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Clemson-Duke Pick & Prediction: Back Monday’s Favorites (Sept. 4)

The No. 9 Clemson Tigers will face the Duke Blue Devils in Durham on Monday night. It’s a road game, but the Tigers are still a double-digit favorite. Every week, I’ll post my top college football picks by Monday and provide an update before each game — you can check out all of my college football Week 1 picks here, and you can find my Week 2 picks here. Let’s dig into today’s Clemson-Duke betting odds as we make our predictions and pick the best college football Week 1 bet!

Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles, including our best bets for Week 1. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you– or try it out now!

Clemson-Duke Pick & Betting Prediction | College Football Week 1

Clemson-Duke Betting Odds

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Clemson: -520 | Duke: +385
Clemson -12.5: -115 | Duke +12.5: -105
Over 55.5: -110 | Under 55.5: -110

Clemson-Duke Pick & Prediction

With most analysts having the Clemson Tigers trending down and the Duke Blue Devils trending up, it may not come as a surprise to see Clemson favored by less than two full touchdowns for Monday night’s matchup. But this is still Clemson, and that is still Duke. Clemson ended 2022 ranked 18th in the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), far ahead of 41st-ranked Duke. The Tigers also made some meaningful changes in the offseason, including the pivot to quarterback Cade Klubnik. Klubnik looked excellent in relief of D.J. Uiagalelei against North Carolina, completing 83.3% of his passes for 279 yards and a score, adding 30 yards and a touchdown with his legs. He then struggled against Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, but the Tigers were playing without several key assets.

Check out our college football picks for Week 2! >>

Klubnik is an exciting prospect with breakout potential. He’ll have a receiving corps that features Antonio Williams, who led the Tigers with 604 receiving yards and four scores last year, and Beaux Collins, a former four-star recruit who struggled to meet his potential while working with Uiagalelei under center. Cole Turner has breakout potential as well — he caught three passes for 101 yards in Klubnik’s debut as a starter. Williams added another 40 yards on three receptions in that game, but Collins wasn’t active, so we’re yet to see Klubnik will his full cast of weapons. The results could be scary, especially against ACC defenses.

The Duke secondary probably won’t be able to stop Clemson’s passing attack. The Blue Devils ranked 69th in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.2) and 107th in passing yards allowed per game (267.3). Drake Maye lit them up by completing 73.7 of his passes for 380 yards and three scores, good for a passing efficiency grade of 183.7. The Blue Devils didn’t add much new talent to their secondary. Do-it-all safety Brandon Johnson is back, but he won’t have much support — fellow safety Datrone Young and coverage linebacker Shaka Heyward are both gone after combining for 13 passes defended and three interceptions.

Let’s trust the Tigers and Klubnik to start the year off on the right foot. Duke will benefit from home-field advantage, but let’s be honest, how much do they really gain? Duke is a steady 9-4 against the spread at home since 2021, but that doesn’t tell the full story — the Blue Devils are only 4-3 against the spread as a home underdog through that span. They are also only 1-1 against the spread when lined up against ranked opponents. The Klubnik era should get fully underway with a bang, and unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the schedule puts them at the wrong end of a loaded gun. This pick for Monday is one of my favorite college football predictions for Week 1.

We bought Clemson as a 13-point favorite on Monday in the early week column, but the line has moved slightly in Duke’s favor since then. The Blue Devils are now only a 12.5-point underdog — at least at FanDuel. Pregame reports that 62% of the tickets have come in on Clemson but that the cash is an even split, suggesting the public is buying Clemson, not the sharps. But the number is 13.5 at Pinnacle, a sharp book, as of Saturday afternoon — so jump on any 12.5 you can find. If you can’t find that available anywhere, pony up and buy the 13 or 13.5.

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Clemson-Duke Week 1 Pick & Prediction: Clemson -12.5 -115 at FanDuel

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