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Clemson at Wake Forest College Football Betting Preview

September 11, 2020
Free Pick

After a small schedule of games on Labor Day weekend we get our first slate of conference games and Power 5 action this weekend with No. 1 Clemson on the road to face ACC foe Wake Forest. ESPN’s College Gameday will be in Winston-Salem for this matchup but fans will not be allowed to attend the game or the pre-game festivities. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Truist Field on Wake Forest’s campus and the game will be televised on ABC.

The Tigers and Demon Deacons first met in 1933 and Clemson holds a 67-17-1 record including a current 11-game win streak by an average of 37-10. The last two games have been blowouts with Clemson winning 52-3 at home last year and 63-3 in North Carolina in 2018. Wake’s last win came at home 12-7 on October 9, 2008, four days before Dabo Swinney was hired to replace Terry Bowden.

Clemson Outlook: Rinse and Repeat

Last year the Clemson Tigers lost to LSU in the national title game to finish 14-1, ending a 29-game win streak. The Tigers were fourth in the nation with 43.9 ppg and the defense finished third allowing just 13.5 ppg. The offense averaged 528.9 ypg, including 240.5 on the ground, while the defense allowed just 288.5 ypg and forced two turnovers per game.

Gone from the offense is WR Tee Higgins (1167 rec yards, 13 TD) but Heisman contenders QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne are both back. At +200 Lawrence is the Heisman favorite after throwing for 3665 yards and 36 TD last season and rushing for 563 and another nine scores. Etienne has finished in the top 10 of the Heisman voting the last two years and returns for a senior campaign after tallying 1614 yards and 19 scores in 2019.

With WR Justyn Ross (66 rec, 865 yd, 8 TD) out for the season with a neck injury, Clemson will look to Amari Rodgers (30 rec 426 yd, 4 TD), Frank Ladson Jr. (9 rec, 128 yd, 3 TD) and Joseph Ngata (17 rec, 240 yd, 3 TD) to take over the top wide receiver spot. Clemson also gets 6’4” 240 lb TE Bradeon Galloway back from a season-long suspension.

Wake Forest Outlook: Rebuilding Season

Head coach Dave Clawson led Wake Forest to a fourth straight bowl game in 2019 but now he has to replace a starting quarterback, the leading rusher and receiver, three starting linemen, and the top three defensive players. Last year’s team went 8-5 overall, 4-4 in the ACC and lost the Pinstripe Bowl to Michigan State. They averaged 31.8 ppg but allowed 29.1 ppg and the defense struggled allowing 62.2% completions and 4.2 yards per rush.

The offense lost QB Jamie Newman who transferred to Georgia before opting out of 2020. In his place Wake Forest will start Sam Hartman, who was fourth in the ACC in offense as a freshman in 2018 before he broke his leg in the ninth game of the season.

RB Cade Carney (620 yd, 5 TD) is also gone and Wake will look for Kenneth Walker III (579 yd, 4 TD) and Christian Beal-Smith (304 yd, 2 TD) to step up. While WR Kendall Hinton (73 rec, 1001 yd) is gone, WR Sage Surratt is back from a November shoulder injury. Surratt was the only Power 5 player with 1000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns when he was injured in 2019.

Clemson at Wake Forest Betting Lines By
Clemson spread: -33.5 money line: -8000
Wake Forest spread: +33.5 money line: +1800
Over/Under: 60.5 (O -110, U -110)

Clemson should start the season with a resounding win at Wake Forest and pick up where they left off last year in regular-season and ACC play. Clemson has scored 115 points in their last two games against Wake Forest and opened last year with a 52-14 win over Georgia Tech. If Wake can’t keep up, don’t expect the Tigers to slow down on the scoreboard at all. Check out our other football picks for this weekend here

Head to our favorite pay per head bookie site and bet the over 60.5 points (-110)