The Daily Sweat: Can Duke hang with heavily favored Clemson?

There is only one FBS football game on Monday. Whoever set it could have picked a better matchup.

Clemson is a 13-point favorite at BetMGM against Duke. Hey, we'll take what we get.

It has been a tough run for Duke against Clemson. According to the Fayetteville Observer, the Tigers have won 25 of the last 30 against Duke, and are 5-0 in the last five meetings with an average margin of victory of 31 points.

Clemson is ranked ninth in the country and while they haven't been as dominant as the Deshaun Watson/Trevor Lawrence teams of a few years ago, the Tigers still have plenty of future pro talent. Clemson has a strong defense, a good quarterback in Cade Klubnik and a deep rushing attack. There's a reason the Tigers are 13-point favorites in a road game against a conference rival right out of the gate.

Duke's best chance for an upset probably rides on its dual-threat quarterback, Riley Leonard. If Leonard has a big game, perhaps it can be a tight game late. It's not easy starting a college football season with a true road game like Clemson is doing. Clemson is clearly the better team, but it's not an easy spot for the Tigers.

No matter what, we have a game that counts on Monday night. Then the NFL takes over Monday nights in a week.

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

MLB has 11 games

It will always be a bit odd why MLB doesn't have a full schedule on a Monday holiday, but at least there are 11 games for us.

The best game is a battle between two of the AL West contenders, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. The Seattle Mariners lead the division but the Astros and Rangers are just a game behind, tied for second. The Astros and Rangers are each -110 for the opener of the series, which is fitting.

The other highlight of the Monday schedule is the San Francisco Giants vs. the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are in the second NL wild-card spot and the Giants are one of three teams tied for the last wild-card spot. The Cubs are -140 home favorites for the opener.

What's the best bet?

It would be nice to have more games on the board for Labor Day, but we'll make do. The Philadelphia Phillies mashed the ball in August and even though they dropped two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend, the San Diego Padres have been disappointing all season. I'll happily take the Phillies as slight -105 favorites against Padres starter Rich Hill, who had a bad August. I'm not sure why San Diego would be favored.