College Football Betting: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies

Friday night college football features a matchup between the perpetually underrated Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Duke is 2-1 both SU and ATS this year while Virginia Tech is 2-1 SU but 0-2 ATS. Duke was crushed in their opening game by the Alabama Crimson Tide (I hear they’re pretty good or something) but they’ve taken care of busienss since with win/covers over North Carolina A&T and at Middle Tennessee State. They’re off a bye week and have a couple of ACC home games against Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech on deck.

TOTAL: 52.5

Something that immediately raises a red flag with Virginia Tech is their struggles with competition they should have beaten easily. Old Dominion is transitioning to FBS play and the Hokies beat them by 14 as -29.5 favorites. Even more concerning was a 24-17 win over FCS Furman–a good FCS program to be sure but a team that VaTech struggled with. Furman led 14-3 at the half before the Hokies woke up to close out the game. Even their season opening win over Boston College looks suspect after the Eagles were ripped by lowly Kansas.

David Cutcliffe has transformed Duke from a laughing stock program at a basketball powerhouse to a highly competitive 21st Century QB factory. Cutcliffe has coached a ridiculous 11 quarterbacks that have earned all conference honors or have won a bowl game including current NY Giants starter Daniel Jones. Throw in the fact that Duke has actual academic standards and his performance is even more impressive. Entering his 12th year at Duke, he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. 5th year senior Quentin Harris is the latest QB at Duke–he’s thrown 8 TD passes in the past two games.

Still not sure what to think of VaTech head coach Justin Fuente. He’s had two solid seasons at Blacksburg but is coming off a 6-7 season. Fuente strikes us as the polar opposite of Cutcliffe–a coach that often has great talent but just doesn’t get as much out of them as he should. Worried about the Hokies mindset after back to back games against overmatched competition. They could be in ‘lookahead mode’ with Miami on deck and with lowly Rhode Island after that.

Virginia Tech has been a very poor play against the college football pointspread of late going 7-14 ATS in their last 21 games. In games with a spread of +3 to -3 they’re on a run of 0-4 SU/ATS suggesting that they don’t do well in games against evenly matched foes. They’re on a 6-11 ATS run against ACC opponents and have a ho hum 6-8 ATS mark at home over the past three years. Duke, on the other hand, has been a veritable ATM machine as an underdog during recent years. They’re on a 24-12-1 ATS run getting points since 2013 and enter covering 10 of their last 13 as an underdog. As a road dog of 3 or less they’re on a 8-1 SU/9-0 ATS run. In the aforementioned ‘+3 to -3’ category they’re 5-2 SU/ATS during the past three seasons along with 8-4 ATS on the road.

Not sure why Duke doesn’t get the respect they deserve from the betting public. Maybe they watched the opening game against Alabama and have prematurely dismissed the Blue Devils. Even in that lopsided loss, they played an intelligent game and trailed only 14-3 at the half. There were multiple times that the Blue Devils passed up short FG attempts to ‘go for it’ on fourth down knowing that they needed the touchdowns to have any chance of beating ‘bama. Eventually, Alabama’s roster full of NFL bound talent took over but it would be the same story against all but a half dozen or so teams in college football. Big step down in class here and the Blue Devils win this one outright.

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