Duke vs. Virginia Tech Betting Odds & Pick: Hokies Underrated on the Road in Durham (Saturday, Oct. 3)
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Hendon Hooker
- Virginia Tech is a double-digit favorite over Duke as both teams continue ACC play on Saturday.
- Duke has been bad on both sides of the ball so far, and Clemson transfer Chase Brice hasn't found much rhythm under center.
- Get our full breakdown of Virginia Tech vs. Duke below.
Duke vs. Virginia Tech Odds
|Duke Odds||+13 [BET NOW]|
|Virginia Tech Odds||-13 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+360/-490 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||54.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
After blowing out NC State last week, the Virginia Tech Hokies look poised to be one of the best teams in the ACC. Their offense looked much improved from 2019, putting up 45 points and gaining 495 yards in Blacksburg last Saturday.
Duke lost its first three ACC games to fall to 0-3. The Blue Devils were one of the least efficient offenses in the league last season, and the addition of Clemson transfer Chase Brice at quarterback hasn’t improved things in 2020. Unless they drastically improve on offense, the Blue Devils are headed for a below-.500 season.
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Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech ran the ball at will against NC State, toting the rock for 7.7 yards per carry. It was no surprise that the Hokies ground game was going to be their strength coming into the season. Virginia Tech returned all five offensive lineman and added a ton of depth up front.
Virginia Tech’s offense turned a corner last year when Hendon Hooker took over at quarterback. The Hokies went 6-2 with Hooker as the starter and averaged 9.6 yards per attempt. Hooker didn’t play last week, because he was among Virginia Tech’s 23 inactive players due to COVID-19 contact-tracing policies. Based on quotes from Fuente this week, he expects Hooker to start on Saturday. With Hooker at the helm, this offense is going be scary with his dual-threat ability and their explosive running game.
This will be the first time since 1986 that Virginia Tech will have a new defensive coordinator. Bud Foster retired at the end of last year, but Justin Hamilton (a Bud Foster protege) will coordinate a defense that returns 10 starters from last season. Foster’s defenses have always been known for creating turnovers and 2019 was no different as the Hokies ranked 18th in the nation in havoc.
The strength of the Hokies defense is in their back seven. Middle linebacker Rayshard Ashby is as fundamentally sound as any defender in the country. He’s already racked up a whopping 225 tackles in two seasons as a starter.
The Hokies also have almost all of their secondary returning, except first-round talent Caleb Farley at corner, who opted out of the season. However, they have starters at all three other positions returning, so their shouldn’t be a steep drop off.
The weakness may come in the defensive line, but the Hokies have three seniors and a graduate transfer on their front four. Stopping the run was Virginia Tech’s calling card in 2019, ranking 21st in defensive rushing success, 13th in defensive line yards, and 27th in stuff rate. They should have no trouble against a Duke team that has struggled to run the ball through their first three games.
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils offense struggled with consistency in its first three games, gaining only 4.5 yards per play. Chase Brice has struggled since transferring from Clemson, throwing six interceptions and averaging only 6.4 yards per attempt in his first three starts. The running game is also nowhere to be found, as the Blue Devils are gaining a measly 2.7 yards per carry.
Not a whole lot to like so far.
Duke’s offense was incredibly inefficient in 2019, ranking 117th in rushing success rate and 121st in passing success rate. Coach David Cutcliffe took over play-calling duties in the offseason, but so far the Blue Devils haven’t seen an improvements as the are still near the bottom of college football in offensive success rate.
Without a running game, I think they’ll have a tough time against a Virginia Tech defense that returns 89% of its production from last season.
So far this season, Duke’s issues on defense have been in the secondary after being one best in the ACC last season. The Blue Devils have allowed a whopping 8.2 yards per pass attempt through their first three games. They had to replace safety Dylan Singleton, who led the secondary with 89 tackles last season and so far they haven’t found a capable replacement. That is a big worry for the Blue Devils as their facing one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the ACC on Saturday.
The defensive line lost three starters due to graduation, and the linebacking corps lost top tackler Koby Quansah from last season. However, the Blue Devils have been pretty good against the run, allowing only 3.7 yards per carry. Even though they’ve had success through the first three games, they’re facing their biggest test so far this season against the Hokies explosive rushing attack.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Getting Hooker back at quarterback is going to be huge for the Hokies offense. Their explosive rushing attack should open up their passing game for Hooker to throw all over the Blue Devils secondary.
Duke’s had a hard time running the ball, which puts pressure on Brice to deliver in the passing game. So far, Brice hasn’t shown any ability to carry this offense through the air.
So, I think are going to have a hard time moving the ball against an experienced Virginia Tech defense. I have Virginia Tech projected as -19.31 favorites, so I think there is plenty of value on Hokies at -12, which is still available at PointsBet.
Pick: Virginia Tech -12. Play up to -15.