College football money line picks – Blue Devils undervalued on the road

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AccuScore’s computer simulates games 10,000 times to predict their outcome. Throughout the football season, we’ll be stacking up these forecasts against money-lines offered at sports books. When AccuScore gives a team a better chance to win than the money-line odds imply, it’s a recommended play.

Here’s a pick for this week’s NCAA Football card:

No. 24 Duke Blue Devils (6-1) @ Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4)

Duke continues to quiet the critics, getting off to another hot start this season after a memorable one in 2013. While the squad hasn't been able to find much success in the air, the nation's No. 32 run offense looks to keep things going this weekend in Pittsburgh. Duke is listed as a +160 underdog, indicating just a 38 percent chance of winning. 

AccuScore data leans much more heavily towards the road team than the books. As opposed to the 38.5 percent chance the odds give Duke, AccuScore simulations indicate a 55 percent chance of winning. AccuScore would have listed the Blue Devils as -120 favorites. 

The books have one side as the favorite, AccuScore has the other. The difference between a 38 percent chance and 55 is more than appealing. Duke will look to continue its success running the ball this week against a Pittsburgh team that’s eager for a win following a loss to rival Georgia Tech. The +160 pick is attractive considering AccuScore has it at -120.

The average score after 10,000-plus simulations is 30-27. As is always the case in close games, turnovers become an extra crucial variable in the simulations. Duke’s winning probability goes up to 66 percent when it commits fewer turnovers than Pittsburgh, which happens in 42 percent of simulated games. Pittsburgh has a higher probability to commit a second turnover than does Duke. 

Duke’s potential to get the road victory rests on the shoulders of running back Shaun Wilson. Entering the matchup, he has 485 yards and four TDs on an unbelievable 10.3 yards per carry.

AccuScore projects Wilson to put up 80 yards on 8 carries. If he performs better than those averages and finishes with at least one rushing TD -- which there’s a 36 percent chance of --  Duke’s winning probability jumps to 69 percent.

Supporting Trends: Duke is 6-1 straight up (SU) in its last seven games, and Pittsburgh is 2-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last seven games at home.

Visit AccuScore.com for more college football picks.