Wake Forest 2018 Betting Preview: High-Powered Offense Will Lead to Major Upsets
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Scott Washington
Wake Forest 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +50000
- To win the ACC: +5000
- To win the ACC Atlantic: +2650
- Win Total: 6.5 (under -120)
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Wake Forest 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 7.4
Bet To Watch
Wake Forest Over 6.5 (-110)
In 2017, Dave Clawson’s “Clawfense” went into full effect and had the Demon Deacons up to 28th in explosiveness and second in Passing S&P+ despite missing star wide receiver Greg Dortch for all of November.
The Demon Deacons are well-known for their explosiveness, but were also seventh in red zone scoring percentage. Quarterback John Wolford departs, but Kendall Hinton will do just fine after he serves a three-game suspension (Tulane, Towson and Boston College). Whoever is under center for those three games will have one mission — swing the ball to Dortch.
Wake Forest returns all five starting offensive linemen and its most productive running backs. And if the Deacons can improve on their third-down conversion percentage (57th in 2017), the Deacs’ offense can give Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida State fits. With Clemson’s suspect cornerbacks, it would not be a reach to say that Wake could upset the Tigers at home, and I wouldn’t count it out on the road against Louisville or Florida State.
The one concern I have about the Demon Deacons is that their defense was average in most advanced stats, but improvement in the passing game (87th Passing S&P+ and 78th in adjusted sack rate) will dramatically help. I think there is plenty of value in backing the Deacons to win over 6.5 games, even with Hinton’s suspension.
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What else you need to know about Wake Forest
The Action Network power rankings have the opener against Tulane lined at Wake -14.5. This number has taken a dip with the announcement of Hinton’s suspension, but this is still an elite offense that should plow over Tulane’s underwhelming front seven (98th in Opportunity Rate defense). The Wake Forest defense has all summer to prepare for the triple option, and should have a dominant rushing attack to play ball control. Take Wake Forest -7, currently listed at BookMaker, in Week 1.