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Miami Hurricanes vs. Duke Blue Devils Odds - Free Pick

Miami Hurricanes (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Duke Blue Devils (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Friday, September 29th, 2017– 7:00 PM ET
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium – Durham, NC
by KEITH, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: DUKE +6
Over/Under Total:OFF

The U will kick off its Atlantic Coast Conference campaign as it heads to Durham, North Carolina to square off with the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Hurricanes of Miami enter in off a 52-30 win against Toledo at home. As for Duke, they come in like Miami as they are also undefeated after taking down arch rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill in another chapter of The Tobacco Row Rivalry. In this conference contest, the Canes have won the last three overall. The fixture will be aired for national audiences on ESPN. The meeting will be a prime-time event under the lights as the scheduled kick-off time is 7:00 PM ET on Friday, September 29th.

The Blue Devils so far have to be classified as one of 2017’s surprise teams. This is reflected in the Dukies’ 4-0 record both straight up and against the spread. The “Fighting Cutcliffes” are authors of two outright victories as a marginal pooch. First, the Blue Devils would take down visiting Northwestern at home as a two-point pup on September 9th by a score of 41-17. Against UNC, Duke was a 1.5-point road pup but ousted the Tar Heels by a score of 27-17 at Keenan Memorial Stadium last week. Very simply, Duke’s defense is brutal. The Blue Devils own one of the best rushing defenses in the nation, placing them at fifth overall. This is especially impressive considering the Blue Devils were able to curtail a gifted runner in Northwestern running back Justin Jackson. To complement their exploits, Duke also owns the 16th ranked defense nationally in terms of total defense and give up just 15.2 points per game (17th in America).


For the Miami Hurricanes, the U are trying to get back to a place that everyone knows them to well in: dominating football games and solidifying itself as a consistent national power. Needless to say, the Canes are shades of what it has been compared to its late 90’s and early 2000’s days. However, the hiring of former Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt has seemed to have shifted the course of this program. Richt is coaching at his Alma Mater as he spent his collegiate playing days in Miami as a back-up quarterback to Jim Kelly. Richt is all class and his football team has reflected his attitudes and ideas as Miami is one of the cleanest teams in the country. Going into their Week 4 contest against Toledo, the Canes were the least penalized team in all of the land.

From what we can gather from the current number, this is a price that often accompanies many outright upsets. +6 or +6.5 on an underdog and a home pooch even more specifically, signals there is not a just a great chance of a cover but an upset. This price is designed to entice action on the favorite be that a touchdown plus successful conversion generates a cover and a win by touchdown returns the wager by virtue of a push. Sure, Duke’s stock is high at the moment and had they lost to North Carolina perhaps they would be spotted a touchdown-plus out of the gate. However, Duke’s defense has shown it can make formidable competition look far less challenging. Let’s not forget the Blue Devils have made examples out of teams they were supposed to lose to and they beat down teams they were supposed to win against. There are also several issues concerning Miami that must be called to the forefront. First, the Canes are ranked #13 and Duke remains unranked. This is especially troubling considering that Miami has played two less games than Duke against far weaker competition overall. This disparity in rankings is another narrative that fuels this market.

Another consideration that must be made is the fact that Miami is playing Florida State, next week. For the Canes, FSU’s has egregiously derailed so perhaps they feel they can finally get them. Though they will be up to the test of facing Duke, the sheer magnitude of the rivalry is bound to be a distraction. Place Miami on the road in a hostile environment and there is a good chance Duke will win this outright. Splitting a bet and risking ½ unit on the Money Line might be prudent in this situation.

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