Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Clemson Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Opening College Football Odds: Clemson -21.5
Wake Forest vs. Clemson TV Coverage: ESPN2
Wake Forest and Florida State went back and forth last week for the full 60 minutes before FSU eked out a 26-19 victory. The overwhelming theme after the game was that the team wasn't happy about the loss. There was no celebrating a "moral victory" over a team that was ranked in the top five in the land at the start of the season.
We'll say this much, though. If the Demon Deacons can go into Death Valley and walk out as seven-point losers, they should be celebrating a bit of a triumph.
Dave Clawson has his team playing well at the moment, sitting at 4-1, albeit with four wins against a bunch of suspect teams. He's got a quarterback in John Wolford who has really grown up in recent games, accounting for a total of 947 yards through the air and 332 more on the ground for the season.
Clemson, though, really has the look of a championship team for a second consecutive season.
This offense isn't missing a beat with Kelly Bryant under center. It's hard to praise a man who has only thrown three touchdown passes against three interceptions. But he's a tremendous runner as well with 362 yards and seven scores. Toss in there Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster, the two of whom have combined for almost 600 yards on the ground this year, and the Tigers have one of the best rushing attacks in America.
Not only is Clemson putting up 477.2 yards per game, but its average of 5.5 yards per carry is making offense incredibly easy to run and taking all of the pressure off of Bryant's arm.
If Wake Forest is going to stick around in this game, it's going to have to make sure that it doesn't get blown out of the water before the game really starts.
The Demon Deacons have allowed a total of just seven points in the first quarters of games this season, and to hold Clemson to single-digits in that first quarter is going to be crucial. Wake Forest knows that it has to believe it can win this game, unlike last season when the Tigers were up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 28-0 just a few minutes into the second stanza.
Wake Forest vs. Clemson Free Picks
We find this Clemson team an easy one to handicap this year. Bet as much as you can on the Tigers when they're going up against the tip-top competition on their schedule, and run as fast as you can in the other direction when they aren't. Remember the Boston College game that was a legitimate game in the third quarter? This could be a similar game.
And just as we suggested when Clemson played against BC a few weeks back, this isn't all about Clemson. Those Eagles are good for a team stuck in the middle of the ACC, and so is this Wake Forest team. The Demon Deacons showed that they can play with a real team last week when they challenged Florida State until the last minute of the game, and they'll have an opportunity to do the same here.
Is Wake Forest winning this game? No, it isn't. But is it completely unreasonable and unjustified for any college football sportsbook to be giving it 21.5-points? We think so.
College Football ATS Pick: Wake Forest +21.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Clemson 35, Wake Forest 20