ACC College Football Betting Preview: #21 Clemson Tigers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

#21 Clemson Tigers at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
BB&T Stadium – Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Clemson -21
Current Line: Clemson -21
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Clemson -1650 / Wake Forest +900
Current Money Line: Clemson -1650 / Wake Forest +900

Clemson is a heavy road favorite at Wake Forest Thursday night in ACC action.
Clemson is a heavy road favorite at Wake Forest Thursday night in ACC action.

The Clemson Tigers started off the season 1-2 but have won 5 straight games since then. The Tigers look to continue their hot streak as they travel to the 2-6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Thursday night. Clemson is 5-1 in ACC play and is in second place in the Atlantic Division behind 5-0 Florida State. Wake Forest is 0-4 and in last place in the division.

Clemson leads the series against Wake Forest 61-17-1 including 22-10-1 in Winston-Salem. Clemson has won 5 straight games in the series, including 56-7 in Clemson last season.

Clemson is coached by Dabo Swinney. The Tigers have losses at Georgia 45-21 and at Florida State 23-17 in overtime. Clemson has home wins over South Carolina State 73-7, North Carolina 50-35, NC State 41-0, Louisville 23-17 and two weeks ago against Syracuse 16-6, plus a road win at Boston College 17-13. The Tigers were a 16.5 point favorite against Syracuse and the total was 47.5. The Tigers are 4-4 ATS and the total is 3-5 this season.

Wake Forest is coached by Dave Clawson. The Demon Deacons have home wins over Gardner-Webb 23-7 and Army 24-21. Wake Forest has lost 4 straight games. The Demon Deacons have road losses at Louisiana-Monroe 17-10, Utah State 36-24, Louisville 20-10, and Florida State 43-3. Wake also has home losses to Syracuse 30-7 and Boston College 23-17 two weeks ago. The Demon Deacons are 4-4 ATS and the total is 1-7 this season. Wake Forest was a 13.5 point underdog against Boston College and the total was 41.

Clemson is outscoring teams 32-18 this season. The Tigers are #50 in scoring and #10 in points allowed nationally. Clemson is averaging 432 yards per game including 291 passing and 141 rushing yards. The Tigers are #50 in total offense and #21 in passing, but the rushing attack is #93 out of 128 FBS teams. On defense, Clemson is allowing 269 yards per game including 167 rushing and 101 rushing yards per game. The Tigers are in the top 10 nationally in all three categories including #2 in total defense. Clemson is +3 in turnovers with 13 takeaways. The Tigers average 31 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55. Clemson is 66/152 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 32/130. The Tigers have forced 30 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Clemson is 22/28 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns and opponents are 10/15 with 9 touchdowns. Clemson has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns and has allowed 2 this season.

Clemson started off the season with Cole Stoudt at quarterback, but he was benched earlier in the season in favor of Deshaun Watson. Watson broke his hand against Louisville and missed the last two games. Watson is probable tonight. Stoudt is also listed as probable with a shoulder injury. Watson should start again if able but both quarterbacks could see action. Watson has thrown for 1,176 yards with 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 51 carries for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. Stoudt has thrown for 1,143 yards with 2 touchdown and 4 interceptions, and rushed for 80 yards on 46 carries.

Clemson running back Wayne Gallman has 76 carries for 299 yards and a touchdown, plus 16 catches for 60 yards. C.J. Davidson has 56 carries for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 9 catches for 60 yards.   Adam Choice has 50 carries for 218 yards with a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 90 yards. He is out for the season with a knee injury.  D.J. Howard has 37 carries for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Receiver Mike Williams has  35 catches for 743 yards with 4 touchdowns. Artavis Scott has 45 catches for 502 yards and 3 touchdowns. Germone Hopper has 15 catches for 277 yards with 2 touchdowns. Charone Peake has 2 touchdown catches but is doubtful with a knee injury. Adam Humpries has 20 catches and a punt return for a touchdown. Tight end Jordan Leggett is probable with a knee injury. He has 10 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Wake Forest is being outscored 25-15 this season. Wake Forest is #126 in scoring nationally.  The Demon Deacons average 214 yards per game on offense including 179 passing yards and 34 rushing yards. Wake Forest is last in total offense and rushing nationally. Even the passing game is #108. On defense, the Deacons  are allowing 358 yards per game including 180 passing and 179 rushing yards. Wake is #40 in total defense and #10 in pass defense. The Demon Deacons are +4 in turnovers with 17 takeaways. Wake Forest averages 56 penalty yards per game and opponents average 50 per game. The Demon Deacons are 37/128 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 52/130. Wake has forced 17 sacks and allowed 31 this season. The Deacons are 18/23 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns and opponents are 22/29 with 12 touchdowns. Wake Forest has a punt return for a touchdown, an interception return plus a fumble return for a touchdown and has allowed 6 defensive scores.

Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford has thrown for 1,377 yards with 7 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Running back Orville Reynolds has 59 carries for 143 yards, along with 11 catches. Dezmond Wortham has 46 carries for 129 yards. Isaiah Robinson has 58 carries for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns. E.J. Scott has 35 catches for 373 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cam Serigne has 36 catches for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jared Crump has 27 catches for 265 yards. Matt James has 18 catches for 217 yards. He is questionable with a hand injury.

Clemson is 6-1 ATS on fieldturf, 4-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 8-3 against teams with losing records, 5-11-2 against teams with losing home records, 1-4 after allowing less than 275 yards and less than 20 points. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. Clemson was the favorite is each of those contests.

Wake Forest is 4-1 ATS on fieldturf, 2-5 in ACC games, 4-10 after gaining 275 yards or less, 2-6 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 1-5 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, against teams with winning road records and after scoring less than 20 points, 1-6 in November, and 0-5 in Thursday games. The under is 5-1 in this series recently and 4-0 in Winston-Salem recently in the series.

The Wake Forest defense actually is very good but they get tired after having to stay on the field for long stretches because of the abysmal offense. Wake Forest might be able to hang around the large number but Clemson wins this game going away. The Tigers’ offense is much better with Watson at the helm than Stoudt.

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