College Football Pick
Clemson’s inconsistency came back to bite them and it hurt really bad in last weekend’s home loss to Pittsburgh. However, like the other top teams that lost, the Tigers still have the inside path to the ACC title Game and the College Football Playoff. They just need to beat Wake Forest. They are a -22 point road favorite in this one.
The Tigers remain one of the harder teams to bet on and that’s seen in their 5-5 ATS record this season. One week, they beat Syracuse 54-0 and then the next they fell to Pittsburgh 43-42. And it hasn’t just been those Games. Clemson could’ve easily lost to NC State a few weeks before that, but then they also have that great Louisville win on the Schedule.
At the least, we know Wake Forest won’t be able to keep up on the scoreboard in this Game. The bigger question will be what version of the Clemson offense will show up because the Demon Deacons have stopped plenty of teams this season.
A month ago, Wake battled in Florida State for a 17-6 loss. Just last week, they held down LAmar Jackson and Louisville to 10 points in the first three quarters before going off the rails, partly due to their own ineffective offense.
That said, there is a visible route in which Wake can get this cover. Only last year when Wake Forest was arguably worse and Clemson better, the Tigers won just 33-13 at home. With that same result, Wake Forest would get the cover.
Deshaun Watson is the obvious player to watch in this Game, especially against one of the better defenses in the conference. Watson has some big numbers including last weekend’s 580 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw three costly picks. Once again, interceptions have been a problem for him with 13 on the season. He threw for a ton of yards in last year’s Game against Wake Forest, but also threw two picks.
The bigger worry for the Tigers may be that Wayne Gallman still hasn’t been able to get anything going on the ground. While he had three touchdowns against Pitt, he managed just 36 yards on 18 carries. against this Wake defense, he could once again have issues. If that’s the case and Watson continues to turn the ball over, it will be hard for them to cover.
So the question will fall to the Wake Forest offense that’s barely scoring 20 points per Game. It wouldn’t be surprising if they failed to surpass 10 points here as they scored just six against the Seminoles and 12 against the Cardinals.
Quarterback John Wolford remains inefficient with five touchdowns and seven interceptions all season, so expect a heavy dosage on the ground per usual for the Demon Deacons. OUtside of Wolford, Cade Carney and Matt Colburn have been the top backs. As a team, they are still averaging just 3.7 yards per carry.
At home under the lights, Wake Forest could easily match the result from last year. On the other hand, Watson and company will be looking to bounce back from their first loss.
The Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight Games following a straight-up loss, while the Demon Deacons have covered in their last Four ACC Games. The under has hit in six of the last eight meetings between these schools with Wake Forest being 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight meetings at home.
Our Pick – Wake Forest +22.5