Friday's slate of college football matchups includes an intriguing clash of contrasts when the pass-happy Duke Blue Devils host the grind-it-out Army Black Knights at 7 p.m. ET in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils are 13.5-point home favorites, up 2.5 from the opener. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, has trickled down from 47.5 to 46. If Duke has any shot at reaching the ACC Championship Game, it must win its non-conference contests, including Friday night's tilt with Army. That won't be an easy task, either. After Army, the Devils have difficult road dates at Northwestern (10-3 last season) and Baylor.
Before you lock in any Army vs. Duke picks, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say. The computer has racked up incredible profits for its users. Over the past three years, it has returned a whopping $4,210 to $100 college football bettors and closed last bowl season on a perfect 7-0 run.
Now, the model has simulated Army vs. Duke 10,000 times to produce strong against the spread and Over-Under picks. We can tell you it's leaning slightly toward the Under, but its bold point-spread pick that hits in well over 60 percent of simulations can be found only over at SportsLine.
The model has considered that the loss of quarterback Ahmed Bradshaw, who ran Army's triple option to precision, is a major loss but not insurmountable. Taking the reins is Kelvin Hopkins, who won't be asked to sling the pigskin very often, as the Black Knights finished the 2017 season with 65 total pass attempts.
Manning the backfield is senior running back Darnell Woolfolk, who gained 812 ground yards and found paydirt 14 times. He will likely be a greater offensive component with Bradshaw gone. Leading receiver Kell Walker also returns. He led Army last season in receptions and receiving yards, but presumably won't be called on much for an offense that rushes in excess of 90 percent of the time. Safety James Gibson is the star of Army's secondary, collecting 45 tackles last season.
Just because Army has been a well-oiled machine in the past doesn't mean it can stay within the spread on Friday. The model also knows that coming off a less-than-satisfying 7-6 season that concluded with a rousing 36-14 romp over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl, Duke is casting its lot on junior quarterback Daniel Jones, who has thrown for over 5,500 yards and notched 30 touchdown passes.
Disturbingly, Jones' completion accuracy fell from nearly 63 percent in 2016 to 56.7 last year. He will need to rely on his agile footwork to elude a speedy Army defensive line that relies on constant quarterback pressure. Alleviating stress for Jones and the passing game is running back Brittain Brown, who showed a deft touch in limited 2017 action. Jones will also rely on his trusty trio of wideouts T.J. Rahming, Chris Taylor and Johnathan Lloyd, who have combined for over 2,800 yards and 262 receptions over the past two years.
So which side of the Army vs. Duke spread is hitting in well over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the proven computer model that has returned over $4,000 for $100 bettors.