Free College Football Sports Pick: Duke Blue Devils

Nov 16, 2013

Duke (+4) (-110) over Miami Florida

Analysis: After starting the season 7-0, Miami has had its bubble burst in back-to-back weeks as the Hurricanes have suffered blowout losses to both Florida State (41-14) and Virginia Tech (42-24). Meanwhile, Duke enters today’s game riding a five-game winning streak, including upset road wins over Virginia (35-22) and Virginia Tech (13-10). This game carries added meaning for the Blue Devils as they are 0-8 in this series (as members of the ACC), and players and coaches alike are focused on ending that streak.

Duke’s task of ending the prolonged losing streak against Miami is made a bit easier now that the Hurricanes do not have the services of star running back Duke Johnson, who is out for the season with a broken right ankle. Without Johnson, Miami has garnered just 111 rushing yards in its last two games, including 28 against Virginia Tech, which was the lowest by a Miami team since 2009. Duke’s defense is 0.4 yards per play better than average this season (3.8 yards per carry to teams that average 4.2 yards per carry), which is certainly good enough to make the Hurricanes’ attack one-dimensional.

My math model suggests that the wrong team is favored in this game. Miami has yielded 500 or more yards in three of its last four games, which is excellent news for Duke investors as the Blue Devils are averaging 37.5 points per game at home. Moreover, in its last two losses, Miami has been outgained by an alarming 220 yards per game! Miami allowed 26 third-down conversions in the season’s first six games; the Hurricanes have allowed 27 in the last three games alone. With Duke standing at 5-1 ATS as conference underdogs of seven or less points, take the Blue Devils and invest with confidence.