College Football Week 6 Predictions: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Duke Blue Devils

Virginia Cavaliers at Duke Blue Devils
Saturday, 10/6/12, 3:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  Duke -2
Current Betting Line:  Duke -1
Opening Total:  57
Current Total:  55.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Duke Blue Devils will look to improve to 5-1 on Saturday

Virginia will look to snap a three-game losing streak as it returns to ACC action, coming off a hard-fought 44-38 setback to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs as 3.5-point home underdogs last week.  The Cavaliers will give Philip Sims the start at quarterback this weekend, but Michael Rocco is still listed as a co-starter in that position.  “That’s as honest as I can be about the situation,” commented Cavaliers head coach Mike London.     The program has lost its last two trips to Wallace Wade Stadium.  Virginia is 5-7 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 7-5 in that situation.

The Cavaliers have scored at least 30 points in 17 of the last 29 meetings against the Blue Devils, while outscoring them by a 679-339 margin in the last 22 contests.  The last time these two conference rivals met up at this stadium, the two teams combined for 1,132 yards of total offense.  Virginia’s 480 passing yards last week was the most in a single game in program history, passing the previous high of 417 in Durham in 2010.

Duke has won four of its first five games to start the 2012 campaign, including a 34-27 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as two-point road underdogs last week.  The Blue Devils may have a chance of slowing down the Cavaliers passing attack, averaging 2.80 sacks per game, which is the second-highest mark in the conference.  Offensively, the team has scored in 11 of its last 12 quarters, while averaging 42.0 points per game over its current three-game win streak.  Duke is 4-1 ATS when the line is +3 to -3, with the OVER going 3-2 in that situation.

The Blue Devils are led by quarterback Sean Renfree offensively, as he’s thrown for 200-plus yards 23 times during his career.  He owns the top pass completion percentage in school history, while sitting in the program’s top five in passing yards (7.634) and completions (722).  Duke wide receiver Conner Vernon will set the record for career catches in the conference with his next reception, as his streak of at least one catch in 40 consecutive games is the longest string in the country.

Sports bettors will likely back the Blue Devils due to the home team being 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings, while the Cavaliers are 1-6 ATS after a straight-up loss.

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