Duke Blue Devils (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (1-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm (Ryan Field)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -2 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Duke Blue Devils and Northwestern Wildcats meet Saturday in college football action at Ryan Field.
The Duke Blue Devils look for a statement road victory to build on their season opening win over the Army Black Knights. The Duke Blue Devils have lost three of their last four road games. Daniel Jones is completing 76.5 percent of his passes for 197 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Jones has seven touchdown passes in his last four games. Aaron Young and T.J. Rahming have combined for 158 receiving yards and one touchdown while Johnathan Lloyd has two receptions. The Duke Blue Devils ground game is averaging 184 yards per contest, and Brittain Brown leads the way with 75 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Duke is allowing 14 points and 365 yards per game. Dylan Singleton leads the Duke Blue Devils with 11 tackles, Victor Dimukeje has one sack and Michael Carter II has one pass deflection.
The Northwestern Wildcats look for a quick 2-0 start to the season after beating Purdue on the road last Thursday. The Northwestern Wildcats have won four straight home games. Clayton Thorson is completing 61.5 percent of his passes for 172 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Thorson has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last six games. Flynn Nagel and Cameron Green have combined for 108 receiving yards on 10 receptions while Bennett Skowronek has three receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 166 yards per contest, and Jeremy Larkin leads the way with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 27 points and 472 yards per game. Nate Hall leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 10 tackles, Jordan Thompson has one sack and JR Pace has one interception.
The Blue Devils are 21-6-1 ATS in their last 28 non-conference games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Wildcats are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The road team is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 meetings and the underdog is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
The Duke Blue Devils are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games when an underdog and four of the last seven games have resulted in an outright victory. Duke is clearly a live dog given its history and is a team that's now scored 31 or more points in four straight games. The problem I have is that the Northwestern Wildcats are the real deal and a dark horse to make the Big Ten Championship. I said it in my write up for the Purdue game when the Wildcats were three-point underdogs, and they controlled that game in a tough venue from start to finish. Northwestern is a team to watch out for in this conference. The Northwestern Wildcats are also 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games when a favorite. I'll gladly take Northwestern and the small chalk on its home field.