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Luck of the Levy: Prop bets for Duke football vs. Pittsburgh

Deon Jackson will need to carry Duke's offense in Brittain Brown's absence.
Deon Jackson will need to carry Duke's offense in Brittain Brown's absence.

Andrew Levy, a blog columnist for the Blue Zone, examines prop bets for Duke's contest against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Over/Under 180 yards rushing for Pittsburgh

If there is one thing an offense led by Pittsburgh Pat Narduzzi always does, it is run the ball. Narduzzi came over from Michigan State, a Big Ten school that predicated themselves on running the ball, and brought a similar style of offense to Pittsburgh.  The defensive-minded coach likes to limit turnovers by keeping the ball on the ground.  This season, the Panthers have more rushing attempts than they do passing attempts. The rushing attack is led by Qadree Allison and Darrin Hall, two seniors who have combined for over 1,000 rushing yards and currently average over 6 yards a carry.  Duke defense has the potential to stop the dynamic duo, and is currently in the top 30 of all NCAA teams in terms of yards allowed per rushing attempt.  They have two future NFL linebackers on that side of the ball in Ben Humphreys and Joe Giles-Harris and are currently holding teams to about 145 yards per game. However, Saturday in Pittsburgh is predicted to be a wet one.  With precipitation being a constant factor throughout the game, I think Narduzzi will opt to keep the ball on the ground and limit the turnovers.

Pick: Over

Over/Under 60 Yards rushing for Deon Jackson

Coming into the season, Duke’s offense on the ground was supposed to be one of their strengths. They were returning a potential workhorse in Brittain Brown, with sophomore running back Deon Jackson in a complementary role.  In the backup role, Jackson seemed to be a doing a fairly competent job, scoring a touchdown in 3 of the first 4 games. Since taking over the starting role, Jackson has been quite inconsistent.  In the two losses, he has not averaged over two yards a carry.  In the win against Georgia Tech, he had 98 yards and a touchdown. The key to whether Duke wins the game is which version of Jackson shows up.

Pick: Under

Duke -2.5 @ Pittsburgh:

My number one rule of gambling I have learned is to never bet against the home underdogs.  Since Narduzzi has taken over the Panthers, he is 3-0 against the Blue Devils, covering the spread in each of the past three games. Duke as a favorite this year has not played up to expectations.  Duke this year is 1-2 when giving points, with devastating losses to both Virginia Tech and Virginia.  With a rainy day expected, this game should be low scoring and very tight.

Pick: Pittsburgh


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