ACC Betting Preview: Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Tigers

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at #9 Clemson Tigers
Memorial Stadium – Clemson, South Carolina
Saturday, November 12, 2011, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Clemson -15 1/2
Current Line: Clemson -16 1/2
Opening Total: 60
Current Total: 60 1/2
Opening Money Line: Clemson -650 / Wake Forest +525
Current Money Line: Clemson -680 / Wake Forest +555

Clemson and Wake Forest meet in Death Valley with forst place in the ACC Atlantic on the line. Clemson is a 16.5 point favorite at home.

The #9 Clemson Tigers are 8-1 this season and 5-1 in the ACC Atlantic. The Tigers are coming off their first loss of the season 2 weeks ago 31-17 at Georgia Tech. Now the Tigers look to rebound against 5-4 Wake Forest (4-2 in ACC) in a battle for first place in the ACC Atlantic division. Florida St is also 4-2 but has losses to both Clemson and Wake. Clemson is coached by Dabo Swinney, and has home wins over Troy 43-19, Wofford 35-27, Auburn 38-24, Florida St 35-30, Boston College 36-14, and North Carolina 59-38, along with road wins over Virginia Tech 23-3, and Maryland 56-45. Wake Forest is coached by Jim Grobe, and has home wins over North Carolina St 34-27, Gardner Webb 48-5, and Florida St 35-30, along with road wins at Boston College 27-19, and Duke 24-23. The Demon Deacons have losses at Syracuse 36-29 in overtime, Virginia Tech 38-17, and North Carolina 49-24, along with a home loss to Notre Dame last week 24-17. Wake started off the season 4-1 but has since lost 3 of 4. Clemson leads the overall series against Wake Forest 58-17-1 including 34-7 in Death Valley. Clemson has won 9 of the last 12 and 2 straight including 30-10 last year in Winston-Salem. Wake hasn’t won at Clemson since 1998.

Last week, Wake Forest hosted Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish were 13.5 point favorites on the college football betting line. The Demon Deacons were up 17-10 at halftime, but were outscored 14-0 in the second half. Notre Dame escaped with a hard fought road 24-17 win. Notre Dame had 2 turnovers and Wake Forest had one. Wake Forest had just 297 total yards including 110 rushing yards. Wake quarterback Tanner Price threw for 187 yards and a touchdown. Notre Dame had 341 total yards including 175 rushing yards.

Wake Forest is averaging 370.4 total yards a game including 265.8 passing yards and 104.7 rushing yards. The Deacons are scoring 28.3 points a game. Wake has 11 turnovers and has allowed 24 sacks this season. The Demon Deacons are 52/137 on third and fourth down conversions, and 34/39 scoring in the red zone but they have only 20 touchdowns. Wake Forest is allowing 374.6 yards a game including 138.9 rushing yards and 235.7 passing yards. The Deacons are allowing 27.9 points a game. Wake Forest has forced 13 turnovers and 10 sacks this season. Wake opponents are 61/149 on third and fourth down conversions and 31/35 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns. Wake has no defensive or special teams touchdowns.

Price is 169/273 passing for 2,154 yards, 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown. Running back Josh Harris has 10 carries, 432 yards, and 3 touchdowns with 5 catches for 22 yards. Harris is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Brandon Pendergrass has 106 carries for 417 yards, and 5 touchdowns along with 13 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown reception. Receiver Chris Givens has 58 catches for 985 yards, and 8 touchdowns, along with 9 carries for 62 yards. He is probable with a hamstring injury. Michael Campanaro has 41 catches for 508 yards and 2 touchdowns and  has 2 touchdown passes and an interception this season. Danny Dembry has 31 catches for 393 yards and a touchdown, along with a rushing touchdown. Terence  Davis has 14 catches, 211 yards, and 3 scores.  Kicker Jimmy Newman is 28/30 on extra points and 15/17 on field goals with a long of 46 yards. Defensive linemen John Gallagher and  and Ramon Booi are both questionable with knee injuries.

Clemson was a 3.5 point favorite on the road two weeks ago at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech jumped out to a 24-3 lead at halftime and held on for the 31-17 upset. Clemson had 4 turnovers in the loss and Georgia Tech had 2. Clemson recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. The Tigers had 399 total yards including 304 passing yards. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 295 yards with a touchdown and  2 interceptions. Receiver Sammy Watkins had 10 catches, 159 yards, and a touchdown. Clemson had 443 yards and 383 rushing yards.

Clemson is averaging 474.6 yards, including 303.7 passing yards and 170.9 rushing yards. The Tigers are averaging 38 points a game. Clemson has 12 turnovers and has allowed 18 sacks this season. Clemson is 71/151 on third and fourth down conversions, and 29/35 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns. The Tigers are allowing 385.2 yards including 193.1 rushing yards and 192.1 passing yards a game. Clemson is allowing 25.7 points a game. The Tigers have forced 19 turnovers and have 17 sacks this season. Tiger opponents are 54/145 on third and fourth down conversions, and 23/27 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. Clemson has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Boyd is 195/318 passing for 2,674 yards with 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 89 carries, for 164 yards and 4 touchdowns. Boyd leads the ACC in all major passing categories and is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Running back Andre Ellington has 146 carries, 745 yards, and 7 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 55 yards. He missed the last game with an ankle injury and is probable against Wake Forest.  Mike Bellamy and D.J. Howard also get significant carries and each has at least one touchdown run. Bellamy has two. Watkins has 64 catches, 978 yards, and 10 touchdowns, along with 22 carries for 133 yards. Watkins has almost 1,700 all purpose yards and has a kickoff return for a touchdown DeAndre Hopkins has 43 catches, 576 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Dwayne Allen has 37 catches, 464 yards, and 5 scores. Allen is probable with turf toe. Jaron Brown has 20 catches, 265 yards, and 3 touchdowns.   Kicker Chandler Catanzaro is 38/39 on extra points and 14/18 on field goals with a long of 47 yards.

Clemson is 7-2 against the spread this season and the total is 6-3 in those games. Wake Forest is 5-4 ATS and the total is 6-3 this year. Clemson has won and covered two in a row against Wake and both games went under. The Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS after a bye week, 3-8 in conference, 2-7 against teams with winning records, 3-11 as a road underdog, 2-8 on the road, 1-4 after scoring 20 points or less in the previous game, 1-5 as an underdog of 10.5 points or more, 1-7 on grass, 0-5 in road games against teams with winning home records, and 0-4 as a road dog of 10.5 points or more. The Tigers are 4-0 ATS at home and as a home favorite, 7-1 in conference, 6-1 overall and on grass, 5-1 as a favorite, 4-1 versus teams with winning records and  as a favorite of 10.5 points or more.

Wake Forest is a scrappy team that can hang around. Wake has played a lot of close games this season and very rarely gets blown out. I think Wake will keep this game closer than the line would indicate.

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