Check out our best plays in this week’s Fab Five:
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will host the Pittsburgh Panthers in an ACC battle Saturday afternoon from BB&T Field. The Panthers are coming off a dominating 52-22 home win over Virginia Tech, and the Demon Deacons recorded a solid 27-23 road win over #14 NC State in their latest action. There is no previous meeting between these two schools.
Panthers Clinch Bowl Eligibility in Third Straight Win
The Pittsburgh Panthers enter this one riding a three-game winning streak, and they are one win away from clinching a spot in the ACC title game. They are coming off a convincing 52-22 home win over Virginia Tech last week. Kenny Pickett only attempted 11 passes for 162 yards and one TD in the win. The sophomore QB is usually busy handing the ball off on a run-heavy offense, and as a result, he only has 1379 passing yards with a 9:5 TD to INT ratio on the season. Panthers #1 RB Qadree Ollison is coming off a dazzling 235-yard performance against VA Tech, and the senior RB has now accumulated 1054 rushing yards on the season. The Panthers also feature Darrin Hall who has registered 844 rushing yards. The Panthers have two receivers with over 300 receiving yards led by Maurice Ffrench with 377 yards.
Did we get the W?
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) November 11, 2018
The Pittsburgh offense has now scored over 50 points in two out of their last three games which included 54 points against a solid Duke defense. The Panthers defense has been outstanding in three out of their last four games. They held Virginia to 13 points a few weeks ago, followed by 22 points against VA Tech in their latest action. Pittsburgh owns a 1-3 road record on the season, and they are now averaging 29.9 points, ranking them 62nd overall. They are allowing an average of 29.6 points, pegging them 82nd in the FBS.
Wake Forest Stuns N.C. State
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons head into this one riding a wave of confidence after recording a 27-23 upset road win over #14 N.C. State to improve to 2-4 in ACC play. Jamie Newman made his first start in place of #1 QB Sam Hartman who is out for the season, and he was tremendous, accumulating 297 passing yards with three TD’s. The sophomore QB has only attempted 52 passes at the collegiate level. Wake Forest features two potent RB’s that are capable of doing big damage. Matt Colburn has 698 rushing yards, while Cade Carney is up to 669 rushing yards. Carney has rushed for over 100 yards twice this season, and the junior has five TD’s on the season.
Demon Deacons’ #1 receiver Greg Dortch could play a big factor in this game. The sophomore WR has accumulated 921 receiving yards on the season, and he is up against a subpar pass defense in this matchup.
— Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) November 9, 2018
The Wake Forest offense has been inconsistent this season, although they are averaging a solid 454 total yards per game. The Demon Deacons defense came through with one of their best defensive performances of the season against NC State, although overall they have struggled against both the pass and run this season. Wake Forest is averaging 31.8 points, ranking them 45th overall. They are allowing an average of 35.8 points, pegging them 111th overall. Wake Forest is one win away from bowl eligibility with two games remaining.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are:
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a winning record.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 November games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking Pittsburgh in this contest. The Panthers have now won three game straight games led by their potent running game. Pittsburgh is averaging a sizzling 257 rushing yards per game, good for 10th in the FBS, and they are up against a poor Wake Forest rush defense that ranks down at 101st in the FBS. Look for another big game from Quadree Ollison and Darrin Hall.
Furthermore, Wake Forest has not performed well on offense recently, scoring 27 or fewer points in four out of their last five games which is an issue considering they are allowing an average of 40 points in that five game span.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a solid play in this matchup as both teams are shaky defensively. The Panthers rush defense ranks down at 78th overall, and Wake Forest features the 26th ranked rushing offense in the FBS. Also, Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman tossed three TD’s in his season debut, and the over is 5-1 in the Demon Deacons’ last six home games.
Furthermore, the Panthers recently scored 54 points against a solid Duke defense in their previous home game, followed by 52 points against Virginia Tech last week, and the Wake Forest defense stands near the bottom of the FBS in several defensive categories including an average of 485 total yards against. The over is 8-1 in Wake Forest’s last nine home games against a team with a winning record, and it should hit again in this one.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the Pittsburgh team total is a strong play. The Panthers are firing on all cylinders on offense, scoring over 50 points in two out of their last three games, and they are up against an awful defense that has allowed over 38 points in five out of their last eight games.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Team Total: Over
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking the points with Wake Forest on the halftime line. Wake Forest is a strong first half team. They are averaging a solid 15.7 points in the first half compared to only 13.3 points in the second half. In addition, Pittsburgh is allowing an average of 14.1 points in the opening half, ranking them 61st in the FBS.
Prediction: Wake Forest
Half-Time Total Bet
The over on the first half total is a strong play. Wake Forest is averaging a solid 16 points in the first half in their last three games, and Pittsburgh is averaging 18.3 points in the first half in their last three. I expect a high-scoring game from start to finish. Also, the Demon Deacons have been especially productive on their home field where they are averaging 17.2 points in the first half.
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking the over on the first quarter total. Both teams are no stranger to fast starts on offense. Pittsburgh is averaging 8.8 points in the opening quarter this season, while Wake Forest is posting 8 points.
Prediction: First Quarter Total: Over