College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Duke vs. Virginia: Why to Bet Blue Devils

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Duke vs. Virginia: Why to Bet Blue Devils article feature image

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  • Virginia has beaten Duke six straight times and has been very successful on the road so far this season.
  • The Cavs have won two in a row away from home -- vs. Miami and Louisville -- and will look to stop elite rusher, Mataeo Durant, in this one.
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this ACC duel and offers up his betting prediction.

Duke vs. Virginia Odds

Duke Odds+10.5 (-110)
Virginia Odds-10.5 (-110)
Moneyline+330 / -435
Over/Under69.5 (-115 / -105)
Time12:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

While a matchup between these two schools might garner more interest on a basketball court, Virginia and Duke have been two of the more interesting teams in an ACC without a truly dominant football squad and a lot of middling programs languishing around .500.

Duke and Virginia are two of those middling programs, showing promise in some weeks with upsets, while losing to Charlotte and getting blown out by North Carolina, respectively, in others.

The Blue Devils and Cavaliers meet in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon as part of a wide open ACC Coastal division. Even if these two teams are unlikely to represent the conference in the championship in December, this could be a big outing for both clubs.

Virginia has won back-to-back games by a combined three points against Miami and Louisville after two blowout losses to UNC and Wake Forest.

Duke had a solid win against Northwestern that looks less and less impressive with each passing week and it began ACC play with a blowout loss to North Carolina and a close defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech.

In this matchup, though, the Blue Devils' ability to run the ball will help them stay inside the number and cover the double-digit spread.

Duke vs. Virginia Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
12:30 p.m. ET

Duke Blue Devils

Duke Offense

Duke's schedule has been pretty weak, but the Blue Devils do have a strong rushing attack — led by Mataeo Durant — that should be able to find success against the UVA front.

Durant and a big offensive line is a major reason the Blue Devils are 28th in Rushing Success Rate and 27th in Offensive Line Yards.

Head coach David Cutcliffe loves to run the ball with this team as Duke has the 33rd highest run rate in the country. The Blue Devils play a pretty fast tempo to try to wear down opposing defenses. That could be a problem for the Cavaliers' defense on Saturday.

The Blue Devils have had some issues down in the red zone when it comes to finishing drives, but their ability to run the ball should make them a solid red zone offense so they could see some improvement in the red zone in coming weeks.

Duke ran 91 plays last week against Georgia Tech and that kind of output will allow its big offensive line to wear down UVA's defense.

Duke Defense

Duke has only played one good or even solid passing attack this season: North Carolina.

The Blue Devils have good numbers in pass defense based on our matchup matrix, as they rank 49th in Passing Success Rate allowed and 54th in Pass Rush, both good-to-great numbers to stop this prolific Cavaliers passing attack.

But there are some concerns for this Duke defense matching up with Virginia, hence the reason for the high total.

Virginia doesn't have an edge on the ground, but the Cavaliers also really don't run the ball that much, with a 126th rate of running in the country.

Duke's 86th coverage grade, per PFF, and 100th tackling rank will be severely tested by an offense that generates big plays and scoring drives with ease based on their metrics.

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Offense

As mentioned above, the Cavaliers don't run the ball. They hit explosive plays through the air and also are capable of sustaining drives with a high success rate.

It's not a boom-or-bust offense per se, but it's certainly busted in a few games this year, namely Wake Forest. That 17-point showing looks a lot worse against Wake now that we've seen how easily other offenses have pushed around its defense.

Virginia's offense is third in Passing Success Rate, fourth in Big Plays and 10th in Finishing Drives. They will score points on Saturday. But given the issues with the defense, it's about getting margin with a big favorite.

If this fast-paced Virginia offense scores or punts quickly, the defense is going to wear down.

Virginia Defense

The most concerning metric for Virginia's defense in terms of stopping the Blue Devils in this matchup comes in its Havoc rating.

The Cavaliers are 105th in creating Havoc, a major concern for stopping the very good run offense that Duke has. If they can't get tackles for loss, sacks or force fumbles, the Blue Devils will remain ahead of the chains and in control of the game and possession.

Duke's offensive strategy of wearing down opponents with ball control will work on UVA if the Cavaliers aren't able to get off the field. And with the Havoc edge for the Duke offense, it'll be more about Duke stopping themselves than UVA actually making plays to get off the field.

Virginia couldn't get off the field against Wake Forest and couldn't come close to stopping Sam Howell and UNC. The defense bailed them out against an anemic Miami offense.

It's hard to lay 10.5 points with a defense that has the issues that Virginia does.

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Duke vs. Virginia Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Duke and Virginia match up statistically:

Duke Offense vs. Virginia Defense
Rush Success2873
Line Yards2796
Pass Success1983
Pass Blocking**38120
Big Play6791
Finishing Drives8777
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Virginia Offense vs. Duke Defense
Rush Success7367
Line Yards5967
Pass Success349
Pass Blocking**1654
Big Play487
Finishing Drives4999
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10038
Middle 87848
SP+ Special Teams101109
Plays per Minute1032
Rush Rate60.4% (33)37.3% (126)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Duke vs. Virginia Betting Pick

This lined open at 11 and despite 67% of the bets coming in on Virginia as of Thursday morning, the line ticked down to 10.5 with more of the money coming in on the Blue Devils.

Duke's ability to establish a strong running attack makes a difference in this matchup because it's hard to see Duke sustaining a lot of drives through the air.

Given how well both teams tend to finish drives off with touchdowns, there could be a lot of trading touchdowns and while Virginia is likely to win this game, it's hard for them to get margin with such poor defensive numbers against the run.

Anything 10 or more is good enough to play on the Blue Devils.

Pick: Duke +10 or better

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