College Football Betting:  Army at Duke&h=253&w=372&zc=1

David Cutcliffe has done a nice job at Duke making an academically strong school with a basketball crazy athletic climate competitive in football as well. The team might be ‘down’ this year with a 2-3 SU record at this point though to be fair it’s impossible to expect them to maintain the success they’ve had in recent years with winning performances in the last three seasons. He also had to deal with a very significant injury as starting quarterback Thomas Sirk ruptured his Achilles Tendon before the year began. Parker Boehme is now the starter and while he’s been competent he just doesn’t have Sirk’s level of athleticism. The schedule won’t get any easier for Duke after this with road games at Louisville and Georgia Tech followed by a home game against Virginia Tech.

Army is 3-1 SU/ATS so far this season but is coming off an upset loss to lowly Buffalo and a bye week. In theory, the bye is a good thing but that might not be the case here. The Triple Option is a timing oriented offense and the ‘ring rust’ might be a problem in this game. A bigger problem could be Duke defensive coordinator Jim Knowles who has shown an impressive knack for scheming to stop the option. Like the old saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’ and Duke has beaten Georgia Tech in the past two years. This is probably the biggest ‘option’ challenge in football as it matches sound tactics with top flight athletes. They’ve also obliterated the two service academies they’ve played in the past three seasons routing Navy in 2013 and ripping Army 44-3 last year. Duke might not have the level of athletes that Clemson does but they’ve got the same level of tactics that allowed the Tigers to shut down Georgia Tech a few weeks back.

Army’s strong start was a nice story but it’s difficult to see them maintaining it as they step up in class. This is a team that is 3-13 SU as a dog over the last three years and 3-10 SU on the road. They can be a decent underdog in some situations but facing an opponent that has demonstrated tactical mastery of the option we’d rather lay the points with the home team.