Duke vs Louisville Free Pick, 10-14-2016 – King Sports Picks

Duke vs Louisville Free PickDuke Blue Devils (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs Louisville Cardinals (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)

Game Time: 7pm EST, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

Odds: Louisville -35, 70

Duke vs Louisville Free Pick provided by Peter Trell of King Sports Picks

Duke Blue Devils Look For ACC Win – Duke slugged out a win in a waterlogged contest at home thanks to Hurricane Matthew. It was hardly a pretty contest as the teams had just as many punts (17) as first downs in the game. The Blue Devils did it with defense as they forced four fourth down stops and forced three turnovers. Duke jumped to a 13-0 advantage in the first half and then held Army at bay the rest of the way. While the Blue Devils are a .500 team, they still need three more wins to become bowl eligible. That means they need to start picking up conference victories.

The Blue Devils are averaging 249.3 yards (51st in FBS) through the air and 153.5 yards (87th) on the ground this season. Duke is scoring 24.8 points (tied for 101st) and is allowing 21.5 points (tied for 34th) per contest. Daniel Jones has completed 132 of 212 passes for 1,455 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has 179 rushing yards and three scores. Parker Boehme is 7 of 9 for 38 yards and two scores while adding 59 rushing yards and a touchdown. Jela Duncan leads the Blue Devils with 66 carries for 354 yards and four scores. Duke averages 3.7 yards per carry so far this season. Johnathan Lloyd (19 receptions, 203 yards, TD) and T.J. Rahming (team high 33 receptions, 306 yards, TD) are reliable targets for Jones. Anthony Nash adds 27 catches for a team high 382 yards plus two scores.

Louisville Cardinals Seek to Rebound – Louisville had two weeks to stew about their missed chance to down Clemson on the road and take control of the ACC Atlantic Division. The Cardinals trailed 28-10 at the half but reeled off 26 unanswered points to lead 36-28 in the fourth quarter. Instead, Louisville allowed two touchdowns in the last seven minutes to lose. The Cardinals held a 568-507 edge in total yards in the game and a 31-26 edge in first downs. Louisville dominated time of possession 37:29 to 22:31 and forced five turnovers. Three giveaways hurt the Cardinals in the loss.

The Cardinals are 11th in the FBS in passing (350 ypg) and 4th in rushing with 309.2 yards a game. Louisville leads the nation with 58 points per game. The Cardinals are 62nd in scoring defense by allowing 26.4 points per contest. Lamar Jackson is 101 of 170 passing for 1,625 yards with 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Kyle Bolin is 10 of 13 passing for 125 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Jackson leads the team with 688 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Brandon Radcliff is the lead back with 59 carries for 496 yards and three scores. James Quick leads the team with 23 receptions for 443 yards and four scores. Cole Hikutini (19 grabs, 261 yards, 3 TD) and Jamari Staples (18 receptions, 348 yards) are good options as well. No other player has more than nine catches.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Duke QB Thomas Sirk is most likely out for tonight’s contest and is why you’ve seen this betting line move from 30 all the way up to -35 at some books.  Is 35 too many here tonight or does Louisville route the inept Blue Devils at home?  Duke won last week to even their record but the fact remains that the Blue Devils have no conference wins. The Blue Devils lost to Virginia already and let’s face it, the Cavaliers are no match for the Cardinals. Louisville is rested and angry after the loss to Clemson two weeks ago. Facing a Cardinals team that had two weeks to prepare and fume about their loss is a bad mix for Duke. Jackson and the Cardinals reestablish themselves as a major factor in the College Football Playoff discussion with a win here, but I think they struggle to cover.  35 is a big number and I expect Duke to put up at least 17 points and give us a backdoor cover Friday night.


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