The Clemson Tigers unexpectedly won the ACC title last year, upsetting Virginia Tech twice in the process.
This year, Clemson is right in the running for a repeat as it heads up to Winston-Salem for a Thursday night date with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7:30 pm ET, ESPN).
The home team has won eight of the past 10 meetings between these teams, and the point spread has been fluctuating between -11.5 and -13 at most shops.
The visiting Tigers opened as 16-point chalk, but that number was steadily bet down during the week.
Clemson opened this season with a 26-19 win at Auburn and followed that performance with victories over Ball State and Furman. But the Tigers then lost their ACC opener to Florida State, 49-37, although they did cover the point spread that day as 14-point dogs.
Since then, Clemson has defeated Boston College by a score of 45-31 and Georgia Tech by a score of 47-31. Last week, the Tigers knocked off Virginia Tech again, this time by a score of 38-17, even though they were out-gained by over 100 yards.
At 3-1 in conference play, Clemson sits in second place in the Atlantic Division, a game (and a tie-breaker) behind the first-place Seminoles.
Wake Forest, meanwhile, began this season with a 20-17 victory over Liberty. The Demon Deacons opened ACC play with a come-from-behind victory over North Carolina but then got roasted by Florida State, 52-0.
The Deacons then stepped out of conference for a win over Army but returned to ACC play and lost to Duke and Maryland.
Last week, though, Wake picked up a conference road victory with a 16-10 win at Virginia.
At 2-3 in conference play, the Deacons are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, but at 4-3 overall, they're only two victories from bowl eligibility.
Statistically speaking, Clemson has been out-rushed this season by a 202-192 YPG average, while Wake has been out-gained by a 184-121 margin.
On the injury front, Deacons WR Michael Campanaro, who leads the team by a wide margin in both catches and yards (38 and 429, repsectively), has missed the last two games with a broken hand. Fortunately for Wake fans, he will be back in uniform for the Clemson game, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
Clemson has won the last three games in this series. Last year, though, the Tigers had to rally from a 28-14 third-quarter deficit at Death Valley to win 31-28 on a field goal at the buzzer. The Deacons covered that day as 16-point dogs.
Free Pick: Both these teams have some question marks, but we'll go with the team that's shown a little more on defense and take Wake as a home dog.
All odds, stats and trends mentioned courtesy of OddShark.com. Mike Pickett is a Contributor to Bleacher Report.
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