Virginia Tech vs Duke Odds, Prediction: Why to Bet Saturday’s Over/Under
Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images. Pictured: Riley Leonard (Duke)
Virginia Tech vs Duke Odds
Mike Elko should be a finalist for the Coach of the Year Award for the job he's done in his first season in Durham.
He's led the Blue Devils to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2018. Duke was 3-9 last year, but is already 6-3 this year and is in second place in the Coastal Division.
He’ll face off against another first-year head coach in Brent Pry at Virginia Tech. However, Pry has not had the same immediate success. The Hokies are just 2-7 on the year and 1-5 in conference play. They have lost six straight games.
Duke has clearly been the better team this year. But can you really lay 10 points with a team that is just 3-17 in the past 20 meetings between these two teams?
Virginia Tech went into the transfer portal and signed Marshall transfer Grant Wells, but he has not been the answer.
The former Conference USA Freshman of the Year has been plagued by the same turnover issues that hurt him last year. Wells has eight interceptions and just eight touchdowns.
This offense ranks 118th in Success Rate and is outside of the top 100 in explosiveness and Finishing Drives. As bad as the Hokies have been passing the ball, they are even worse running the ball. They’re bottom 10 in the country in yards per play on the ground and Wells has half of this team’s rushing touchdowns.
After 11 years as a defensive coordinator at Penn Sate and Vanderbilt, it no surprise that the strength of Pry’s team is the defense. The Hokies defense is 21st in the country in Success Rate. Some of the overall numbers don’t look great on the surface, but that is largely due to the -8 turnover differential.
Linebacker Dax Hollifield is the stud of this defense and is elite at stopping the run. Virginia Tech is also able to defend the pass well with a pair of really good safeties in Nasir Peoples and Chamarri Conner.
After spending last season as a backup, sophomore Riley Leonard took over as starting quarterback and has done his job. He’s limited mistakes — throwing just four interceptions with 11 touchdowns — and has been lethal with his legs.
60 YARDS TO THE 🏠 FOR RILEY LEONARD‼️ pic.twitter.com/xd8kZ2Wvpw
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 4, 2022
Leonard is averaging 64 rushing yards per game, the fourth most among quarterbacks. He's also added nine rushing touchdowns.
The Blue Devils have a backfield full of good running backs with Jordan Waters and Jaquez Moore both averaging five yards per carry. Jaylen Coleman was the leading rusher before getting hurt and he has been back at practice and could return soon.
The strength of Duke’s defense has been its front seven. This team is better at defending the run than the pass and does a good job of getting into the backfield. The Blue Devils are 11th in the country in Havoc.
On the defensive line, DeWayne Carter and R.J. Oben are great at getting pressure on the quarterback. Carter leads the entire ACC with 30 quarterback hurries and Oben is tied for second.
Wells takes a lot of sacks and could be under pressure a lot here.
Virginia Tech vs Duke Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Virginia Tech and Duke match up statistically:
Virginia Tech Offense vs. Duke Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Duke Offense vs. Virginia Tech Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||49||53|
|Seconds per Play||26.0 (57)||28.6 (108)|
|Rush Rate||50.4% (85)||57.7% (40)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Virginia Tech vs Duke Betting Pick
The Blue Devils are a run-first team and they want to rely on the legs of Leonard and their running backs. That is the strength of this team, and they play to their strengths. When they do pass the ball, they haven’t been great at it.
Virginia Tech’s defense is 21st in the country in Success Rate and while they have been better against the pass, they still do a good job defending the run — especially when it comes to limiting big plays on the ground.
When the Hokies have the ball though, they have been a mess, ranking 118th in Success Rate and 128th in Finishing Drives. They are one of the worst teams in the country at converting opportunities into points.
Both of these teams rank outside of the top 100 in offensive explosiveness. Virginia Tech has one of the lowest big play rates in the country. Duke also plays at a snail's pace.
The biggest sweat in this game could come down to the drastic turnover differential. Virginia Tech is 120th in the country with a turnover differential of -8, while Duke has the third-best turnover differential at +14.
If Virginia Tech can avoid throwing a pick-six or other costly turnovers that give Duke short fields, I like this total to stay under 49.5.