With the college football season less than two months away and NC sports betting not too far preparing to expand to online sportsbooks and mobile apps, now is the perfect time to preview the year ahead for the state’s FBS programs.
The Duke Blue Devils enter Year Two of the Mike Elko era off a surprise 9-4 campaign in which they picked up a 30-13 win in the Military Bowl over UCF.
Now, Elko and company are tasked with living up to that standard in 2023 in a season that starts with a home game against Clemson, followed by two more games at Wade Wallace Stadium, against FCS squad Lafayette and Northwestern before finally going on the road to UConn. Home games against Notre Dame and North Carolina State will follow before the program spends much of the later half of the season on the road.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook have pinned an over/under of 6.5 wins on the Blue Devils for 2023, giving fans an idea of what to expect this fall. Keep an eye out for BetMGM North Carolina early next year as well.
BetCarolina.com created a point system to determine the toughest 3-game stretch of the Blue Devils’ 2023 schedule for the upcoming college football season. We awarded 4 points to each opponent that won at least 7 games last season, 3 points to each opponent that won at least 6 games, 3 points for an away game, and 2 point for a conference opponent.
Duke's Hardest Stretch Will Come Late
It’s hard to argue that the stretch from Week 9 to Week 11 will likely make or break Duke’s season across NC sports betting apps, with games against Louisville and UNC on the road offset by a home contest against Wake Forest.
The Cardinals are coming off an 8-5 campaign in 2022, but feature new head coach Jeff Brohm, who left Purdue to come home to Louisville during the offseason after going 36-34 in West Lafayette.
Throw in a pair of Research Triangle rivals and you have quite the three-week stretch for the Blue Devils, as Wake Forest looks to build off their 8-5 record in 2022 and the Tar Heels hope to hit pay-dirt in Mack Brown’s fifth season of his second stint in Chapel Hill.
Between those three ACC contests, we’ll know a lot about whether Duke’s nine-win campaign in 2022 was a one-hit wonder, or whether Elko has built a program that’s made to last in Durham.
Much of that unease will be solidified in Duke’s opening six games, as they face a recent national champion (Clemson), a Big Ten program looking to rebound (Northwestern), a College Football Playoff mainstay (Notre Dame) and the ACC’s most under-the-radar program (NC State) in short order.
Follow BetCarolina.com for the latest analysis and North Carolina sports betting promos once online sports betting becomes legal in early 2024.