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The fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers will play the 21st-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in Week 4. Both teams are undefeated. Handicapper Matt MacKay is here to make his predictions.

Wake Forest vs. Clemson Prediction, Pick, and Odds: Can DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson Dominate Demon Deacons Again?

Wake Forest had a phenomenal 2021 season. The Demon Deacons are led by head coach Dave Clawson, who is now in his ninth season at the program with a 51-48 record. In 2021, Wake Forest went 7-1 against ACC opponents and finished 11-3 with the nation's 11th-ranked offense, which also ranked fourth in scoring. A lot of the pieces in that offense are back, most notably, quarterback Sam Hartman, who has been solid through the first three weeks of the 2022 season.

Clemson continues to be a blue-blood program led by 15th-year head coach, Dabo Swinney. In terms of success, the Tigers were not as productive as Clemson fans had grown accustomed to, but they still won ten games and closed their 2021 season out with six straight wins. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has looked the part to start his 2022 campaign, throttling Georgia Tech 41-10 and cruising to blowout wins over Furman and Lousiana Tech.

Wake Forest and Clemson meet frequently and the results tend to lean favorably in the Tigers' direction. Can Dabo Swinney keep Clemson firing on all cylinders? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Saturday's game between Clemson Tigers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons.


Date: Saturday, September 24th

Game time: 12:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ABC


Spread: Wake Forest +7 (+120), Clemson -7 (-120)

Total: Under 55.5 (-107), Over 55.5 (-107)

Moneyline: Wake Forest (+240), Clemson (-276)

Click Here for Wake Forest vs Clemson Odds

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DT Bryan Bresee (Questionable - Personal)


LS Jacob Zuhr (Questionable - Undisclosed)


Clemson and Wake Forest played each other late in the 2021 season when Wake Forest was ranked 13th in the AP top 25 with a 9-2 record. It was a noon game in Death Valley, known for its raucous atmosphere giving Clemson a significant home-field advantage. Uiagalelei did not play a very good game overall, completing 11 of 19 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown, while the offense accounted for three turnovers. Clemson running backs Kobe Pace and Will Shipley were the stars, each rushing for over 100 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns.

Wake Forest's defense got embarrased in 2021, especially against Clemson's rushing attack. Pace, Shipley, and Uiagalelei all returned and are having great success as ball carriers through three games this season. The Demon Deacons just surrendered 177 rushing yards and two touchdowns to Liberty, barely escaping with a 37-36 win in Week 3. They will need to stand behind the play of junior quarterback Sam Hartman, who has at least three passing touchdowns in both of his previous games against Vanderbilt and Liberty.

Hartman will need to bring his A-game against the talented Clemson defense. The Tigers have held their opponents to 20 or fewer points this season, while forcing five interceptions and a couple of forced fumbles. Wake Forest looked good with its rushing attack against VMI and Vanderbilt but Liberty stuffed them on 26 carries for 21 total rushing yards. This means Hartman will be under duress in a one-dimensional offense that favors the pass.

The run defense for the Demon Deacons has grown worse since Week 1, surrendering over 100 rushing yards during each of their previous two games. It was the glaring issue in 2021 and it appears to be unresolved despite the undefeated record. Wake Forest's defense will be outmatched and get exposed by Uiagalelei, Shipley, and Phil Mafah on the ground throughout Saturday's matchup in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Clemson jumped out to a 38-13 lead in the third quarter during their previous matchup in 2021, ultimately cruising to a 48-27 victory. No team has come close to stopping the offense, while the Tigers' defense has been equally potent and restrictive. As exciting as it would be to invest in an undefeated Wake Forest passing attack behind Hartman, it's not a good line to lay. Give me Clemson and the points in an ACC matchup that could get ugly early in the game.


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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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