Betting Odds c/o Bovada
The Duke Blue Devils have opened the season with three straight wins, the last of which came against the Kansas Jayhawks on Sept. 20. Duke won the contest 41-3.
Duke QB Anthony Boone is a senior, and is largely responsible for Duke having become a force. His QB rating has increased every year, and thus far this year he has thrown seven TDs without a single interception. Also, Boone has a 64.2 percent pass completion. He rushed for two TDs in the 34-17 victory over Troy. Boone is a threat at all times, and is a tough cover even to the best defensive lines.
In the backfield Duke’s No. 1 ball carrier is Shaun Wilson. He rushed for 245 yards in the win over Kansas, including three TDs and a long run of 69 yards. He’s also caught 21 passes on the year for 334 yards. Wilson helps Duke diversify the play calling, given that both Boone and Wilson a threats.
Duke ranks 61st in the nation in passing yards (247 per game), 20th in rushing yards (262 per game) and 23rd in scoring (42.3 points), while holding opponents to just 11 points per game (8th overall). These stats are slightly inflated by having faced Elon and Troy the first two games.
The Blue Devils are knocking on a national ranking with 100 votes in the USA Today Poll. Cracking the AP might be tougher. But with 15 of the top 25 having lost one game already, the door is open for a team like Duke to find itself ranked.
Tulane is 1-2 on the season, after losing a heart breaker in double OT to Tulsa in Week 1, and losing to Georgia Tech 38-21 in Week 2. Week 3 saw the Green Wave defeat Southeast Louisiana 35-20.
The Green Wave have done nothing especially well, but still rank in the upper-third in major offensive categories (passing yards, 66th, rushing 75th, points for 78th).
Tulane starts a freshman a QB in Tanner Lee. He’s got good physical tools and is 6’4” 220. Thus far, however, he has thrown eight TDs while throwing six INTs and being sacked six ties. His completion ratio has been subpar too at 50 percent.
Tulane also relies on a freshman as primary ball carrier, Sherman Badie. He’s looked great thus far, averaging 9.4 yards per carry and good for 310 yards on 33 rushes, including a 90 yard rush. He’s caught five passes for 15 yards, but one of those receptions led to a TD.
All things said, many bettors will find Tulane attractive at a line of -17. The team has a lot of talent at QB and RB, and can open up the field and score. While neither team has played any particularly good opponents, this game could be far closer than college football handicappers have indicated.