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Wake Forest vs. Clemson Week 12 Picks: Tigers Stay Alive in ACC Race

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Wake Forest vs. Clemson Week 12 Picks: Tigers Stay Alive in ACC Race
Defensive end K.J. Henry #5 of the Clemson Tigers. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images/AFP

As conference play winds down, two ACC Atlantic foes will do battle in Week 12. Find out where we lean in our Wake Forest versus Clemson picks.

If prior to the season, someone had said one team would be 9-1 and the other would be 7-3 entering a Week 12 matchup between Wake Forest and Clemson, most would figure that Clemson would be the one-loss team.

Wake Forest needs one win in its last two games to clinch the Atlantic Division and earn a spot in the ACC Championship game. Will the Demon Deacons clinch this week or will the Tigers win and make the division race come down to the season’s final week?

Here are my picks and predictions for the college football Week 12 matchup between Wake Forest and Clemson (Odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).

Wake Forest vs. Clemson Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, November 20, 12 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Weather: 53 degrees, partly cloudy

Wake Forest vs. Clemson Odds Analysis

The Demon Deacons are underdogs for just the third time this season (1-1 straight up, 1-1 against the spread). The -4.5 point spread is up from its initial number of -3.5 at most sportsbooks.

The 56-point Over/Under is the lowest projected total in Wake Forest's last four games and is tied for the highest total of any of Clemson's games this season. The 56-point total is the highest any sportsbooks are currently offering, while some books offer a number as low as 54.5.

The Demon Deacons are 5-5 ATS and have covered the spread in two of their four road games. The Tigers have covered the spread in just two of their 10 games and are 1-4 ATS at home.

Wake Forest vs. Clemson Betting Picks

Clemson -4.5 (-110) ★★
Under 56 (-110) ★★★

SEE ALSO: SMU vs. Cincinnati Week 12 Picks

Wake Forest vs. Clemson Predictions

Clemson -4.5 (-110) ★★

Unranked Clemson has its hands full with Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who has five consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and a rushing score. Wake has scored 215 points in its last four games but should be prepared for much more of a rock fight in this one.

Clemson has not topped 30 points in any conference game this season and the Tigers know they don't want to get into a shootout with the Demon Deacons. Instead, look for the Tigers to play at a much slower pace than usual in an attempt to keep Wake's offense off the field.

Despite putting up 45 points against NC State last week, Hartman also threw three interceptions. Wake Forest has not finished with one or fewer conference losses since 1970, and we look for Clemson to get back to playing elite-level football before the season's end.

Wake is 4-9-1 ATS in its last 14 road games and it should be a raucous environment at Memorial Stadium on Senior Day.

Under 56 (-110) ★★★

Wake Forest is the only team in the country to score 35 or more points in all of its games this season. However, the No. 10-ranked team has not faced a defense as well-coached as Clemson's all year.

The Demon Deacons scored 45 points on NC State, which entered the week as the conference's best statistical defense. However, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables will devise a game plan to neutralize Hartman and negate Wake Forest's big plays.

Clemson has not allowed more than 20 points in any home game this year and kept high-scoring Pittsburgh to 27 points on the road, which was well below the Panthers' season average of 43.5 points per game.

The Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Clemson between these teams and is 9-4 in their previous 13 meetings overall. The Tigers will use their success in defending Pitt's Kenny Pickett to help them with the red-hot Hartman.

SEE ALSO: College Football Week 12 Power Rankings

Wake Forest-Clemson picks made 11/16/2021 at 7:50 a.m. ET