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Alabama vs. Duke Pick Against the Spread

Posted by in College Football Picks on September 14th, 2010 | Comment »
Alabama vs. Duke Pick Against the Spread

Alabama's running game should roll all over Duke.


Last week I took Alabama (-11.5) over Penn State and Alabama won in convincing fashion 24-3, running all over a very respectable Big 10 defense in Penn State with 180 yards on the ground and 229 through the air for over 400 yards of offense. Naturally, I would look to ride them against this week as they started off the season 2-0 ATS.

We all know that Duke’s defense is terrible. They lost to Wake Forest this past week 54-48 and beat Elon by a score of 41-27. Duke gave up an average of 452 yards in those games and was miserable against the run, giving up an average of 8.4 yards per carry. Against a team that loves to run the football and imposes their will over top-tier NCAA defenses, I don’t see how Alabama doesn’t score on essentially every drive that they get the football, especially considering that Duke gave up 54 points to Wake Forest and allowed 27 to Elon. The Crimson Tide should be due for at least 40 points in this game.

Some betting trends that I’ve spotted:

  • ALAB are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games.
  • Over is 6-2-1 in ALAB last 9 games in September.
  • ALAB are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games on grass.
  • Over is 19-5-3 in DUKE last 27 home games.
  • DUKE are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 home games.

Based on Duke’s history and the trends, you know that Duke will give up a ton of points. Last week I took Oklahoma (-9.5) over Florida State and this line even drifted down to Oklahoma (-7) by game time for season reason. My thought process for this game was: (1) Oklahoma has a great coach; (2) Oklahoma plays great football at home; (3) Bob Stoops was upset with his defense in the Utah State game; (4) Oklahoma usually rebounds after a poor performance; and (5) Florida State gives up a ton of points against good teams. Florida State may crush weaker teams, but I don’t see them competing on the road against a team like Oklahoma and that’s exactly what happened as Oklahoma rolled 47-10 .

Based on that, I’ll want to see how Duke performed against high quality teams since we can’t really look into their Elon and Wake Forest games for a good read on this team. Last season Kansas beat Duke 44-16, Duke then hung in with Virgina Tech losing 34-26, Duke lost 16-9 to North Carolina, then got crushed by Georgia Tech 49-10 the following week, lost 34-16 to Miami, and lost 45-34 to Wake Forest. Duke was 5-3-1 ATS last season, which is respectable.

Against strong running teams, Duke gave up 34 to VT, 49 to GT, and 34 to Miami.  Duke was able to score 16 on Miami and 10 on GT. Against a strong North Carolina defense, Duke was held to 9 points.  As you can see, Duke hasn’t broken the 16-point mark against good defenses, so I doubt you see them score 17+ in this game, which means that Alabama will need about 40 if Duke does indeed manage to score 17 points.  Considering that Duke gave up 34 to VT, 34 to Miami, and 49 to GT, this one may be a bit close with Duke getting 23.5 points.

I think you can expect an Alabama cover in the area of 38-6, 38-13, 41-10, or 41-17. Would I be shocked if Duke covers? No. After all, in week 1 in the NFL we learned that you simply don’t bet against home dogs. However, there are some exceptions and that includes when you have a terrible defense like Duke does and you are playing the best college football team in the land. Additionally, you also have to expect that Alabama defense to produce a lot of turnovers which will absolutely lead to points. I don’t like starting the game needing 4 scores, but Duke gives up a lot of points and will be hard-pressed to score against this Alabama defense.

Prediction: Alabama 41 – Duke 10

Pick Against the Spread: Alabama -23.5 (Confidence: 2.5/5)

Notes: I don’t like the high spread, which gives Duke a good shot at covering, but for the reasons set forth above, I don’t see how Duke doesn’t get crushed in this one. However, like I mentioned, you must be cautious against betting against a home dog! Let’s see if that holds up in this one.

Who do you think will cover Duke vs. Alabama (-23.5)?

  • Alabama (75%, 66 Votes)
  • Duke (25%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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Alabama Should STOMP Duke

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