The Week 9 NCAA football action will see the Louisville Cardinals hosting the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. This exciting ACC matchup features the No. 18 Louisville (6-1, 3-1 ACC) facing off against the No.20 Duke (5-2, 2-1), a team that previously defeated Clemson and put up strong performances against Notre Dame and Florida State. The game is set to take place at Louisville’s home stadium, with Louisville being favored by points, while the over/under line is set at points.

In this preview, we delve into the details of the Duke vs. Louisville matchup, exploring the odds, betting lines, and props for this Week 9 college football game. This matchup is generating interest among fans, especially with the growing popularity of North Carolina sports betting.

Louisville seeks to rebound after suffering their first loss of the season in a 38-21 defeat against Pittsburgh. Following that ACC matchup, lead running back Jawhar Jordan sustained a hamstring injury, and his availability for Saturday’s game remains uncertain. However, Maurice Turner and Isaac Guerendo are prepared to step in if needed. With a defense that has limited opponents to just 3.1 yards per carry (ranked 17th in FBS) and forces an average of 1.8 takeaways per game (ranked 23rd in FBS), Louisville might rely on their defensive prowess in this upcoming match.

Duke’s quarterback, Riley Leonard, unfortunately aggravated his ankle injury during the game against No. 4 Florida State. At the time, Duke was leading 20-17. Henry Belin IV took over for Leonard and has had some opportunities to show his skills this season, completing 13 out of 26 passes for 232 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Duke typically relies more on their running game, with a pass play rate of 43.3%. However, they might need to rely on their passing game against Louisville’s strong rush defense.

Louisville might prioritize their ground game even if Jordan is unable to play. This could be a strategy to protect quarterback Jack Plummer from making errors against Duke’s defense, which has been opportunistic so far this season. Plummer struggled with turnovers in Pittsburgh’s territory in a game, and Duke has been effective at limiting opposing passers to just 5.4 yards per attempt (which is the fifth-best in FBS), with a completion rate of around 58.7%. Furthermore, Duke’s defense ranks second in FBS when it comes to preventing touchdowns in the red zone, so Louisville may need to innovate some plays to finish drives successfully.

Regardless of whether Leonard continues playing despite his ankle injury or Belin steps in again as the quarterback for Duke, they will face a talented defensive front from Louisville. Louisville boasts a lineup of talented and deep players in their defensive line, effectively limiting opponents to just 97.7 rushing yards per game. Leading the charge from a 4-2-5 formation is linebacker Jaylin Alderman. Although Louisville led all of FBS with an average of 3.85 sacks per game last season, they have slightly decreased to 2.14 sacks per game this year. However, they might still find some matchups against Duke.

Regarding the injury report for the Duke vs. Louisville contest, it appears that Louisville may be missing offensive lineman Renato Brown and cornerback Jarvis Brownlee due to their injuries. Brown suffered an injury during warmups before the game, while Brownlee had to leave the Pittsburgh loss in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Riley Leonard’s ankle injury was aggravated during the Florida State match, making him uncertain for participation in this contest against Duke. Furthermore, the Blue Devils were without Eli Pancol and tight end Nicky Dalmolin in their previous weekend’s game.

For those interested in North Carolina sports betting, this game presents intriguing opportunities. While North Carolina sports betting apps may not yet be available for this year’s March Madness, fans are keenly following the developments. With the prospect of North Carolina sports betting promos on the horizon, including potential offerings from platforms like BetMGM North Carolina, the excitement for future betting opportunities is palpable.

In summary, this Week 9 matchup between Louisville and Duke is more than just a game; it’s a test of resilience, strategy, and skill, closely watched by fans and bettors alike. With injuries and defensive strategies playing a key role, the outcome could very well hinge on a few critical plays. Keep an eye on this game to see if Louisville can bounce back or if Duke can continue to defy expectations.

✅ Fact Checked on January 17, 2024 by Ken Weaver