Troy vs Duke Odds, Pick, Prediction | How to Bet Birmingham Bowl

Troy vs Duke Odds, Pick, Prediction | How to Bet Birmingham Bowl article feature image

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  • The Troy Trojans and Duke Blue Devils meet in the Birmingham Bowl during Saturday's college football action.
  • Troy enters the bowl as a -7 favorite, as the over/under sits at 44.5.
  • Read on for our full betting preview for Troy vs Duke in the Birmingham Bowl, along with our top pick and prediction.

Troy Trojans vs Duke Blue Devils Odds

December 23
12 p.m. ET
Troy Trojans Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Duke Blue Devils Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.
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The second Saturday of bowl season is here, and what better way to kick it off than a matchup between teams whose coaches have already left for other jobs?

That'll be the scene Saturday when the Duke Blue Devils take on the Troy Trojans in the 76 Birmingham Bowl.

After a 7-5 regular season with Duke, Mike Elko took the Texas A&M head coaching job, while Jon Sumrall headed to Tulane after leading Troy to its second consecutive Sun Belt Championship.

But bowl games can still be fun even if there's a different coaching staff, so let's dive in.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Troy Trojans

Troy has not gotten enough respect as one of the best Group of Five programs in the country. The Trojans just stacked back-to-back 11-win seasons and conference championships, including a win over No. 25 UTSA in last year's Cure Bowl.

This isn't just some nondescript G5 program happy to play on national television. Even without Sumrall, Troy is in a great spot as a program, and it looks like only three players won't be available for this game.

Linebacker Jayden McDonald is the only one of those three transfer portal entrants to play significant snaps this season.

McDonald and the rest of the defense were the main reasons why Troy captured another conference title. The Trojans held their opponents to 17.2 points per game, which ranks 10th in the country, and performed particularly well against the pass, coming in at 14th in Pass Success Rate Allowed.

The unit also ranks top-16 in Defensive Line Yards, Finishing Drives Allowed and Quality Drives Allowed.

There's plenty to like about Troy's offense, as well.

Quarterback Gunnar Watson had a great year by throwing for 3,339 yards, 27 touchdowns and five picks, but the real star was All-American running back Kimani Vidal.

Also named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, Vidal rushed for 1,582 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, five of which came against Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Championship.

Duke Blue Devils

It is hard to succinctly recap this Duke season.

The Blue Devils burst onto the scene in Week 1 by beating Clemson and rose up to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 with a 5-1 start — but things would never be the same once Riley Leonard got injured against Notre Dame in Week 5.

Duke won only three more games after his injury, and now most of that team won't even be present in the Birmingham Bowl. Leonard is off to South Bend, Elko is swaying at A&M, and a long list of starting players have either entered the transfer portal or are opting out of the game.

That includes starters at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and an offensive lineman on the offensive side of the ball, as well as two defensive linemen, a linebacker and two defensive backs on the other side.

There's definitely a lot less luster about this game if you're a Duke fan.

That said, it will be a chance for the Blue Devils to see what they have for the future. Freshman quarterback Grayson Loftis started Duke's final four games of the season and looked decent with 793 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in that stretch.

The team went 2-2 in those games, and the two losses were by a combined five points, so Loftis can win games.

Ready to get in on the Duke betting action in North Carolina? You’ll soon be able to join in on NC sports betting, as the state is expected to come online in 2024.

Troy vs Duke

Matchup Analysis

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

Troy Offense vs. Duke Defense
Rush Success8155
Line Yards7168
Pass Success6658
Finishing Drives7446
Quality Drives3942
Duke Offense vs. Troy Defense
Rush Success9124
Line Yards7916
Pass Success6114
Finishing Drives2913
Quality Drives6310
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2291
PFF Coverage2732
Special Teams SP+8234
Middle 8837
Seconds per Play27.6 (76)28.0 (90)
Rush Rate51.9% (84)55.6% (43)

Troy vs Duke

Betting Pick & Prediction

Group of Five teams are not often favored by more than a touchdown over a 7-5 Power Five team, but it makes perfect sense in this case.

The Duke team that runs onto the field in Protective Stadium is not the team that beat Clemson and went 7-5. There are just too many players who won't play in this game, and that's bad news against an objectively good Troy team.

The Trojans also have a massive motivation edge. It's a chance to beat a Power Five team and they won't even have to leave the state of Alabama to do it, so you know they'll be ready to go.

Troy is a complete team, and Duke is missing most of its good players. Don't overthink this one. Take the Trojans to cover.

Pick: Troy -7.5

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