even heading into the fourth quarter, but David Reeves' touchdown grab with just over seven minutes to go proved to be the difference.

QB Anthony Boone finished 22-of-37 for 176 yards and one touchdown, and he added 48 rushing yards in the win. Jamison Crowder, who's actually struggled for the most part this season, had one of his most effective outings, grabbing eight balls for a team-high 99 yards, while running back Shaquille Powell had 11 carries for 68 yards.

However, it was Duke's defense that was most impressive. The Blue Devils weren't able to stop Virginia from racking up yards (465), but they got the stops when it mattered most.

Now Duke will be gunning for a third straight win, only this time they'll be out on the road. How will David Cutliffe's team fare as underdogs in this spot?

 

College Football Pick
The Blue Devils may have the superior record, and they also have more momentum on their side, but we believe the college football betting value lies with the Panthers this weekend.

Pittsburgh has been competitive in all but one of its games this season, and we really like that run game that's led by Conner, who's been terrorizing opposing defenses game in and game out. We expect another heavy dosage of Conner against Duke, with the Panthers aiming to control the tempo and flow of the game.

With that in mind, let's add Pittsburgh to our college football picks for Week 10 of the season.

College Football Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers -3 at 5Dimes

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Take a Look at the Inflated College Football Betting Odds in Week 10 Picks!