Pitt Won’t Try to Drop it Too Much Against #24 Duke
By Charles Jay
The Duke Blue Devils are one of those teams that is once again surprising the college football world. Now ranked #24 in both major polls, they have a little bit of payback on their minds as they take the trip to the Steel City and a date with the Pittsburgh Panthers as underdogs in the NCAA football odds, with kickoff at Noon ET at Heinz Field.
As BetAnySports customers may remember, last year’s meeting was a very interesting one. Duke turned the ball over four times and they lost one of the wildest contests of the year by a 58-55 score. The Blue Devils, of course, went on to win the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and played eventual national champion Florida State in the conference title game (getting taken to the woodshed). This season Duke has given all indications that it is going to be a very stingy team when it comes to coughing up the football, as they have turned it over only five times.
That is in stark contrast to Pittsburgh’s last outing, which became a major fiasco against Georgia Tech. The Panthers have to rebound, and they need their quarterback to come back healthy, because he supplies an element of mobility that is badly needed.
NCAA football Betting Line – Pitt vs Duke: Pittsburgh is the home favorite:
Pittsburgh Panthers -3.5
Duke Blue Devils +3.5
Over 51 points -110
Under 51 points -110
Things were incredibly bizarre for Pittsburgh in last weekend’s game. They just could not hold onto the football, fumbling it five times in the first six minutes against Georgia Tech. On one of those plays, James Conner, one of the elite running backs in the country (1079 yards), put it on the ground on his way to what appeared to be a 74-yard touchdown run. The Pittsburgh defense could not get the job done either, as they allowed 612 yards to the Georgia Tech option in a 56-28 defeat.
Certainly BetAnySports customers shouldn’t expect that Pittsburgh would have such butter fingers again this week, though it is noted that the Panthers have 17 turnovers on the season. And we know that Duke is going to have difficulty dealing with Conner, who actually had to leave the field at one point last Saturday with a knee injury but came back to scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Chad Voytick was also shaken up in the game, when he took a hard hit to the head. He was removed and replaced by Trey Anderson, who originally came to the program as a walk-on. But word out of the Pittsburgh camp is that Voytick has been practicing with the team and should be good to go on Saturday.
One thing NCAA football odds bettors can concede about Duke is the fact that they are well rested; in fact they have played only one game since October 11, and when you get to this time of the year, getting some rest for your bank-up starters is always a positive thing. There is still the possibility that Duke can pull off some surprises; after all, it only lost one game (coming on the road against Miami) and will capture the division for the second year in a row if they win out.
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