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Duke vs. Pittsburgh prediction and pick. Duke Blue Devils will travel to Acrisure Stadium to face the Pitt Panthers in a pivotal ACC Coastal matchup in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday. NCAAF handicapper Matt MacKay is here with his prediction.

Pittsburgh vs. Duke Prediction, Pick, Odds: Can Riley Leonard and Duke Extend Their Win Streak?

The Duke Blue Devils will look to extend their three-game winning streak to four when they hit the road and head north to Pittsburgh to take on the Pitt Panthers. Both programs are competing near the top of the ACC Coastal division, with the Blue Devils sitting a game ahead with a 7-3 record. Duke's first-year head coach Mike Elko has immediately made a positive impact, utilizing a run-centric offense led by sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard.

Pitt enters this game with good momentum after securing consecutive wins against Syracuse and Virginia, leaving the Panthers at 6-4. Senior quarterback Kedon Slovis transferred from USC and has been gifted one of college football's top running backs, joining forces with Israel Abanikanda in the backfield. The junior has handled over 200 carries and averages 5.8 YPC, racking up 17 touchdowns due to his talent and heavy usage.

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi knows how to produce winning seasons, only going below .500 once in his eight years with the Panthers. He's experienced and prefers hard-nosed running and defense as the old-school formula to win games in a gritty steel city like Pittsburgh. The Panthers took Tennessee into overtime before losing back in Week 2 while blowing fourth-quarter leads against Lousiville and UNC. These meltdowns have recently disappeared, but that doesn't mean they won't come back, especially against a talented Duke offense.

Can the Blue Devils extend their winning streak back on the road? Or will Narduzzi have the Panthers ready to contain Duke's dynamic rushing attack? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Saturday's ACC Coastal matchup between the Duke Blue Devils vs. Pittsburgh Panthers.

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Pittsburgh vs. Duke Start Time and Where to Watch

Date: Saturday, November 19

Game time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ACCN

Pittsburgh vs. Duke Odds

Spread: Duke +7.5 (-110), Pittsburgh -7.5 (-110)

Total: Under/Over 54 (-110)

Moneyline: Duke (+260), Pittsburgh (-315)

Click here for Pittsburgh vs. Duke Odds

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Pittsburgh vs. Duke Injury Report


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Pittsburgh vs. Duke Prediction

This series has been dominated by Pitt in the previous five matchups dating back to 2016. The Panthers have won as favorites and underdogs, home and away. Duke simply hasn't been able to contend and the consistency within Pitt's coaching staff has been a huge asset. However, the arrival of Mike Elko has rejuvenated Duke's program, creating points in bunches. The Blue Devils are scoring over 33 points per game (33.7) and are also holding opponents under 22 points per game (21.5), which rank 33rd and 35th respectively.

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The offense Duke runs will chew the clock and rip off chunk plays in the run game with a combination of quarterback Riley Leonard and junior running back Jordan Waters. The two have combined for 18 rushing touchdowns on the season, but tight end Nicky Dalmolin and wideout Jalon Calhoun are talented pass catchers that help Duke maintain a balanced offense. This is going to be pivotal against Narduzzi's defense.

Pitt is known for dominating the line of scrimmage and winning in the trenches. The Panthers have held their last three opponents to 2.9 YPC or less, with only one rushing touchdown during this three-game stretch. The pass defense is no slouch either, surrendering only one touchdown in its last two games while holding three of the previous four opposing quarterbacks under 200 passing yards. UNC's Drake Maye had a lot of success but he's a better player in a different-schemed offense. Duke is reliant upon establishing the run and attacking with accurate passes once the defense is loading the tackle box. If the Blue Devils can't get the ground game going early, they will be in a precarious position.

The Panthers are laying 7.5 points as home favorites on Saturday. They are 2-4 ATS at Acrisure Stadium this season, while the Blue Devils are 2-3 ATS on the road. Duke will need to shut down Abankikanda to preserve the possibility of winning outright. Fortunately, the run defense is a strength under Elko. The Blue Devils have not allowed a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games, holding opponents under 4.0 YPC on the year (3.8 YPC), and forcing opponents to beat them with a strong passing attack. This is where Pitt will be in uncomfortable territory, as Slovis and the passing game have only accounted for one passing touchdown in the last five games played. 30 to 50 carries will be dialed up for the Panthers backfield, but it may not find as much success as it's accustomed to producing.

It's going to be a low-scoring, old-school game script in the chilly winds of Pittsburgh on Saturday. In other words, perfect football weather. Duke has scored at least 24 points in five straight games and has a run defense that will excel against Abanikanda, forcing Slovis to play outside of his comfort zone. Riley Leonard is the superior quarterback in this game and while he may not lead Duke to an outright win, I believe the Blue Devils cover the 7.5-point spread as road underdogs.

Pittsburgh vs. Duke Pick

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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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