The weekend finale between the Clemson Tigers and Duke Blue Devils caps off a tremendous first full weekend of the college football season. With all eyes on the Tigers and Blue Devils, our Clemson vs. Duke prediction indicates which side you should back on Monday night.
Clemson vs. Duke Betting and DFS Preview
Clemson -490, Duke +380
55.5 total points
- Game time
8 p.m. ET
Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC
- Predicted Weather at Kick
84 degrees, clear skies, 2-4 mph winds
- How to Watch
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Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
All values below come from FanDuel’s multi-team entries for the weekend. Looking to sign up for FanDuel? New customers bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets guaranteed. Click here for more details.
- QB Cade Klubnik, Clemson ($16,500)
- QB Riley Leonard, Duke ($14,000)
- RB Will Shipley, Clemson ($15,500)
- RB Jaylen Coleman, Duke ($9,500)
- RB Phil Mafah, Clemson ($8,500)
- RB Jaquez Moore, Duke ($7,500)
- RB Jordan Waters, Duke ($7,000)
- WR Antonio Williams, Clemson ($13,000)
- WR Beaux Collins, Clemson ($12,000)
- WR Jordan Moore, Duke ($11,500)
- WR Adam Randall, Clemson ($10,500)
- WR Jalon Calhoun, Duke ($10,000)
- WR Brannon Spector, Clemson ($9,000)
- WR Sahmir Hagans, Duke ($8,500)
- WR Cole Turner, Clemson ($8,000)
- TE Jake Briningstool, Clemson ($8,000)
- TE Tyler Brown, Clemson ($7,500)
- TE Nicky Dalmolin, Duke ($7,000)
The Tigers officially turned the offense over to QB Cade Klubnik last season and he enters the 2023 campaign as the unquestioned leader on the team. Fortunately for the young signal-caller, he has a wealth of talent around him. While Clubnik draws top billing here, he may not be the best play for your MVP spot that earns you 1.5x points.
Instead, secure Will Shipley in that MVP spot as the talented running back is dominant in all facets. Shipley is equally impressive as a runner in between the tackles as he is in space and should cause havoc on the Duke front seven.
The Blue Devils are a talented bunch and clearly in the fold for the best of the next in the ACC. While they may not be on the same level as Clemson, Florida State, or North Carolina, Duke has closed the gap on the second tier in the conference.
Shipley has the advantage over this Duke linebacking corps and should be easily the top points earner in this contest. The real question lies in which quarterback do you side with if you can’t afford both?
And the answer to that QB question is clear: Grab both and find value elsewhere. Klubnik is going to put up points, one way or another, but Duke QB Riley Leonard is all but guaranteed the same.
Leonard proved to be more than just a serviceable passer a season ago and improved as the season went along. He enters the year with high expectations, throwing nine touchdowns over his last four contests of the season in 2022.
If you’re looking for value elsewhere in order to fit both quarterbacks on your roster, look no further than Duke RB Jordan Waters. FanDuel pricing lists him as the least expensive running back option, yet he has top billing on the Blue Devils’ depth chart.
Similarly, with Eli Pancol out for Duke, expect a bigger role from one of two options: WR Malik Bowen-Sims or TE Nicky Dalmolin, both of whom you can afford if you grab Shipley, Klubnik, and Leonard.
Prediction for Clemson vs. Duke
The Tigers and Blue Devils are each looking to make a statement in their opening game of the season. But both statements are vastly different.
Duke enters with something to prove, and with hopes of making a statement with an upset victory. Clemson, on the other hand, wants to showcase that a 10-win season that capped with an ACC Championship was, in fact, a letdown and they’re set to return to the College Football Playoff.
Leonard flashed his potential with his downfield passing and ability to extend plays. He’ll have to be at his best against Clemson’s pass-rushing unit which features a star-studded cast of characters.
He’s got the goods with his arm talent and his playmaking ability, the question will be is if the Blue Devils pass catchers and running backs have enough horsepower. Jalon Calhoun, the veteran, has been here before and adds a valuable leader to a relatively youthful group when it comes to on-field production.
Clemson’s playmakers are equally as talented when you include Shipley and co-starting running back Phil Mafah, wide receivers Antonio Williams and Beaux Collins, and tight end Jake Briningstool. Klubnik’s first read options will be Williams or Collins on the outside and Duke’s cornerbacks could be in for a long night with their catch-point prowess.
In the end, Clemson’s roster shapes up to potentially give Duke fits all night long. However, as we’ve seen from this Mike Elko-led Blue Devils team, there is no quit and only fight with them as underdogs. Expect this to be a hard-hitting, back-and-forth battle until the end.
Clemson 31, Duke 26