2019 Duke Blue Devils College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 8-5
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 5.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
Somehow, David Cutcliffe continues to do more with less, coaxing five of six winning years out of the boys in Durham. This will be one of Cutcliffe's most difficult challenges yet, though, as the Blue Devils undergo a clear retooling this season.
Duke has to replace 85 percent of its passing yards and 80 percent of its receiving from last year. Quarterback Daniel Jones was a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft, and Duke's top four receivers are all gone. This is a completely rebuilt passing game that is working behind an offensive line with three new starters.
Cutcliff is an offensive whiz and quarterback guru. However, opening month games against Alabama and Virginia Tech won't allow for much of an opportunity to get his attack on the same page.
Defensively, things aren't quite so bleak. Sort of. Nine of the team's top 11 tacklers - and 14 of their top 17 - are back. However, this was the No. 105-rated rush defense in the country, allowing 209 yards per game, and they were in the 70s nationally in both total defense and scoring defense. They have experience back. Now they need to make some strides and do something with it.
Overall, Duke has just six senior starters.
Three of Duke's first four games are away from home. That includes that opener against Alabama in Atlanta. That's a game that the Blue Devils will be happy to just survive. They also have to play at Middle Tennessee and then head to Blacksburg.
Home games against Pitt and Georgia Tech are winnable. As is a road game against rival North Carolina, which is coming off a two-win season.
Duke closes the year with three of four home games. That's the good news. The bad is that those games are against Notre Dame, Syracuse and Miami.
Cutcliffe has been one of the best against the spread coaches in college football during the last decade, covering nearly 60 percent of his games. In fact, Duke is 47-30 ATS over course of the last six years. That tells me that they are perpetually underrated.
With that in mind, I'm still betting against these guys. I don't see six wins here. They will win at North Carolina A&T, at MTSU, and at home against Georgia Tech. They can definitely beat Pitt, and I can see them springing an upset somewhere along the way. However, I don't see a bowl team when I look at this roster.
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