Every week the Blue Zone gives you our can't-lose prop bets for the upcoming football game:
Duke +14.5 vs. Miami
This is the easiest cover to pick of the season. Miami’s high-powered offense and Duke’s continued lack of ability to put together a consistent offensive attack does not bode well for bettors thinking of putting money down on the Blue Devils. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King will take care of lighting up the scoreboard with Hurricane touchdowns and although Duke will put up at least a couple scores, it won’t be enough to pull it within 14.
While Duke’s rush attack has been a highlight all season, it’s not going to be enough to keep up with the raw talent of the Hurricanes. The Blue Devils’ have not had a cohesive offensive approach for nine games, and this matchup with Miami is not the game to try to iron out the wrinkles.
Pick: Miami -14.5
Despite Miami having an offense filled with explosive talent, this game has under written all over it. Duke quarterback Chase Brice is yet to really fill up a box score, and when the Blue Devils’ have success, it’s usually via the ground, which is not conducive for a shootout. I get that Miami has allowed almost 150 rushing yards per game to its opponents, but Duke is not going to be able to exploit the Hurricane defense enough to force a shootout.
As for Miami, even if Hurricane wide receiver Mike Harley torches the Duke secondary, don’t expect them to put up enough points on their end for the over to hit. The only realistic sign pointing towards taking the over is the fact that Miami needs convincing wins to boost their College Football Playoff resumé, but Duke has several players on its defense that can reel the Miami offense in enough to keep the total score below the line.
Over/Under 6.5 tackles for Shaka Heyward
Blue Devil linebacker Shaka Heyward has had a season to be proud of. The redshirt sophomore has emerged as the leading tackler and centerpiece of the Duke defense and he’s only getting better. The Georgia native is always around the football—something that became even more evident with his fumble recovery touchdown last weekend—and he has notched double-digit tackles in two contests this season.
Despite Heyward not eclipsing five tackles for the past two games, he’s going to have a solid day against Miami and find himself over 6.5 tackles, at a minimum.
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Jake Piazza is a Trinity senior and was sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.