This Friday the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals will host the Duke Blue Devils. Kickoff for this ACC matchup is set for 7:00 EST at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN. Oddsmakers have Louisville listed as a massive 34-point favorite in this Week 7┬ácontest.

Duke vs Louisville Vegas Betting Preview

The Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2 ACC) come in off a 13-6 home win over Army. It was all defense, as conditions weren’t great in Durham. Duke won the game despite gaining just 189 yards of total offense. It was a nice bounce back win, after losing 20-34 at home to Virginia the previous time out.

Louisville (4-1) will take the field for the first time since suffering their first loss. The Cardinals will look to rebound from that heartbreaking 36-42 loss at Clemson. Louisville has had time to regroup, as they enjoyed a bye week after facing the Tigers.

This will actually be the first time these two teams have faced off as conference foes. The only previous meeting came back in 2002, which Louisville won 40-3 at Duke.

Free Point Spread Pick & Predictions: Louisville -34

I can’t say I love the idea of laying 34-points, but I’m also not willing to bet against Louisville in this spot. More than likely, I’m going to stay away from this game, but my lean would have to be on the Cardinals.

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I know a lot of people are going to look at Duke’s 38-35 win at Notre Dame as a sign of hope for them to cover. While a big win for their program, the Irish aren’t a great team and that was a brutal spot for them. Notre Dame was coming off a crushing loss at home to Michigan State. A defeat that put any hopes of making the playoffs to rest.

I don’t think Louisville is going to be overlooking the Blue Devils in this spot. In fact, I see this as a statement game for the Cardinals. They want to show everyone that while they might not win the ACC, they are one of the 4 best teams in the country.

Offensively, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Louisville is going to be able to move the ball. Their ability to strike quickly with big plays makes them a team that you can at least feel somewhat confident laying this big of a number. It’s not out of the question they could have this line covered by halftime.

My biggest concern here with Duke is their ability to score. The Blue Devils suffered a big blow when starting QB Thomas Sirk was lost for the season. His dual-threat ability was what made this offense so tough to contain last year. While starter Daniel jones has rushed for 179 yards, he’s only averaging 2.8 yards/carry.

It’s also worth noting that Duke could be without two key pieces on offense. Starting center Austin Davis and leading rusher Jela Duncan are both questionable. Each suffering an injury against Army. Hard to see them playing on short rest.

Even with Duncan the Blue Devils wer struggling to get anything going on the ground. They come in ranked 86th in the country, averaging just 153.5 ypg. That’s a big concern. If they can’t run the ball, it’s going to set up a lot of 3rd and long situations. That’s going to allow Louisville’s defense to get off the field. Which in turns means more possessions for Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals offense.

Keep in mind that Louisville has scored 59+ on every team not named Clemson they have faced. If they put up 60 points here, which is very reasonable. That means Duke would have to score 27 to cover. A tough task for a team that has scored 20 or fewer in 4 of their 6 games. Especially given how talented the Cardinals are on defense.