Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#161 Wake Forest vs.
#162 Boston College
Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Nathaniel Reeves

The No. 21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons will look to lock up a spot in the ACC Championship Game when they visit the Boston College Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. Wake Forest is having a fantastic season overall at 9-2 (6-1 ACC), but is coming off a tough 48-27 road loss to the Clemson Tigers as a 3.5-point underdog last weekend. Boston College fell just short in a 26-23 loss to the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday as a three-point home favorite to fall to 6-5 (2-5 ACC) on the season.

This is historically a competitive matchup with Boston College holding a 14-11-2 advantage all-time, although the Demon Deacons won the most recent meeting 27-24 on the road back in 2019.

Wake Forest eyes first ACC title since 2006

The Demon Deacons still control their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic race, but are now no longer unbeaten in conference play after getting blown out at Clemson last weekend. A Christian Turner touchdown run just before half got Wake Forest back in the game after falling behind 17-3, only for Clemson to reel off three touchdowns in the third quarter, and late scores by Quinton Cooley and Blake Whiteheart weren't enough for a rally.

Prolific quarterback Sam Hartman had one of his worst outings, completing 27 of 43 pass attempts for 312 yards, one touchdown and one interception. A.T. Perry had a standout performance with five receptions for 113 yards, while Jaquarii Roberson piled up 93 yards on six catches. The Demon Deacons just couldn't get any stops, with a Clemson offense that was previously struggling racking up 543 yards of total offense.

“We’ve lost two out of the last three on the road,” head coach Dave Clawson said to the Winston-Salem Journal. “And in the last three weeks, we’ve turned it over more than the first eight weeks of play. So we’ve had eight turnovers the past three games. You know, again, defensively, we played poorly.”

Even with the overall success, Wake Forest is just 5-6 against the spread, and has failed to cover in two of its last three games including a loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels. Overs are 6-5 for the Demon Deacons, and six of their last seven games have gone over the betting total after a hot start for the under.

This is one of college football's most powerful offenses, as the Demon Deacons are averaging 43.1 points per game to rank fourth nationally while racking up 490.1 yards per contest, the eighth-best mark in the country. The problems have been on the other end, with opponents putting up 30.8 points and 449.8 yards per game.

Hartman has among the nation's most productive signal callers, completing 235 of 391 pass attempts for 3,475 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions while adding 292 yards and nine scores on the ground. Turner is the team's leading rusher who is currently healthy with 92 carries for 378 yards and four touchdowns, while Perry is having a massive season with 52 catches for 1,031 yards and 11 scores. Rondell Bothroyd has disrupted opposing offenses with 52 tackles including 12.5 loss, five sacks and a forced fumble.

The Demon Deacons sustained a ton of injuries in their game two weeks ago against NC State, including to top two leading rushers Christian Beal (lower body) and Justice Ellison (undisclosed), who have combined for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns this season but are now both questionable. Starting defensive back Caelen Carson has missed two straight games and is questionable. Key wideout Donavon Greene, linebacker Chase Monroe and starting right tackle Je'Vionte' Nash are all out for the year for undisclosed injuries.

Boston College rally falls short

Second-year head coach Jeff Hafley generally has the Eagles trending in the right direction as they are already bowl eligible, but will be regretting missing on an opportunity to win a third straight game last weekend as they fell just short against Florida State. Trailing 26-3 midway through the third, Pat Garwo III finally got Boston College in the end zone with a short run before Phil Jurkovec and Zay Flowers both scored in a three-minute span early in the fourth quarter. Boston College got the ball back and drove all the way to the Florida State 37-yard line before stalling on downs.

Jurkovec had a rough game passing, finishing 10/24 for 148 yards, one touchdown and one interception, although he did have 59 rushing yards and a touchdown. Garwo III carried the ball 24 times for 71 yards and a touchdown, while Flowers made some big plays with three receptions for 92 yards and a score. The Eagles were outgained 365-318 in total yards, as getting stopped on fourth down while losing the turnover battle 1-0 made the difference.

“It’s a combination - they threw some new stuff at us, and they executed at a high level. They made plays. We got behind. We couldn’t protect early, we couldn’t stop them early, and it kind of snowballed early in the game. We made some adjustments and rebounded well in the second half,” Hafley said via BC Interruption about the slow start.

Boston College remains above .500 against the spread at 6-5, as it had covered in its previous two games with easy wins over Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech before losing to Florida State. Overs are just 3-8 for the Eagles, with six of their last seven games going under the betting total.

It's been a struggle for a Boston College offense that has dealt with injuries, as the Eagles are averaging just 26 points and 364.9 yards per game. The Eagles have been a strong defense, ranking 25th nationally in scoring at 20.5 points per game allowed with opponents managing just 338 yards per contest.

Jurkovec has played in five games while missing significant time in the middle of the season with a hand injury, completing 49 of 85 passes for 895 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 256 yards and five scores on the ground. Garwo III has been good out of the backfield with 193 carries for 981 yards and seven touchdowns, while Flowers is attracting NFL Draft buzz with 43 catches for 745 yards and five scores. Marcus Valdez has made some big plays for the Boston College defense with five tackles for loss, four sacks and three forced fumbles.

As many as 15 unnamed players for the Eagles are currently dealing with an outbreak of the flu, and while the coaching staff is hopeful they will all be ready to go by Saturday, that is certainly worth monitoring closer to game time. Injuries are also a problem, as the Eagles were down their best defensive player last week with corner Josh DeBerry out for an undisclosed reason, and his status is unknown. Starting defensive end defensive end Shitta Silla is also day-do-day with an undisclosed injury. The Eagles are also unsure if starting left guard Christian Mahogany will play on Saturday as he has an undisclosed injury.

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While Wake Forest will be disappointed to lose the mistake-filled game at Clemson last weekend, this is a good opportunity to bounce back against a limited Boston College team that could be missing some key players. The Demon Deacons' well-coached offense will provide Boston College's defense with the toughest test it has faced all season, and the Eagles won't generate enough explosive plays on the other side to keep up.

Led by Hartman, who controls the mesh point in an RPO-heavy offense better than any other quarterback in the nation, this Wake Forest offense has piled up a healthy 6.4 yards per play for the season while scoring at least 35 points in every game prior to facing the ACC's best defense last weekend. Compare that to Boston College, which is at just 5.5 yards per play as Jurkovec has struggled with accuracy following his injury, and the Eagles don't have the downfield passing attack to compete against such a prolific offense.

This would be an appealing enough line as is, and the Eagles having so many players sick with the flu this week plus injuries to some important pieces makes things even tougher. Wake Forest has been the better team all season, and will be able to take this one by a touchdown following a tough week for Boston College.

Prediction: Wake Forest -5

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Beyond Wake Forest being a tough offense to prepare for schematically for any defense, the Demon Deacons operate at the ultra-fast tempo of 80 plays per game. That causes a defense that allows 6.1 yards per play to give up a ton of points, and Boston College at least has enough talented players like Flowers and Garwo III to do some damage when given those extra possessions.

Boston College's defense is sound, but replacing the injured DeBerry is tough as he leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions, while one of its best defensive linemen in Sillah could also be out. Wake Forest has gotten in nothing but shootouts all season, and that will continue here considering Boston College's injuries on defense.

Prediction: Over 64.5
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Written By Nathaniel Reeves , "Nathaniel Reeves"

Nathaniel Reeves is an avid sports fan with degrees in journalism from the University of Washington and statistics from Western Washington University. He's always had a passion for applying statistical analysis to sports betting and has successfully handicapped college football, college basketball, and Esports for years. Nathaniel has endured being a lifelong fan of the Seattle Mariners, along with the Seattle Seahawks, UW Huskies and soon to be Seattle Kraken. He has been a very successful sports bettor the last several years and we are thrilled that Nate has chosen to bring his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. You would be very wise to follow him daily. 
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