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Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 15:38 PM

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Predictions, Odds, Picks

Nov. 6, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

ACC action is set for Saturday in a huge game that has CFB Playoff implications as the undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the UNC Tar Heels. Kick off is set for 12:00 p.m. ET and will air on ABC from Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Score Prediction

Wake Forest 41, UNC 38

Best Bet

Wake Forest +3


Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Predictions

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons aren’t receiving much respect from either the College Football Playoff Selection Committee or the oddsmakers. Wake Forest was only ranked No. 9 in the initial CFP rankings on Tuesday despite being 8-0, and the Demon Deacons are underdogs on the road to the 4-4 North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday. Although both these teams are in the ACC, this is a non-conference game.

This should be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend. The total opened at 75.5, and it has risen since that point to be the highest total on the board at this time. Both of these offenses are ranked in the top ten in SP+, but Wake Forest will pull out another victory to move to 9-0.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Odds

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Resources

  • Matchup: ACC
  • Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021
  • Venue: Kenan Stadium
  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV-Time: ABC - 12:00 p.m. ET

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-0
  • ATS: 4-4
  • O/U: 3-5
  • ATS - Home: 2-3
  • ATS - Away: 2-1

The Demon Deacons’ offense ranks 10th in Offensive SP+. Dave Clawson has done a remarkable job at one of the hardest places to consistently win with his slow mesh offense. The quarterback holds the ball as long as possible before deciding to give it to the running back or not in this scheme, and it continues to befuddle opposing defenses.

Sam Hartman has been one of the ACC’s best quarterbacks in this offense. Hartman is completing 65.2% of his passes for 9.9 YPA with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions. The interior line has done a great job keeping him upright considering this offense too, leading to Hartman only being sacked 11 times.

Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry could both be 1,000-yard receivers this season. Roberson and Perry both have more than 700 receiving yards, and both players are averaging at least 17.1 YPR.

The ground game has been good enough to keep the pressure off Hartman. Christian Beal-Smith and Justice Ellison are each averaging at least 5.0 YPC, and Hartman is a real mobile threat that is averaging 4.1 YPC with six rushing touchdowns.

Wake Forest’s defense has not fared well against the run. The Demon Deacons are allowing 4.9 YPC and 211.1 YPG on the ground. That is why the oddsmakers and the Selection Committee believe they will eventually stumble.

UNC Tar Heels Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 4-4
  • ATS: 3-5
  • O/U: 5-3
  • ATS - Home: 3-2
  • ATS - Away: 0-3

Sam Howell was expected to be a Heisman Trophy finalist at the start of the season. Howell was one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2020, but his production has gone down without Javonte Williams and a strong run game.

Howell is still playing well, completing 63.2% of his passes for 9.1 YPA with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. North Carolina is averaging 5.1 YPC as a team, leading to this offense ranking fourth in SP+. Josh Downs is well on his way to all-conference honors with 70 receptions for 979 yards and eight touchdowns as Howell’s top target in this passing game.

Unfortunately, the Tar Heels haven’t had great play out of their defense. They rank 72nd in Defensive SP+ as Jay Bateman has been unable to turn this unit around during his time as defensive coordinator. North Carolina ranks outside the top 75 in terms of YPC and YPA on defense, so Wake Forest will find the end zone several times on Saturday.

Inside the Stats - Wake Forest Demon Deacons

  • Record: 8-0
  • VI Ranking: 7
  • Points Scored: 347
  • Points Allowed: 191
  • PS/G: 43.4 (5th)
  • PA/G: 23.9 (55th)

Inside the Stats - UNC Tar Heels

  • Record: 4-4
  • VI Ranking: 52
  • Points Scored: 292
  • Points Allowed: 246
  • PS/G: 36.5 (22nd)
  • PA/G: 30.8 (100th)

Key Players to Watch

  • WF: Sam Hartman - QB (163/250, 2,475 yards, 22 TD, 3 INT)
  • WF: Christian Beal - RB (97 carries, 492 yards, 7 TD)
  • UNC: Sam Howell - QB (153/242, 2,192 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT)
  • UNC: Ty Chandler - RB (121 carries, 671 yards, 9 TD)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Conclusion

These offenses will trade punches and go back and forth throughout the afternoon. The ultimate difference might lie in the kicking game, and while Wake Forest’s Nick Sciba has missed just one kick all year, North Carolina’s Grayson Atkins is 8-12 on field goals.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. UNC Tar Heels Betting Trends

  • Wake Forest has covered the spread in nine of its last 10 games when facing a school from North Carolina.
  • Wake Forest has gone OVER the point total in seven of its last eight road games when facing a non-AP-ranked school in November.
  • Wake Forest has covered the spread in three of its last four games when facing UNC.
  • The point total has gone OVER in four of the last five meetings.
  • The home team has won five straight meetings.

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