Duke @ Army College Football Betting Analysis

Posted by Daniel Strum on October 10, 2015 in

The Duke Blue Devils (4-1) travel to West Point this Saturday to take on the Army Black Knights (1-4) in one of the few remaining non-conference games. Of late, Duke has been making NCAA Football odds headlines in the Coastal Division after securing two consecutive ACC wins against Georgia Tech and Boston College, respectively. Meanwhile, the Black Knights will be playing Duke for the first time in five years, hoping to improve on their dismal record in the season. Here is a betting guide on the essential details about this matchup.

How To Bet The Blue Devils @ Black Knights NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info

Venue: Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
NCAAF Odds: Duke (-12), Army (+12)

Betting on the Army Black Knights

Despite collecting just one win on the season, the Black Knights have the nation’s 10th-best rushing offense, which averages 287.8 YPG. Against Penn State’s strong run defense, this run offense was in full showcase, as the Knights gained 261 yards in a losing 20-14 road effort. This run offense will be very important in the quest for a win in Saturday’s game.

Interestingly, the Black Knights have been using a two-quarterback system, splitting snaps under center between senior QB A.J. Schurr and sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw, with both signal-callers mostly preferring to run the ball.  In the previous game, Schurr recorded 24 carries for 74 yards with 2 TDs. Bradshaw, who leads the program with four rushing TDs this campaign, also secured a 56-yard score against Penn State in that loss. As a cause for concern, the Knights could miss the services of Bradshaw due to an ankle injury, meaning the running backs will need to put in extra shifts to support the team’s run-oriented game.

Defensively, the Black Knights have been somehow competitive with all four of its losses coming by six points or fewer. This defense is allowing 146.8 rushing yards per game, and has compiled 4 interceptions, 11 sacks and 34 tackles for loss. Linebackers Jeremy Timpf and Andrew King pace the defense, combing for 77 tackles, including a team-high 10 tackles for loss for King this season. If the defense can get meaner against Duke and clean up its few costly mistakes, the Army could be in for big march this Saturday.

Betting on the Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils have had success against run-heavy teams this season, holding Georgia Tech’s triple-threat option to 2.88 yards per carry two weeks ago. Because of such strength, the Blue Devils will be looking to use the same defensive tactics on the run-heavy Army.

Duke is coming off a 9-7 win over Boston College last weekend. This was the first time Duke won without a TD since 1978, as they only gained 228 yards and struggled heavily to run the ball and pass the ball. In that game, QB Thomas Sirk averagely completed 18 of his 36 passes for 195 yards.  Freshman T.J. Rahming, who is developing into a reliable weapon for Sirk, also exhibited signs of brilliance last week, but will need to do better. Rahming, together with Max McCaffrey, have combined for 471 receiving yards with two TDs this year.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Blue Devils are ranked ninth overall in defending the run,  allowing only 3.01 yards per carry against the run. Additionally, the Duke’s defense has only allowed six red zone trips through five their games. Not to mention, the defense features the league’s No. 4-rated road run defense, allowing a measly 25 yards per game. This defense will have its hands full, though, as it will be going against the Black Knights rushing offense that ranks 39th in the nation when playing at home.

Key Betting Trends

  • The Black Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games
  • The Blue Devils are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games
  • The Black Knights are 1-5 SU in their last six games
  • The Blue Devils are 4-1 SU in their last five games
  • The Black Knights are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games at home
  • The Blue Devils are 5-0 ATS in their last five games on the road
  • The total has gone OVER in four of Army’s last six games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of Duke’s last 12 games on the road

Army vs. Duke Game Prediction

The Black Knights have struggled big time on the defensive side of the ball, which is bad news, as they will be playing the Blue Devils team that has talented playmakers. Also, Duke has been solid on the defensive end, allowing seven or less points in three of their five games, and putting the clamps on opposing runners. Because of all that, the Blue Devils are the best pick to eke out a win plus cover in a low-scoring game that will almost definitely keep the total UNDER.