Pitt vs Wake Forest ACC Championship Odds and Picks
Pickett throws

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett warms up before an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

  • Pittsburgh meets Wake Forest in the ACC Championship on Saturday
  • The winner is headed to a historical New Years Six bowl for its program
  • Read below for odds, analysis and bet

Two overachievers meet when Pittsburgh (10-2) takes on Wake Forest (10-2) in the ACC Championship on Saturday. The game will be televised at 8pm on ABC as well as broadcasted on ESPN Radio.

It feels odd to say with a pair of 10-win teams meeting in the Championship game, but it’s been a down year for the ACC. Wake Forest and Pittsburgh are the examples of the teams who best preyed on that.

Pittsburgh vs Wake Forest Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Wake Forest +3 (-110) +130 O 72.5(-110)
Pittsburgh -3 (-110) -150 U 72.5 (-110)

Odds via Draftkings on December 1st

Wake Forest spent most of the season undefeated but outsiders to the College Football Playoff discussion. They stumbled to end the year, losing two of their last four. They were picked preseason to finish fifth in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.

The story was a bit different for the Panthers. They took an early season questionable loss to Western Michigan. It was that loss that killed any real hype before it got started. After that, Pittsburgh managed to close the season by winning 8 of its last 9 games. If they can solidify things with a championship, it will go down as one of the better seasons in school history.

Kenny Pickett is a Bonafide Superstar

In previous previews, I’ve written about how Louisville Quarterback Malik Cunningham was the most underrated player in the Country. Pittsburgh Quarterback Kenny Pickett may challenge that. On Monday, Pickett was placed on the Heisman ballot and led the “Nissan Fan Vote” at the time of this publication.

It’s a nice achievement but it feels like Pickett is capable of more. Based on his numbers, my guess is if he were on a true title contending team he’d be a legitimate threat to actually win the award.

Those numbers speak for themselves. Pickett’s success has largely been in the moderate passing game. Something that is missing from a lot of today’s College Football Quarterbacks. He is just one of three quarterbacks to have over 150 pass completions for 10 yards or more and over 60 pass completions for 20 yards or more. Doing this with such consistency is impressive and difficult for defenses to defend.

Outside of that, Pickett has seen his QBR go 60.9 to 81.8 which is good for eighth best in FBS this season. His play has moved his draft stock from undrafted at the end of last season to a projected first-rounder this year. It’s a testament to how the NFL can value a player’s maturity if they do come back and truly make strides. The Senior looks poised to go out on a high note in his last conference game.

The Big Play a Problem for Wake Forest

If Wake Forest had a better defense, we may be looking at an undefeated team playing for a spot in the playoff.

The tools are all there on the other side of the ball. The tandem of Quarterback Sam Hartman and Wide Receiver A.T. Perry has been electric. Add an efficient backfield by committee? You get one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The defense? It’s been another story.

Wake Forest has given up six plays of 50 yards or more to Power Five opponents. That’s one of the worst marks in the country. They are averaging one of these about every other game. That’s down there with teams like Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. All teams that have been scored on in droves throughout the year.

The Demon Deacons defense has made a few strides throughout the season. They have improved in both passing defense and rushing defense. But something that hasn’t improved is their ability to stop the big play. In fact, it’s gotten worse. In November, Wake gave up six plays of 40 yards or more, it’s worst mark of any month this season. This is something that could spell doom for them in the ACC Championship.

The Best Bet

These two Quarterbacks are one and two in the ACC in passing yards per play at 8.8 vs 8.7 yards per pass. Guess what? These two defenses are right beside each other in this category as two of the worst in the ACC at defending the pass.  Wake Forest is giving up 7.3 per play and Pittsburgh 7.6 per play.

I expect these high-flying offenses to light up the scoreboard. I also expect Wake Forest to keep it close due to Pittsburgh’s defensive issues. I’ll tease them through the key number of seven along with the over.

  • Pick: Over 72.5 (-110); 6-Point Teaser Wake Forest +9/Over 66.5 (-120)
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Chris Hatfield

Sports Writer


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