The #22 Duke Blue Devils (4-0) host the Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1) this Saturday in an ACC showdown. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST at Wallace Wade Stadium and the game will be available on ESPN2.
Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, Duke opened as a 5.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line hasn’t changed after early betting, as the Blue Devils are currently listed at -5.5. The total for the game is sitting at 51 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Duke vs Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is coming off a shocking 49-35 road loss at Old Dominion last weekend, their first defeat of the year. The Hokies had a 28-21 lead after the 3rd quarter but proceeded to get outscored 28-7 in the 4th quarter to drop to 2-1 on the season. Virginia Tech looked absolutely terrible on defense all game long, giving up over 600 total yards while allowing the Monarchs to rack up 30 first downs. To make things even worse, the Hokies also appear to have lost starting QB Josh Jackson for the season after the sophomore broke his tibia in the 4th quarter. Jackson had already thrown for almost 600 yards and five touchdowns on the season while leading Virginia Tech to an average of 256.7 yards per game through the air (50th). It appears the Hokies will now put even more emphasis on a ground game that is averaging a very solid 245 yards per game (21st overall).
The Hokies have looked somewhat average on defense – although they are currently giving up an average of just 23 points per game (54th), they have been getting torched through the air, as opponents are averaging 320.0 yards passing per game (122nd). However, Virginia Tech has been one of the best teams in the country defending against the rush, giving up just 88.3 yards per game to opponents (8th). on has not been good on defense, allowing opponents to score an average of 34.3 points per game (106th).
Duke is off to a perfect 4-0 start after a convincing 55-13 over North Carolina Central at home last weekend. The Blue Devils were dominant on both sides of the ball, putting up 628 yards of total offense compared to the Eagles 187 yards. QB Daniel Jones has looked great for Duke, throwing for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns in a timeshare with Quentin Harris and Chris Katrenick. It has also been a team effort on the ground, as Brittain Brown and Deon Jackson have combined for over 500 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Overall, Duke is only averaging 207.8 passing yards per game (88th) but has looked stellar on the ground, averaging 219.5 rushing yards per contest (32nd).
The Blue Devils have looked fantastic defensively, as they are only giving up an average of 15.2 points per game to opponents (16th). They have also been limiting opponents to 133.3 yards per game on the ground (47th) and just 200.0 yards per game through the air (5oth).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Duke -5.5
I think Duke offers a ton of value in this particular spot, especially since they are playing at home this weekend. Virginia Tech has to be demoralized after losing outright in a game they were favored to win by almost 30 points. It also doesn’t help that they lost their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future and now must turn to backup Ryan Willis. Willis is totally unproven and now has to face an undefeated Duke team that is only giving up 15.2 points per game. While the Hokies might be able to get their top 25 rushing attack going against the Blue Devils, it should be fairly easy to start stacking the box against a quarterback making his first start of the year.
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Virginia Tech is just 2-5 ATS over their past seven road games, while Duke is an impressive 10-3 ATS over their last thirteen home games. The Blue Devils are also 6-1 ATS over their past seven games overall and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games in September.
The Blue Devils are in a great spot to improve 5-0 on the season against an ACC rival that has had their number in recent years. Virginia Tech is 12-2 straight up over their past fourteen games against Duke, but I think things might be different this time around. The Hokies have one of the worst passing defenses in the entire country, as they have been giving up 300+ yards per game through the air way too often over the first several weeks of the season. The Blue Devils should be able to take full advantage and grind out a 7+ point win at home. I’ll lay the points and side with the favorite in this one.