Cardinals looking to rebound against Duke

Posted by: Charlie Smith
Duke Blue Devils vs Louisville Cardinals Game Preview

The Duke Blue Devils made it through hurricane Matthew, but they may not be as lucky when they face the Louisville Cardinals on Friday, October 14th at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The following are the odds for people betting on college football:

Duke +35½ (-110) 71 (-110) +9000
Louisville -35½ (-110) 71 (-110) -25000

The Blue Devils (3-3) had quite the reception committee for the Army Black Knights in week 6 – a first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane. While both teams struggled offensively against the wind and rain, Duke’s defense made the most of the inclement weather, causing three TOs and forcing a fumble by senior safety Corbin McCarthy that set up the Devils’ first score. “It was backyard football,” McCarthy said, though airport tarmac football might be a more accurate description. Duke QBs Daniel Jones and Parker Boehme combined for 45 yards and two TD passes to put the Blue Devils ahead 13-0 in the second quarter. “Probably the MVP of the day was Matthew,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. No kidding. I hear the hurricane has already been approached by recruits from several colleges, and many NCAA football betting experts have him pegged as a shoe-in for the Heisman trophy.

The Cardinals had a September to Remember (TM), going 4-0 and upsetting the Florida State Seminoles. The first day of October was not as kind though, and the Cards lost their first game of the season to the Clemson Tigers, 36-42. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson had a modest – by his own standards – performance, throwing 27 of 44 for 295 passing yards with one TD and one interception, and running for 162 yards on 31 carries for two more scores. Not too bad, in a vacuum, but the Cards’ sluggish first half could cost them an ACC title and possible national championship shot. Louisville dropped to No. 7 in both polls.

So the Cards had their first loss of the season, but it was against Clemson – a favorite of quite many people betting on college football – and they have had an extra week to mull things over. Louisville allowed 507 total yards against Clemson, but the Cards are still No. 20 in the FBS in total defense at 324.0 yards per game – as well as No. 1 in the FBS in offense at 58.0 points and 659.2 yards per game. The Blue Devils will have to cause TOs (and avoid them themselves) like they did versus Army, only this time there will be hurricane to give them a hand.

Duke’s 26th ranked defense will have trouble keeping Jackson to under 200 passing yards, though, as it has done in three of the Devils’ six games. All things considered, fans betting on college football are not so much concerned about whether the Cards will win but about how many points. Louisville is 4-1 against the spread in the last five games when favored by 30 or more points, and is 15-4 against the spread in the last 19 games following a loss.