The Stanford Cardinal will fight the Stanford of the East this Saturday in Durham, North Carolina. And they will be sizable favorites. The Cardinal are currently posted as 21 to 22 point favorites over a Duke Blue Devils team that was upset by Richmond--a solid FCS team, but an FCS team nonetheless.
And I'm sure the question among many people is, "Why is that line so low?"
Stanford is by far the superior football team, and they have a quarterback who's probably going to roll to undisputed #1 draft pick status. That should be enough to roll to victory on Saturday, right? Well, certain factors could hold the Cardinal back.
- Humidity. Always kills a Pac-12 team travelling East, even one as good as the Cardinal--they lost to Wake Forest two years ago in a slog of a game in North Carolina. They might get lucky this time around though--the Cardinal will apparently face only 80+ degree weather and 50% humidity at gametime, which will almost feel like a nice summer's day in Palo Alto.
- Trap game. Stanford's Pac-12 slate begins in earnest the week after against Arizona, and the Cardinal clearly have their aim on winning the conference. Duke is considered a speck in the road and Stanford might struggle against an unfamiliar opponent.
Don't expect Duke to score any upsets, but Stanford is very likely to be challenged directly in this one.
For more on Stanford football, head to Rule of Tree.