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NCAAF Free Pick: Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Prediction Machine NCAAF Free Pick: Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ND -19.5, O/U 54.5)

Notre Dame will kick off its first season in the ACC on Saturday with a home matchup against Duke. Brian Kelly and the Irish enter as the No. 10 team in the AP poll and will look to build off their 11-2 record from a season ago. Ian Book returns as the signal-caller and has legitimate Heisman aspirations after posting over 3,500 yards of offense and 38 total touchdowns in his junior campaign. Duke is looking to rebound from a poor finish to 2019. The Blue Devils lost five of their last six games and missed out on a bowl game for the second time in four years.

Notre Dame clearly holds the upper hand on paper in this matchup, and sportsbooks agree by listing them as 19.5-point favorites over the Blue Devils. Our model believes Notre Dame’s edge over Duke is even larger, projecting a final score of 39.6-16.4 in favor of the Fighting Irish. We’re suggesting a $72 wager on NOTRE DAME -19.5 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NCAAF picks went 322-275 ATS (53.9%) and 321-249 on O/Us (56.3%) in 2019, profiting +55.29 units, or $5,529 for an average $100 bettor. Head over to predictionmachine.com to sign up for a free trial and get access to every NCAAF projection.

Why will Notre Dame Cover the Spread?

  • The Fighting Irish’s offensive line should handle the depth and skill along the Duke defensive front. The Blue Devils return their top two sack-getters from 2019, but Notre Dame returns three seniors on the O-line and should give Ian Book plenty of time to pick apart the Duke secondary.
  • Duke will need to overcome several changes at key spots on offense against an Irish defense that held opponents to a fifth-best 4.5 yards per play in 2019. Duke will have a new play-caller, new starting quarterback and new center after losing Jack Wohlabaugh to an injury on September 1. We’re projecting Duke to score just 16.4 points.
  • The versatility of Ian Book will pose problems for Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils lost two of their three leading tacklers from last season and allowed Book to scamper for a season-high 139 rushing yards in their 2019 matchup. Book also added 189 yards passing and four TDs in that contest, so we’re expecting his offensive skill set will be too much for Duke to handle once again.

Duke at Notre Dame: How to Bet the Total

This matchup currently features an OVER/UNDER of 54.5. Prediction Machine’s projected score totals 56.0 points (39.6-16.4), giving us a slight edge on the OVER in this one. Our model suggests a $33 wager on OVER 54.5 for an average $100 bettor.