Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 4, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The ACC Championship sees two schools that usually don't make it this far, but eager to prove their worthiness. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons face off with the Pittsburgh Panthers from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kick off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET and will air on ABC.

Score Prediction

Wake Forest 41, Pittsburgh 38

Best Bets

Over 71 (-110) at Circa Sports

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Predictions

There are no blue bloods in this year’s ACC Championship Game. Preseason favorites Clemson and North Carolina had down years, so it will be the Wake Forest Demon Deacons meeting the Pittsburgh Panthers in the title game. Both teams have been to this stage once before, but while Wake Forest knocked off Georgia Tech 9-6 for the ACC title in 2006, Pittsburgh was dismantled 42-10 by Clemson three years ago.

This is expected to be the highest scoring title game of all the Power Five conferences. Kenny Pickett and Sam Hartman have been two of the most effective quarterbacks in college football this season, so the over has a good chance to cash. Wake Forest has been tough to stop with its slow mesh offense all season, so the Demon Deacons are the side to take as a short dog.

More Free College Football Picks

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Resources

  • Matchup: ACC Championship
  • Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
  • Venue: Bank of America Stadium
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • TV-Time: ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 10-2
  • ATS: 9-3
  • O/U: 8-4

Pickett came out of nowhere to be a fringe Heisman Trophy contender in 2021. Pickett had never thrown more than 13 touchdown passes in a season before this year, when he completed 67.7% of his passes for 4,066 yards (8.8 YPA) with 40 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He has made mistakes recently though with four picks in his last three games.

The best receiver on the Panthers is Jordan Addison. He has 85 receptions for 1,353 yards and 17 touchdowns this year. Jared Wayne and tight end Lucas Krull have been regular targets for Pickett too in this offense.

Pittsburgh is averaging just 4.2 YPC. Israel Abanikanda, Vincent Davis, and Rodney Hammond Jr. have split the duties in the backfield. Davis has had back-to-back big games for the Panthers, and Abanikanda sat out last week with a slight injury.

The Panthers have an elite front seven that is surrendering just 2.8 YPC. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five in rush defense, but the secondary has been an issue. This defense is allowing 7.9 YPA and 279.4 YPG through the air, so Hartman could have a huge game.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 10-2
  • ATS: 6-6
  • O/U: 6-6

Hartman has been great for Wake Forest this season. He is running Dave Clawson’s offense at a high level, completing over 60% of his passes for 8.8 YPA with 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Hartman isn’t a great runner, but he makes solid decisions on when to pull and when to run in order to keep the Demon Deacons ahead of schedule on offense.

Wake Forest has two 1,000-yard receivers. A.T. Perry has 56 receptions for 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns as the main big play threat, and Jaquarii Roberson has 62 catches for 1,024 yards and eight touchdowns as the other big receiver.

The Demon Deacons are only averaging 4.1 YPC, but they rank second in scoring offense (43.1 PPG) and seventh in total offense (490.1 YPG). The slow mesh has made them an extremely efficient offense, and the ground game doesn’t have to do too much.

This defense has some issues though. Wake Forest is allowing 5.2 YPC and 216.2 YPG on the ground. North Carolina ran for 330 yards and six touchdowns against the Demon Deacons last month, so Pittsburgh could have a lot of success running the ball.

Wake Forest has seen the favorite cover the spread in six straight games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Pittsburgh Panthers

  • Record: 10-2
  • VI Ranking: 20
  • Points Scored: 514
  • Points Allowed: 279
  • PS/G: 42.8 (4th)
  • PA/G: 23.2 (44th)

Inside the Stats - Wake Forest Demon Deacons

  • Record: 10-2
  • VI Ranking: 19
  • Points Scored: 515
  • Points Allowed: 349
  • PS/G: 42.9 (3rd)
  • PA/G: 29.1 (91st)

Key Players to Watch

  • PITT: Kenny Pickett - QB (314/464, 4,066 yards, 40 TD, 7 INT)
  • PITT: Jordan Addison - WR (85 catches, 1,353 yards, 17 TD)
  • WF: Sam Hartman - QB (255/423, 3,711 yards, 44 Total TDs, 10 INT)
  • WF: A.T. Perry - WR (56 catches, 1,112 yards, 13 TD)

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Conclusion

Wake Forest has an offense that can put up points on Pittsburgh’s defense. Pickett will throw for over 300 yards against this defense, but the Demon Deacons will be too tough to stop with their slow mesh offense on just a week of prep.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Trends

  • Wake Forest has seen the favorite cover the spread in six straight games.
  • Pittsburgh has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games when facing a school from North Carolina.
  • Pittsburgh has covered the spread in nine of its last 12 games.