You might be asking why on earth we are previewing an NCAA Football Betting matchup between FCS program Duquesne and UMass, which is barely a Division I program (in football anyway). Because Saturday’s matchup is the first NCAAF game of the year! The Minutemen are heavy favorites at the latest College Football Odds.
How to Bet Duquesne vs UMass NCAA Football Betting Odds & Game Info
- When: Saturday, 5:30 PM ET
- Where: Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Amherst, Mass.
- Stream: Duquesne Football / UMass Athletics
- Radio: TuneIn
- NCAA Football Betting Odds: UMass -24.5 (Total 67.5)
Why Bet on Duquesne?The Dukes are favored to win their fifth Northeast Conference title in eight years. The team has to replace excellent quarterback Tommy Stuart but has a promising replacement in Florida Atlantic transfer Daniel Parr. Parr started four games in the past two seasons for the Owls after a winning a state title at Dwyer in 2013. Parr was named Palm Beach Post Player of the Year that season and picked FAU over Miami the next season after a tense recruiting battle.In the Owls’ 2017 season opener against Navy, Parr was responsible for the longest offensive play in school history, a 95-yard touchdown to freshman receiver Willie Wright. Parr finished 19-for-30 for 281 yards and two TDs. Through the Owls’ first three games, Parr had completed 57 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and two interceptions. After a 45-0 win over Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 15, Parr was benched for Jason Driskel and didn’t throw another pass. Parr ended his FAU career with 58 completions in 111 attempts for 694 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.Duquesne’s star is junior running back A.J. Hines, who was named a preseason All-American. He has recorded 2,329 rushing yards with 23 rushing scores in his first two seasons with the Dukes. He has tallied 13 100-yard rushing games and is a two-time First Team All-NEC pick. In 10 games last season, Hines ran for 1,038 yards with 10 touchdowns, averaging 115.3 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry.Hines also was one of 25 players named to the watch list for the 2018 Walter Payton Award. The Payton Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the FCS. The Payton Award, first presented in 1987, has watched past winners such as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, John Friesz, Brian Finneran, Jimmy Garoppolo and Cooper Kupp move on to the NFL.Duquesne returns 11 starters from last year’s team which posted a 7-4 overall mark and a 4-2 ledger in Northeast Conference play. The Dukes put together a seven-game winning streak in 2017, their most victories in a row since posting 11 straight wins to open the 2002 season. DU has recorded 50 wins since 2011, at least eight more victories than any other NEC team. In addition, the Dukes’ 30 conference wins in that time span are the most in the league. Duquesne has registered at least seven total victories in three straight seasons and five of the last seven years.For the first time in program history, the Dukes will face two FBS opponents in the same season in 2018. Duquesne will travel to both Massachusetts for this game and Hawaii for a Sept. 22 matchup. These are both first-time opponents for DU. The only other time Duquesne faced an FBS team was a loss to Buffalo in 2014.
Why Bet on UMass?UMass is an independent program that finished 4-8 last year. The Minutemen played eight games decided by 10 points or fewer, got into wild shootouts with Maine, FIU and Georgia Southern, and pushed Tennessee and Mississippi State hard.Led by senior quarterback Andrew Ford, the Minutemen return nine offensive starters. The UMass offense was potent in 2017 as they ranked 17th in passing offense. Ford’s 22:4 TD-INT ratio a big reason for their success. Many of his favorite targets return in Andy Isabella as well as Sadiq Palmer. Palmer had 65 catches for 1,020 yards and 10 scores in 2017. Ford enters his senior season among the career record-holders in eight categories: pass completion percentage (2nd; 62.0), passer efficiency rating (2nd; 144.4), passing yards per game (2nd; 254.0), passing touchdowns (3rd; 48), pass completions (4th; 445), average yards per pass (4th; 7.9), passing yards (4thl 5,589) and passing attempts (5th; 718).Redshirt junior Jordan Fredericks comes off his redshirt after sitting out last year following his transfer from Syracuse. Fredericks played in 22 games over his two years for the Orange, leading the team in rushing as a true freshman in 2015.Fellow RB Marquis Young enters the season with 20 career rushing scores, tied with Frank Alessio (1993-96), Jerome Bledsoe (1988-91) and Paul Metallo (1971-72) in 10th place. Young’s 22 total touchdowns, including two receiving scores, rank him tied for 10th all-time in the category alongside all-time greats Frank Alessio (1993-96), Greg Landy (1965-67) and Kevin Smellie (1985-88).The offensive line lost Jack Driscoll to transfer to Auburn, but the other four starters return along with all of the backups. That’s positive; the Minutemen quarterbacks were sacked 46 times last year. Ever since head coach Mark Whipple returned to take over the program in 2014, the one thing the Minutemen have been able to do with relative consistency is put up points. They averaged 30.6 ppg in 2017.They did lose an NFL-caliber tight end in Adam Breneman, along with five of their top seven tacklers. The Massachusetts defense ranked as one of the most successful FBS units in forcing opposing offenses into three-and-out drives, with an average of 4.81 per game during the 2017 season.
Latest NCAA Football Betting Trends
- Duquesne is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
- Duquesne is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
- Massachusetts is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 games at home
- Massachusetts is 5-11 SU in its last 16 games at home