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To beat the Belk Bowl odds, you have to put a heck of a lot of work into the game. Our college football expert handicappers have done just that here at Cappers Info, and we think that we have the winning edge for the clash between the Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils.
Belk Bowl Picks: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils
Date: Thursday, December 27th, 6:30 ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Belk Bowl Betting Odds: Cincinnati -9.5
Cincinnati vs. Duke Live TV Coverage: ESPN
The Blue Devils haven’t played in a bowl game since 1995 and haven’t won a bowl game since 1960, but they are back in action in this one with the best team that Head Coach David Cutcliffe has fielded since taking over the team. Cutcliffe has done a remarkable job breeding quarterbacks in his time in Durham in spite of the fact that he really doesn’t have much in the way of resources to work with. This year, QB Sean Renfree threw for 2,755 yards and 18 TDs against eight picks, and he has two fantastic receivers in WR Jamison Crowder and WR Connor Vernon, who combined for nearly 2,000 yards and 145 receptions on the campaign.
Duke has been playing poor defense though, allowing 462.1 yards per game, and the club has allowed at least 42 points in each of its last four games this year. Of course, the Bearcats haven’t necessarily been all that much to write home about. The team has been all over the place on both sides of the ball. The offense scored just 23 against Delaware State and three against Rutgers, and that really takes away from the fact that the team put up 35 on Syracuse, 52 on Miami Ohio, etc. QB Brendon Kay has led a lousy quarterback duo this year with QB Munchie Legaux, and TE Travis Kelce leads the team in receiving with just 599 yards.
Another factor to consider for sure is the fact that the Dookies are going to be playing a de facto home game. They aren’t the better of these two teams, but they were better prepared against a significantly better conference. We do think that the Bearcats are going to find a way to win this game, but that HFA just cannot be overlooked. Would Cincinnati really be -10 in any road game this year? The team was only -5.5 at Toledo and was -8 at Temple. That definitely makes us think that the Blue Devils should be +7 or so, not +9.5. We most certainly want the points on our side.
Cincinnati vs. Duke Pick: Duke Blue Devils +9.5
Belk Bowl Score Prediction: Cincinnati 31 – Duke 24