The Louisville Cardinals host the Duke Blue Devils on Friday, October 14th in an ACC non-divisional showdown. These teams last met back in 2002 with the Cardinals rolling to a 40-3 road victory over the Blue Devils.
Louisville (4-1, 2-1 ACC) had last week off following a tough 36-42 road loss at Clemson. The Cardinals came back from a 28-10 halftime deficit with 26 unanswered points, only to give up two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to win it late but came up just a few yards short of the end zone.
Duke (3-3, 0-2 ACC) stepped out of conference last week and won 13-6 at home over Army. It was a sloppy, defensive battle, but the Blue Devils were able to prevail as they pitched a shutout after intermission.
Kickoff inside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is set for 7:00 EST Friday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. Checking out the Week 7 odds, I find Louisville as a 35-point favorite over Duke with a total set of 71.5 points.
The Cardinals are getting mad respect from oddsmakers and the betting public right now. This game actually opened with Louisville -27.5 at BetOnline, but has already steamed up to -35, a massive 7.5-point move. I believe the value is with the Blue Devils because of it.
One performance from Duke really stands out to me this season that shows it is capable of going into Louisville and competing with the Cardinals. Duke went into Notre Dame and won 38-35 as 19.5-point underdogs a few weeks back. The Blue Devils put up 498 total yards against the Fighting Irish and were only outgained by 36 yards in the win.
I know that Louisville has had nearly two weeks to prepare for this game, but I can’t help but think there is still going to be a hangover effect from the 36-42 loss to Clemson. That loss could keep Louisville out of the four-team playoff, and it’s certainly likely to keep them out of the ACC Championship Game as Clemson would have to lose two more times for them to have a chance.
The Blue Devils are 11-0 ATS in their last 11 games on fieldturf.
Duke will be the best team that Louisville has faced outside of Florida State and Clemson. Marshall lost by 31 to Louisville, Syracuse lost by 34 and Charlotte lost by 56. If both Marshall, with a backup QB, and Syracuse can stay within 35 of Louisville, I have no doubt that Duke can as well.
The Blue Devils actually have a very good defense that is giving up only 21.5 points, 345 yards per game and 5.1 yards per play. I also like what I’ve seen from QB Daniel Jones, who is completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 1,455 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions on the season. He has also rushed for 179 yards and three scores.
David Cutcliffe is 13-2 ATS in games played on Turf as the coach of Duke. Bobby Petrino is 1-9 ATS vs. excellent punt coverage teams who allow 7.5 or fewer yards per return as the coach of Louisville. The Blue Devils are 11-0 ATS in their last 11 games on fieldturf. Duke is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games. The Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a bye week. I believe that bye week has them way overvalued here.
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