It’s a sign of the COVID times that heading into Duke at Virginia betting it will be the Cavaliers season opener but the third game of the year for the Blue Devils. Virginia has had games against Georgia, Virginia Military, and Virginia Tech all postponed or cancelled so far this season. Duke has started off 0-2 after losses to Notre Dame and Boston College.
Betting on Saturday’s tilt is definitely interesting with Virginia -6 point favorites. UVA has won five straight in this series, including 48-14 at home a year ago as just -3.5 favorites. There’s just so much uncertainty with this being the Cavaliers’ first game of the season and the Blue Devils already being test against two solid opponents.
Duke Defense Have the Edge?
One of the biggest reasons to like the Blue Devils +6 for Duke at Virginia betting is because there defense hasn’t looked bad this season. Sure, Duke has started off 0-2, but they’ve held the potent Notre Dame offense to 10 points in the first half of the opener and Boston College to just 7 first half points a week ago.
Duke’s problem has been losing steam in the 2nd half, but how much stamina is the Cavalier offense going to have after half time in their season opener? Duke DE Victor Dimukeje had 3.5 sacks in last week’s loss to Boston College, and will get to tee off on Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong who is making his first career start.
One thing that can’t be ignored ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game is that Duke’s offense has looked pretty bad in the 27-13 loss to the Irish and the 26-6 defeat at home to BC last week. Chase Brice is a transfer QB from Clemson, but he’s completing just 54.4% of his passes through two games with 0 TD and 2 INT. Duke has shown basically no running game either as Deon Jackson has 30 carries for 126 yards this season.
Lots of Unknowns for Virginia
Virginia was great last season, going 9-5 to lead the ACC Coastal Division and topping things off with a trip to the Orange Bowl. The big orchestrator of that successful season was Bryce Perkins, who threw for 3,500 yards and 22 TD last season. Perkins is off to the L.A. Rams’ practice squad though, so redshirt-sophomore Brennan Armstrong makes his first career start on Saturday.
The big question in Duke at Virginia betting is what to expect from Armstrong and the Cavaliers offense with the Blue Devils defense already having two games to sort things out. Armstrong is 17-25 for 258 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT over the last two seasons.
Virginia ran things up on Duke a season ago in their 48-14 win as just -3.5 favorites. UVA had just 153 passing yards (Duke 118) and outgained the Blue Devils by only 22 more yards on the ground. The Blue Devils had 5 turnovers though and also allowed a 95-yard kickoff return to Joe Reed.
Duke at Virginia Betting Free Pick
About 1,000 fans will be in attendance Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium so Virginia will have a slight home field advantage. Is that enough to make up for this being the first game of the year for the Cavaliers though? It wouldn’t honestly be a big surprise for Duke to get the outright win at +165. Virginia dominating with three weeks to prepare for the Blue Devils could easily just as happen too.
The side is one to stay away from on Saturday afternoon. The total is on the low side at 45.5, but the Blue Devils haven’t shown much offense this season and it’s hard to expect Virginia to be sharp in their first game of the year and with a new QB at the helm.
Virginia 23 – Duke 13
Free Pick: Under 45.5