Louisville comes back after a bye week to get back on track Friday night against Duke. The last time the Cardinals were on the field was a week and a half ago against Clemson on Saturday night. It was a tough hill to overcome on the road in that environment, but Louisville staged an impressive part that came up just short. This may not be the last we here of them. If they can win out and run the table the rest of the way, Louisville should be in talks for a place in the college football playoff. This is of course dependent on everything shapes up with other teams. If other top teams go undefeated, it’ll be a moot point for Louisville. It’s become increasingly difficult for teams to go undefeated these days, so there should a couple more that could join them with 1 loss. On the bright side, Clemson and Florida State are out of the way now, and they came out of those games staying alive in the race for the playoff.
Two losses would have put them on the barbecue, but winning of those sets them up for a chance at competing for the playoff. Louisville started the season around 20th in the nation, and I said they would be flirting with the top 10, thanks to Lamar Jackson. In other words, it’s been a big success for the Cardinals thus far, regardless of the loss. If the game was in Louisville, I am sure the Cards would have pulled it off. Instead, they lost the contest by a score of 41-36. It looked like it was going to turn into a route in favor of Clemson, but Jackson rallied the troops and made it a game. The game ended with Louisville coming a yard short of a first down deep in Clemson territory. The Cardinals probably won’t need a last second drive to win this one, considering they enter as massive 34.5 favorites.
Duke, believe it or not, was playing in the ACC Championship not all that long ago against Florida State. The Blue Devils had their moment on the football field for a few years, but with that recruiting class from those days drying up, it’s appearing like they’re back to being a complacent, average team. They are certainly capable of pulling an upset, look no further than the 38-35 win over Notre Dame. The Blue Devils are entering tonight with a record of 3-3 with that big win against the Irish on their resume. They’ve also beaten Army and North Carolina Central. Army has played hard this season, so it isn’t like that was a walkover game. Their backs are way against the wall, though, against Louisville, who will try and keep this a competitive matchup as five touchdown underdogs.
Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Louisville -34.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Duke vs. Louisville Pick:
Lamar Jackson has been the most exciting player in college football. No matter what happens to him at the next level as a professional, he’s providing must-watch TV whenever he’s on the field. You never know when he is going to pull off something special. Nobody could turn away from Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, and Jackson is doing the same with the Cardinals. It’s only the seventh week of the season and he has accounted for 28 touchdowns, an even 14 passing and 14 rushing. Jackson isn’t at a point of having excellent arm strength, but he makes up for it extremely well with his elusiveness.
Louisville is 1st in the nation with 659 yards per game, a draw dropping number. They are also scoring 58 points a game, which is 1st in college football as well. There is a considerable gap between them and Texas Tech who are second, scoring 52 points per game. Duke is scoring 24.5 points per game, so the point-spread makes sense when you look at it from this perspective, especially since this is a home game for the Cardinals. The Blue Devils allow around 24 points per game on defense as well. Expect that number to sharply increase after tonight. Louisville should easily hang 50 on Duke tonight.
The Cardinals need some more style points after losing to Clemson. They need to put up the video game numbers against inferior opponents like this. The Lamar Jackson show will get his yards and points in this one. He was able to frustrate a quality Clemson defense on a night game on their campus. Expect gaudy numbers in this one, with 56 or so points on the board for the Cardinals. This leaves the spread in doubt, the way I see it anyway. I expect Duke to hit the mid or low 20’s, therefore, it leaves a razor thin margin for error. It’s a sharp number. Consequently, I am going to watch the points pile up and not have to worry about it. It’s the OVER for me on Friday night.
PICK: OVER 70.5 POINTS (-110)