College Football Week 9 Preview: Clemson vs. Wake Forest

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At this point in the ACC we have seen some separation of the ACC into 3 distinct classes.  Florida St and Clemson are  in the top tier by themselves, their talent level and production have made them the only ACC teams that can realistically claim national relevance.  The next level of UNC, Duke (hi!), NC State, Virginia Tech, Maryland Miami Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are all in a muddle of teams who seem to alternate between awful and amazing every week. Virginia and Boston College are just bad football teams with no confidence right now.

23-34 -33.67 units YTD

First winning week in a while last week, like several non-ACC plays this week so may wind up with a larger card than usual.  Sticking with the flat betting .

Week 9 ACC Football Picks

*** Clemson Tigers -12.5 -110

Going ahead with this one, once it dipped below 13 we aren’t likely to hit any other key numbers.  I feel like the respect for Jimmy Grobe and the national TV Thursday Night Home Dog angle might be keeping this number down (also some lingering uncertainty over Taj Boyd’s shoulder).  Wake Forest is 4-3 and in my mind their lucky to be so; they survived a shoot-out with a brutal Army squad and were more than a little bit lucky to beat UNC (Gio Bernard was out, Renner got ‘concussed’ and first road game for new UNC system).  Wake’s true identity is something closer to what we saw up in Maryland, an undersized defense that plays hard with an anemic offense.  In ACC games only, Wake Forest ranks last in 3rd down conversion percentage and total yards per game.  Clemson’s defense is much maligned, but this Wake team is unlikely to exploit their largest weakness on the defensive front and after that Clemson has better athletes all over the field.  This is the worst offense Clemson has faced since the Furman game.

Defensively Wake actually has decent numbers, but you have to consider that with the fact that they’ve only seen a couple of good offenses at full strength.  FSU did whatever they wanted to, and a one dimensional Army team ran all over them.  Duke threw all over them.  Clemson has a reputation for their prolific offense but what’s appealing to me here is their balance.  The Tigers will look to establish the run here and leverage their size and athletic advantage here which will set up the passing game.  Wake is a well coached team but this is a really tough match-up for their defense in that Clemson plays very fast and rotates a lot of players.   The thinner defenses in this league just cannot keep up with their talent and pace. Wake will be hard pressed to consistently make stops here without forcing turnovers

Honestly it’s not the best spot for Clemson, but I’m not sure it matters here.  This is the worst team Clemson has played in a month and the best team Wake Forest has played in 6 weeks.  It’s scary laying DD on the road here with a sketchy defense, but I just don’t see Wake with the horses to keep up here.  The FSU loss to NC State has reopened the door for Clemson in the ACC and I think they bring a big effort in front of a crowd that will be more than a little bit orange and will want to make a statement in the national spotlight.  My #’s have Clemson winning by 24 here, and if Wake struggles up front here it may not be that close.

Clemson 44, Wake 20

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