Birmingham Bowl Prediction: Troy vs. Duke Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Will Troy or Duke end the 2023 college football season on a high? Step this way for the latest odds, DFS picks, and a Birmingham Bowl prediction.

    Gear up for a potential Group of Five over Power Five upset as the 11-2 Sun Belt champion Troy Trojans take on the 7-5 Duke Blue Devils in the 76 Birmingham Bowl to kick off college football Saturday.

    Can the Trojans put a bow on another impressive season or have the Blue Devils got a nasty surprise up their sleeve? We’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Birmingham Bowl prediction ahead of the game.

    Birmingham Bowl Betting and DFS Preview

    All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Birmingham Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.

    • Spread
      Troy -7.5
    • Moneyline
      Troy -325, Duke +260
    • Over/Under
      44.5 points
    • Game time
      Noon ET
    • Location
      Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      67 degrees, 7 mph winds, cloudy
    • How to Watch
      ABC, FuboTV

    Do you trust the Trojans to take care of business in Birmingham? Can you make some dollars on Duke? If you take advantage of the Birmingham Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    These two teams played in successive seasons from 2013-2014, with Duke emerging victorious on both occasions. However, this Troy team is a different beast to the one the Blue Devils faced 10 years ago, and despite the departure of head coach Jon Sumrall, you can expect the Trojans to be stronger on both sides of the ball in the Birmingham Bowl.

    MORE: 2023 CFB Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    The Sun Belt champions are a 7.5-point favorite, which might surprise some who would pick the Power Five pugilist in this battle, but Troy should not only win the game but cover the spread too. The Trojans have failed to cover just once in the last nine games, while Duke has failed to cover in the two games where they’ve been a single-digit underdog this season.

    With a low points total perhaps indicative of the changes around both programs not to mention the defensive strength of the Trojans and Blue Devils, it would be easy to assume that this will be a low-scoring affair. However, they’ve both hit the over in each of their last four games, as there’s a solid chance of this game going over the line. It is bowl season, after all.

    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    Troy Depth Chart | Duke Depth Chart

    • QB Gunnar Watson, Troy 
    • QB Grayson Loftis, Duke
    • RB Kimani Vidal, Troy
    • RB Damien Taylor, Troy
    • RB Asa Martin, Troy
    • RB Jaquez Moore, Duke
    • RB Jaylen Coleman, Duke
    • RB Payton Jones, Duke 
    • WR Chris Lewis, Troy
    • WR Jabre Barber, Troy
    • WR Deshon Stoudemire, Troy
    • WR Jalon Calhoun, Duke
    • WR Sahmir Hagans, Duke
    • WR Jordan Moore, Duke 
    • TE Clayton Ollendieck, Troy 
    • TE Ethan Conner, Troy 
    • TE Nicky Dalmolin, Duke

    There are seven college football games on Saturday to compile your DFS team from. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.

    With lots of opt-outs and transfer portal entries impacting this and many other bowl games, let’s start your Birmingham Bowl picks with a little buyer beware. Duke’s leading fantasy asset this season, running back Jordan Waters, is listed on the Blue Devils depth chart but recently committed to NC State, so it seems unlikely that he plays.

    Meanwhile, running mate Jaquez Moore announced his return to the program following a flirtation with the portal, and his status remains unclear. If he is back, he shoulder the workload and add to his 102.5 fantasy points accrued this fall. Ifs and buts, however, do not win DFS prizes, so you might want to focus your attention on something closer to a sure thing.

    Something, or someone should we say, like Troy running back Kimani Vidal. The standout Trojan finished the season as the RB3 nationally, with 268.1 fantasy points. He’s the focal point of the Troy offense and has tallied over 1,750 total yards and 15 touchdowns this fall. Vidal obliterated Appalachian State in the title game, and he can have the same impact in the Birmingham Bowl.

    Prediction for the Birmingham Bowl

    We’ve furnished you with the Birmingham Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction.

    With both head coaches departing for new roles, which interim leader can guide their team to one last glory in 2023? Are the Trojans the team to beat, or will Duke have the last laugh as they look to life without Riley Leonard?

    MORE: College Football Bowl Game Schedule

    The latter headlines a laundry list of starters who won’t be available to the Blue Devils this Saturday. While Leonard’s injury this season proved costly, but at the same time not insurmountable in late-season wins, it is the absence of defensive playmakers like Jaylen Stinson, R.J. Oben, and Aeneas Peebles that could have a profound impact on how this game plays out.

    Trying to stop a running back of the caliber of Vidal — not to mention an in-form Gunnar Watson who’s thrown just one pick in the last eight games and a host of talented pass catchers — without three of your best players on defense is suboptimal for a team who have had to lean on their strength on that side of the ball in a lot of their standout wins this season.

    Meanwhile, Troy comes to the Birmingham Bowl with the 10th-ranked scoring defense in the country, a top-35 passing defense, and — most importantly for their chances of winning this game — the 15th-ranked rushing defense in the nation.

    Try moving the ball with Richard Jibunor and Javon Solomon biting at your heels while Reddy Steward awaits in the secondary to take advantage of any errant passes. Troy is simply too good on both sides of the ball.

    Prediction: Troy 33, Duke 24

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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