Pittsburgh Hopes a Strong Finish Erases Earlier Struggles
The Pittsburgh Panthers entered the season with a Top 25 ranking and winning a 10-year dormant rivalry game over West Virginia. However, it has been mostly downhill from there for the Panthers. Meanwhile, the Duke Blue Devils caught many observers off guard by playing so well under first-year coach Mike Elko.
Scores and odds show the Blue Devils are only behind rival UNC in the Coastal Division standings.
Coaching Change Energizes Blue Devils
This has been a turnaround season for Duke, which is 7-3 overall and 6-4 against the spread. The Blue Devils stormed out of the gates, winning their first three games before stumbling against another resurgent program, Kansas.
The Blue Devils have one of the nation’s best running attacks. Duke rams for 203.8 yards per game, which ranks 23rd nationally. The Blue Devils prefer to control the clock and win behind their strong defense. Duke has seen the under go 5-4-1 in its games this season.
Dual-threat quarterback Riley Leonard leads Duke by passing for 2,113 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing, piling up 625 yards and ten touchdowns. Anyone making college football picks would have been surprised by how well Duke has played this NCAAF season.
Pitt’s Defense Helps Panthers Right the Ship
The Pittsburgh Panthers didn’t let Virginia in the game last week. Pittsburgh’s defense grabbed two pick-sixes in the first 16 seconds of a 37-7 win over the Cavaliers last week.
The Panthers’ defense has been excellent all season. There are few teams better against the run than Pittsburgh.
The Panthers only allow their opponents to gain 97.7 yards per game, ranking 10th nationally. Pittsburgh’s opponents only put up 309.8 yards per game, which is the 15th-best. Where the Panthers’ problems come from is on offense.
Pittsburgh running back Izzy Abanikanda returned against the Cavaliers last week after a few weeks of absence, running for 121 years on 24 carries. Pittsburgh is 4-6 against the spread this season. The over is 7-3 in the Panthers’ games.
Anyone who looks at Las Vegas odds can see Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis has struggled with turnovers and inefficiency.
Duke vs Pittsburgh Game Injuries
Duke vs Pittsburgh Head-to-Head
The Blue Devils have struggled to pick up wins against the Panthers since they joined the ACC.
Those struggles have been especially apparent recently. Pittsburgh has won six straight games in the series and hasn’t lost to Duke since 2014. The Panthers have a 16-9 lead in the all-time series.
The Blue Devils and Panthers didn’t play regularly before 2013. Before Duke beat the Panthers in Pittsburgh in 2014, the Blue Devils hadn’t won in Steel City since 1966.
Duke vs Pittsburgh Game Information
- Game: Duke (7-3) vs Pittsburgh (6-4)
- Location: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
- Day/Time: Saturday, November 19th, 12:00 p.m.
- Duke vs Pittsburg Live Stream: ESPN
Duke vs Pittsburgh Betting Lines
Duke vs Pittsburgh Picks & Prediction
Pittsburgh is more than a touchdown favorite, according to college football odds. This is a surprising number for a team that suffered ugly back-to-back losses to North Carolina and Louisville just a month ago. However, with Abanikanda’s return, the Panthers’ running game has a heartbeat once again.
Having a strong running game to go along with a strong defense makes Pittsburgh a challenge for any team seeking a road win. However, the Panthers may have met their match in Duke, which also prefers to control the ball. This is a game that will likely be on the lower-scoring end of things.
Pittsburgh was able to run away from Virginia after scoring two defensive touchdowns in the first 30 seconds of the game. The Panthers won’t get the same luxury from the Blue Devils. Duke will keep this game close if not win outright.
The Duke Blue Devils are listed at +250 in our Vegas Lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Duke, you have a chance to win $250. The Pittsburgh Panthers are -300, offering a chance to win $33.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines give the Blue Devils a 28.57% chance to win, with the Panthers at 75.00%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.