Duke at Charlotte - 9/3/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

Duke at Charlotte - 9/3/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte 49ers (0-0) vs Duke Blue Devils (0-0)

Game Info: Friday, September 3, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Jerry Richardson Stadium)

Betting Odds: Charlotte 49ers +7.5 -- Over/Under: 59 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Duke Blue Devils will head on the road to face the Charlotte 49ers in week one of the NCAA Football season. The Blue Devils have opened as 6.5-point favorites after cruising to a 53-19 victory when these teams played last October.

Duke will come into this season with a new Quarterback; Gunnar Holmberg has been in the system for four years but will be opening the year as the starter for the first time. He is known to rely on his legs, which fits in with Duke’s run-heavy style. The Blue Devil’s predecessor Chase Brice transferred out after an abysmal year that saw him throw 15 interceptions. You should expect an emphasis protecting the football this season, which bodes well for senior running back Mataeo Durant. He had just over 800 yards as a back-up last season and appears poised for a 1,000-yard campaign behind a solid offensive line. Defensively there will be plenty of fresh faces looking to revamp a squad that gave up 38.1 points per game the year prior.

Charlotte has returned the core of their WR crew that appears poised to be one of the top units in Conference USA. They are highlighted by tight end Taylor Thompson who accumulated 190 yards on just 15 targets in limited action the year prior. The quarterback situation has yet to be resolved between last years starter Chris Reynolds and transfer James Foster, so there could be some rough patches early in the season. Defensively they will look to improve much like the Blue Devils.

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Duke is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games, 2-8 overall, and the over is 6-4.

Charlotte is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games, 6-4 overall, and the over is 5-5.

Charlotte has a chance to take a big step forward offensively this season, but it would be foolish to expect results out of the gate. Duke appears poised to simplify their offense for Holmberg, which will allow Duke to press their advantage on the interior. Charlotte allowed 214 yards per game on the ground in 2020 and did little to improve in that area during the offseason. Until they find an identity, it will be hard to back the 49ers this season. Take the Blue Devils to cover.

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Joe’s Pick Duke Blue Devils -7.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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