Alabama Crimson Tide
(2-0, 2-0 ATS)
Duke Blue Devils
(1-1, 1-1 ATS)
Goliath will host David for a rare change in NCAA football betting action on Saturday afternoon, as the Duke Blue Devils look for their most outstand victory in the David Cutcliffe era against the top ranked team in the land, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
One thing is for certain, and that’s that the Tide are going to try to get their ground game rolling against the Blue Devils on Saturday. RB Mark Ingram should be back in the starting lineup, but there is still a question about how the Heisman Trophy winner from last year will react to his injury that caused him to miss the first two games of the year. QB Greg McElroy should be helping Ingram out a ton in this game. The Dookies aren’t known for their pass defense, and a man that has completed 74.4 percent of his passes for 447 yards and three scores without a pick that has never lost as a starting quarterback shouldn’t struggle all that much. Scoring TDs on Alabama’s defense last year was virtually impossible, but in spite of the fact that ten of the 11 starters from that unit are gone, the ‘D’ is still incredibly difficult to find pay dirt against. In fact, the Tide have only allowed two field goals this season and have kept Penn State and San Jose State to an average of just 229.0 yards per game.
If the Dookies have any chance at all of even staying remotely close in this game, the pressure is going to be on QB Sean Renfree. Remember what we said about the Tide holding their foes to just 229 yards per game? Renfree is one of two QBs in the land that can say that he has thrown for at least 350 yards in both of his first two games. Cutcliffe hasn’t had a problem moving the ball up and down the field with his new quarterback even though the great QB Thaddeus Lewis has moved on to the pros. The Blue Devils rank ninth in the NCAA in total offense at 514.5 yards per game. All of the questions come on defense. Duke is allowing 453.0 yards per game, 15th worst in the land, and teams are really doing whatever they want against it. The Blue Devils rank 104th in pass defense and 89th in rush defense, and the end result has been a scoring average of 40.5 points per game against.
Every single sign points to Alabama in this game. Though we have no doubt that the Tide are going to roll, we do doubt whether they can do so by a full four scores. Duke has been feisty in the Cutcliffe rein, and it’s only a matter of time before it pulls an upset like this one. This order is clearly too tall, but Renfree will find some success, even if it comes against some backups late in the game. We tend to think that head coach Nick Saban is going to be sweating just a little bit for the mass majority of this game, as the Dookies could keep this one closer than the experts think.
Selection: Duke Blue Devils +24.5