Coming into the year, the chances are slim that you had either Wake Forest or Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship game, let alone both. Yet, here we are with the Pittsburgh Panthers, led by Heisman-contending quarterback Kenny Pickett, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons meeting in Charlotte to decide who wins the ACC. It’s not necessarily a David vs Goliath matchup; it’s more of a David vs David game. The following Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest college football betting preview will give you the current odds, betting trends and a prediction for the ACC Championship game.
Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest College Football Betting Preview
2021 ACC Championship Game
Pitt (10-2, 7-1 ACC) vs Wake Forest (10-2, 7-1 ACC)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2021
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Venue: Bank Of America Stadium — Charlotte, NC
Pittsburgh Football Preview
It’s crazy that Pittsburgh finds itself in the ACC Championship game. However, even more crazy is the way quarterback, and Heisman contender, Kenny Pickett has played. After throwing for just over 2,400 yards in his junior year, 2020, he’s thrown for over 4,000 yards and also upped his touchdown total from 13 to 40. Also, after throwing nine interceptions last year, he has thrown only seven this season, which is impressive considering how much more he has thrown this season. Pickett has attempted 464 passes this year compared to only 332 last year.
In the running game, the two-headed monster of Israel Abanikanda and Vincent Davis have combined to rush for nearly 1,100 yards this season while finding the end zone nine times. Wide receiver Jordan Addison is Pickett’s favorite target, by far. Addison has caught 85 passes this year, almost double the next leading receiver Jared Wayne who only has 43. With those 85 grabs, he’s crossed the 1,300 receiving yardage mark and has found the end zone a whopping 17 times this season.
On defense, junior linebacker SirVocea Dennis and defensive back Brandon Hill lead the team in tackles with 64 each. However, Dennis is a versatile linebacker who has two sacks this season along with an interception to add to his resume. Hill has also picked off two passes, while linebacker Josh Petrishen has three and cornerback DaMarri Mathis had two as well. The Panthers rank 42nd in total defense, giving up over 353 yards per game. Head Coach Pat Narduzzi has been waiting to get back into the ACC Championship game since 2018, when they were smoked by Clemson 42-10
Wake Forest Football Preview
The Demon Deacons are probably the underdog story of the year among power five conferences. After finishing 10th in the ACC last year during the COVID-plagued 2020 season, they stayed undefeated up until Week 10, before falling to North Carolina. They would lose one more game on the season in Week 13, losing to Clemson, 48-27. However, last weekend, they throttled a good Boston College team, 41-10.
The offense is led by offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero and sophomore quarterback Sam Hartman. Hartman finished third in both the overall ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He’s thrown for over 3,700 yards and has thrown 34 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, and even has run for a whopping 10 touchdowns. That’s 44 touchdowns overall for Hartman, who has been outstanding this season.
In the running game, Hartman leads with 10 touchdowns, but running backs Christian Beal-Smith, Justice Ellison and Christian Turner have combined to rush for over 1,450 yards this season, and have found the end zone 18 times between the three of them. Junior wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson has 62 catches on the year for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s a great go-to receiver for Hartman. However, their home-run threat on the outside is 6’5″ sophomore wide receiver A.T. Perry. He has 56 receptions on the year for over 1,100 yards and a whopping 13 touchdowns.
On defense, the Demon Deacons struggle, ranking 100th nationally in total defense. They give up over 425 yards per game to their opponent. Pitt is going to score, because they are a good offense. However, if Wake can get maybe 5-6 stops over the course of the game, they will definitely be in it in the end. Ryan Smenda Jr. is the leader on the defense, accounting for 66 tackles this season. Defensive backs Traveon Reed and Ja’Sir Taylor have combined for five interceptions on the season. If the defense can hold Pitt to under 50% on third down, they have a great shot to win the ACC title.
Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest Betting Odds
Moneyline: PITT:(-160) | WAKE: (+135)
Spread: PITT: -3 (-120) | WAKE: +3 (+100)
Total: 71.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Public (Spread) Betting via Action Network: PITT: (65%) | WAKE: (35%)
Pittsburgh College Football Betting Trends
- Pittsburgh is 9-3-0 against the spread (ATS) this year.
- The game totals for Pittsburgh have gone over 66.7% of this time.
- Pittsburgh is 6-3 ATS and 7-2 overall when the team picks up more than 427.5 yards.
Wake Forest College Football Betting Trends
- Wake Forest has six wins ATS in 12 games this year.
- When Wake Forest puts up more than 23.3 points, it is 6-5 ATS and 10-2 overall.
Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest Prediction
This Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest college football betting prediction uses the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI). It gives Pittsburgh a 61.5% to win the ACC Championship.
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