The Duke Blue Devils season win total betting line is set at 6.5 for 2019 and bettors are betting the under with both hands. The money line attached to the under is greater than 2 to 1 odds at -265.
It looks like setting the Duke win total at 6.5 wins was an oddsmaker mistake. Dukes over under line for the season has moved more than just about any other line on the board. Of course, we won’t know until the season has been played, whether the oddsmakers or the betting public are in the wrong.
One glaring reason bettors have lost interest in the Blue Devils is that QB Daniel Jones is now in the NFL.
For Duke’s standards, 2018 was a pretty good season, finishing with eight wins and a huge bowl victory over Temple. Having made a bowl in six of the last seven years, head coach David Cutcliffe got his contract extended through the 2022 season.
Many New Faces on Offense
To help continue the bowl streak, Duke already knows its quarterback with redshirt senior Quentin Harris. He started and won two games last year when Jones was hurt and is already plenty familiar with the offense. His accuracy could be an issue, but he likes chucking it deep and is more mobile than Jones after running for 195 yards and five touchdowns on 46 attempts last year.
He’s joined by an experienced duo in the backfield between Deon Jackson (847 yards, 7 TDs) and Brittain Brown, who returns from injury. Those guys should see decent holes with a mostly intact line that only lost a couple guys.
The biggest question on the offense may be at receiver where there’s a lot of new blood. Sophomore Jake Bobo (10 receptions) was hyped in the spring as the next top wide out, while previously injured Aaron Young and a couple freshmen could fill the other spots. Former backup tight end Noah Gray (20 receptions) is the top returning receiver not including running backs if that says anything.
Top Linebackers are Gone
Helping the new quarterback is the defense, which could improve after allowing 27.4 points per game last year.
The hope is that the line figures things out after allowing 222 rushing yards per contest. Viktor Dimukeje and Drew Jordan are viable on the end, but tackle needs some help.
However, the main problem is at linebacker where the top guys are gone. At the least, Koby Quansah and Brandon Hill got starts late last season and that experience should prove helpful early in the year.
The secondary is a mix of guys who are returning from injury or have experience because of said injuries. Safeties Marquis Waters (68 tackles) and Dylan Singleton should keep the unit stable, while corner Mark Gilbert is an All-ACC performer if he can stay healthy.
Duke Opens with Alabama. Yikes!
The problem for Duke is that it opens the season against Alabama (opened +31.5). The hope is to lose by less than 30 points and that’s still asking a lot from Harris in his first start as the No. 1 quarterback.
Even the trip to Middle Tennessee isn’t easy and then the Blue Devils host Notre Dame later in the year. That difficult non-conference slate won’t help Duke get to a bowl game, but it should still be possible playing in the Coastal division where anyone can beat anyone.
As long as they can beat teams like Pitt and GT at home, six wins should be possible with trips to UNC and Wake also viable opportunities for conference wins.
The Blue Devils have a lot of new pieces, but Cutcliffe has been able to get past those issues in the past and that should be the case in 2019.
2019 Duke Blue Devils Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Alabama (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
Sept. 7 vs. North Carolina A&T
Sept. 14 at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 27 at Virginia Tech (opened +7.5)
Oct. 5 vs. Pittsburgh
Oct. 12 vs. Georgia Tech
Oct. 19 at Virginia
Oct. 26 at North Carolina
Nov. 9 vs. Notre Dame (opened +10)
Nov. 16 vs. Syracuse
Nov. 23 at Wake Forest
Nov. 30 vs. Miami