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Prop bets for Duke football vs. Louisville

The Blue Devils are 20-point underdogs Thursday night against Louisville.
The Blue Devils are 20-point underdogs Thursday night against Louisville.

Every week the Blue Zone gives you our can't-lose prop bets for the upcoming football game:

Duke vs. Louisville (-20)

This season has been quite the storm for the Blue Devils, who are 3-7 (0-6 in the ACC) with a current six-game losing streak dating back to September. The final two matches of the schedule for Duke have arrived, with Louisville (5-5, 3-4 in the ACC) making the hike to town Thursday night. However, a matchup against the Cardinals—who came within reach of beating Virginia and No. 10 Wake Forest—isn't likely to be the one in which Duke finally finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

With the end of Duke's season in sight, there is likely not going to be a chance for this team to climb in the standings, only an opportunity to grow and learn from a trying campaign. The battle against Louisville should be precisely that, as the Cardinals come in with a dangerous offense, having registered triumphs over Florida State (31-23), Syracuse (41-3) and Boston College (28-14)—teams that have each amassed victories against teams that have beaten Duke. Saturday's destruction of Syracuse demonstrated that Louisville is on the rise and should be ready to pile it on against the Blue Devils as well, ending with a margin of victory well over three touchdowns.

Pick: Louisville -20

Over/Under 60.5

Deciphering Duke is like playing Battleship—fans know that the team is struggling, but decoding the reason why is tougher than expected. If there is one reason showing up on the radar, it is that the Blue Devils have too often played their opponent's game, mirroring the other team's play in hopes of landing a hit. But as the Blue Devils' opponents switch up their tactics, Duke seems to follow suit, dependent on the other team in what would appear to be a losing strategy.

The Cardinals are yet to score more than 42 points in a game this season, and given how unlikely it is that the Blue Devils catch up, expect the number to not add up to more than the total as both Duke and Louisville have only had four of their 10 games exceed 60.5 points. 

Pick: Under 60.5

Time of first score over/under 5 minutes elapsed

Win or loss, both of these teams have experienced a score within the first five minutes of play over four times this season. Louisville takes the cake, with a score happening before the ten-minute mark of the first quarter six times this season. For Duke, only one such score was in a winning situation. 

Two of the Cardinals' most difficult losses were against Virginia and Wake Forest, with a 34-33 loss against the Cavaliers and a 37-34 loss against the Demon Deacons. Given how tight these matchups were and Duke's blowout losses to both Virginia and Wake Forest, Louisville's ability to contend against both teams should not be taken lightly. The Cardinals are a top-notch team even if their record does not suggest it, and they should come in and execute right away.

Pick: Under 5 minutes elapsed (+103)

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