Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons Odds, Picks, Predictions (9/24/22)

Clemson enters this game at 3-0 and is clearly one of the best teams in the nation. The defensive line is too immense to ignore.

However, I wouldn’t overlook the 3-0 Demon Deacons as a frisky seven-point home underdog. They posted a letdown game against Liberty last week but things are looking up with the new defensive coordinator Brad Lambert installing his system.

Clemson has won five straight against Wake Forest and has covered in three of the last four. But is this the year the Deacons give Dabo Swinney a sweat?

Let’s break it down. Read on for our Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons odds, picks, and predictions.

Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons

This line opened at Clemson -9 but sharps immediately slammed Wake Forest. The line has dropped a full two points since the opener and has stuck at the key number of 7. Make sure to line shop in this game to get -6.5 or +7.5 at all costs.

The under has taken some slight money but we shouldn’t see too much movement. Expect this number to stick in between 55.5 and 56.

Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons Prediction & Pick

Clemson’s offense looked good against Furman and Louisana Tech, but what does that really mean? DJ Uiagalelei and the Tiger offense was the least enjoyable unit to watch in college football last season.

New offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter has the talent to transform this unit, but they looked ugly for 45 minutes against Georgia Tech. I’m not sure if that’s because Streeter’s offense finally broke through or Georgia Tech’s defense broke down.

The offensive might have issues stopping pressure as well.

Wake Forest’s Lambert has transformed the Demon Deacons’ defense. Wake Forest currently has PFF’s top-ranked Pass Rush crew alongside the 12th-ranked PFF Coverage grade.

Pass Rush and Coverage go hand-in-hand, so it’s clear this whole unit has consistency.

Clemson’s defense is immense. The defensive line is the best in the nation. That leads me to believe we’re getting a Rock Fight.

If that’s the case, give me a touchdown with the home team in a conference game. Throw in that Dave Clawson returns 13 starters and his quarterback from an 11-win team last season, and I love this play.

Clemson Tigers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons Key Matchups

Key Matchup No. 1: Sam Hartman vs Clemson’s Secondary

Clemson ranks top 30 nationally in Defensive Rush Success Rate allowed. Wake Forest ranks outside the top 125 in Rush Success Rate.

But Wake Forest loves to throw the ball. Sam Hartman is a top-three quarterback in the ACC, as he accounted for 50 touchdowns last season while tossing for over 4300 yards. He also became the school’s all-time passing leader.

Meanwhile, the Clemson secondary returns just one starter from last season.

The Deacons are going to be forced to throw early and often. Hartman will have to make quick decisions and ultimately shred an inexperienced secondary if he wants to win this game.

If Hartman wants to be considered the best quarterback in the ACC, he should steal this game.

Key Matchup No. 2: DJ Uiagelelei vs “Improved” Wake Forest Defense

Uiagelelei was horrendous last season. But he currently ranks 15th in PFF’s Passing grades. He was dominant against Furman and played well against Louisiana Tech.

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He also put up a 64.5 PFF Offensive grade against Georgia Tech. This will be the best defense he’s faced this season and could determine the future of Dabo’s offense.

However, this is the most talented roster Wake Forest has faced yet. If Lambert has really transformed this defense, they need to step up after a letdown game against Liberty.

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Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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