Troy vs Duke Prediction - College Football Picks 12/23/23

Duke Blue Devils (7-5) vs Troy Trojans (11-2)

Game Info: Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 12:00 pm (Protective Stadium)

Betting Odds: Duke Blue Devils +7.5 -- Over/Under: 44.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Troy Trojans will play the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in the Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama. Troy comes into this game on a 10 game winning streak, while Duke has lost two of their last three games. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Troy vs Duke prediction.

Troy Preview

The Troy Trojans are 11-2 (7-1) this season and they finished first in the Sun Belt West Division. Troy defeated Appalachian State by a score of 49-23 in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game. The Trojans started the season with a 1-2 record, with losses to Kansas State and James Madison, but they were able to win every game the rest of the way. The Troy offense is averaging 31.2 points per game with 267.9 passing yards per game and 158.4 rushing yards per game. Gunnar Watson has thrown for 3,339 yards, 27 touchdowns, and five interceptions for the Trojans this season. Kimani Vidal has rushed for 1,582 yards and 14 scores, while Jabre Barber has caught 65 passes for 892 yards and five touchdowns. The Troy defense is giving up 17.2 points against per game this year. 

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Duke Preview

The Duke Blue Devils are 7-5 (4-4) this year and they finished tied for sixth in the ACC standings. Duke started the season with a 4-0 record, including a win over Clemson, but they lost three of the next four games to fall to 5-3. The Blue Devils defeated Wake Forest to get their sixth win of the season, but they lost two of their last three games. The Duke offense is scoring 28.6 points per game with 180.7 passing yards per game and 168.9 rushing yards per game. Grayson Loftis has thrown for 823 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions for the Blue Devils this season. Duke could be missing their top three rushers from this season but Jaquez Moore may play, while Jordan Moore has caught 59 passes for 794 yards and eight scores. The Duke defense is allowing 19.8 points against per game this season. 

Duke Blue Devils Team Facts

  • Duke has won each of its last four games against non-AP-ranked teams at neutral venues.
  • Duke has covered the spread in each of its last five matches when playing with a rest advantage.
  • Duke has won the first half in each of its last three games against opponents from the Sun Belt Conference.
  • Five of Duke's last six games against non-AP-ranked teams have gone OVER the total points line.

Troy Trojans Team Facts

  • Troy has won each of its last 10 games against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • Troy has covered the spread in each of its last six December games against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • Troy has won the first half in three of its last four games against non-conference opponents.
  • Each of Troy's last four games as a favorite have gone OVER the total points line.

Troy vs Duke Betting Prediction

Troy comes into this game looking to cap off an excellent season with a bowl win, while Duke is missing several of their key players in this game. The Trojans have dominated most of their last 10 games and will have an opportunity to get a Power-Five win here. Duke is missing their starting quarterback and potentially their top two running backs, along with a couple of players on the defensive side of the ball, so they will have to make a few adjustments for this game. Troy is a pretty heavy favorite in this game, and I understand why with the opt-outs for Duke, but I feel like this is too many points. This is an opportunity for some of Duke’s backups to get some playing time and they know they have to make the most of it. I think Troy gets the win, but I like Duke to keep it within a touchdown. 

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

Mitch's Take...

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