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College Football Betting Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs. Northwestern Wildcats

September 16, 2023


This matchup features a battle of the Big Ten vs. the ACC as the 1-1 Northwestern Wildcats travel to take on the #21-ranked Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in week 3 of the college football season. 

Northwestern enters this game 1-1 following a loss on the road against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by a score of 7-24 and a win at home against the UTEP Miners by a score of 38-7 while the Duke Blue Devils enter this game with a record of 2-0 following a 28-7 at home against the Clemson Tigers by a score of 28-7 and a win at home against the Lafayette Leopards in week 2 by a score of 42-7. 

Will the Duke Blue Devils win in a blowout at home or will the Northwestern Wildcats keep the game closer than expected? Let’s take a closer look at how these teams are faring this season.

The Northwestern Wildcats enter this game with a record of 1-1 following a 38-7 win at home against the UTEP Miners while covering the 1-point spread as a home favorite in week 2 of the college football season. Northwestern scored 38 points while compiling 391 total yards offensively which included 207 passing yards and 184 rushing yards while allowing 7 points and 319 total yards defensively which included 215 passing yards and 104 rushing yards. 

Ben Bryant led the team in passing, completing 11 of 17 attempts for 116 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a touchdown. Cam Porter led the team in rushing with 17 carries for 90 yards while adding two receptions for 14 yards. Joseph Himon II led the team in receiving, catching one of two targets for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Duke enters this game ranked 21st in the AP Poll and 20th in the Coaches Poll with a record of 2-0 following a 42-7 win at home against the Lafayette Leopards while failing to cover the 42.5-point spread as a home favorite in week 2 of the college football season. The Blue Devils scored 42 points while compiling 515 total yards offensively which included 254 passing yards and 261 rushing yards while allowing 7 points and 213 total yards defensively which included 87 passing yards and 126 rushing yards. 

Riley Leonard led the team in passing, completing all 12 attempts for 136 yards and a touchdown while adding 13 rushing yards. Jordan Waters led the team in rushing with 11 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Moore led the team in receiving, catching all four targets for 84 yards and a touchdown.

BookMaker has the Duke Blue Devils listed as 18-point favorites at home against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in week 2 of the college football season. The teams have split the last ten games in the series while Duke has won the last three matchups in the series while going 7-3 ATS in the last ten and 3-0 ATS in the last three games in the series. Northwestern is 1-1 ATS overall, 0-1 ATS on the road, and 0-1 ATS as an underdog while the Duke Blue Devils are 1-1 ATS overall, 1-1 ATS at home, and 0-1 ATS as a favorite this season.

Duke is the more talented team this season and has been the better team most recently in the series, winning the previous four matchups in a row while going 4-0 ATS in those matchups. I look for those trends to continue with the Duke Blue Devils winning and covering the 18-point spread as a favorite in week 2 of the college football season. As a result, I am taking the Duke Blue Devils -18 on BookMaker for this matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Spooky Express Pick: Duke Blue Devils -18