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Clemson vs Wake Forest: ACC Tournament Seeds at Stake in Regular-Season Finale

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published March 9, 2024
10 min read

There is a lot to play for in the regular-season finale on Saturday between the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Clemson Tigers. The Demon Deacons have started to play themselves out of the NCAA Tournament with three straight losses and five losses in their last seven games. They are in desperate need of a quality win against a Clemson team that has already secured a spot in the Big Dance.

Meanwhile, the Tigers can secure a double-bye in the ACC Tournament with a win on Saturday. Clemson has never won the ACC Tournament. If the Tigers want to change that, the best way to make that happen is to advance straight to the quarterfinals by finishing in the top four of the standings.

Obviously, Clemson enters this game with a lot more momentum and a lot less pressure than Wake Forest. The good news for the Demon Deacons is they have just one loss at home this season. That could help to give them the confidence they need to score a much-needed win. With so much on the line, let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s ACC finale between the Tigers and Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest vs Notre Dame Prediction

Clemson vs Wake Forest Odds for March 9

Despite losing at home earlier this week, oddsmakers still respect Wake’s prowess at home this season. The Demon Deacons are favored  by 3.5 points, which is a sign of great respect from oddsmakers against a quality Clemson team. Here is what the current DraftKings odds for this game look like.

Clemson Tigers+3.5 (-105)+154Over 149.5 (-110)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons-3.5 (-115)-185Under 149.5 (-110)

Odds are via DraftKings Sportsbook. Learn more about DraftKings in North Carolina before it goes live on March 11. Also, don’t forget that folks in North Carolina get $100 in bonus bets at DraftKings just for signing up and then another $200 in bonus bets after making a $5 wager.

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Clemson vs Wake Forest Preview

Wake Forest’s splits between home and road this season are well-documented. On their home court, the Demon Deacons have scored wins over the likes of Florida, Virginia, Pitt, and Duke to improve their NCAA Tournament resume. But on the heels of back-to-back road losses to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, Wake Forest lost its first home game of the season earlier this week against Georgia Tech.

That loss is a huge red flag about Wake’s late-season swoon, questioning whether playing at home will be enough to solve the problem. While the Demon Deacons fought back from a 14-point halftime deficit, they continued to get little production from their bench. That led to another subpar offensive performance.

All five of Wake’s starters average at least nine points per game with four of the five starters averaging at least 13 points per game. However, the Demon Deacons have been held below 70 points in four of their last seven games because at least one or two of their starters have had a subpar game. That can’t happen if Wake Forest expects to beat a quality Clemson team.

The Tigers are led by center PJ Hall, who is a lock to be a First-Team All-ACC selection. Hall and Syracuse transfer Joe Girard combine for nearly 44% of Clemson’s scoring. While that’s not exactly a balanced attack, the Tigers are well-balanced between inside and outside scoring. They also have a veteran core with Hall, Girard, and fellow seniors Chase Hunter and Jack Clark. 

With that experienced team, the Tigers have a lot more momentum coming down the stretch than Wake Forest. The Tigers have won four of their last five games and are 7-2 in their last nine games. They are also 6-2-1 against the spread during that stretch and have played some of their best basketball late in the season.

To be fair, Clemson has been a mixed bag on the road. Last Saturday, the Tigers suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Notre Dame. However, they also have road wins against Alabama, Pitt, and North Carolina this season. In fact, Clemson is 8-3 against the spread when playing power-conference opponents on the road this season, which is a good omen against a Wake Forest team that's been strong at home.

Clemson vs Wake Forest Betting Prediction & Pick

While the Demon Deacons have been great at home this season, the team’s three-game losing streak is concerning. It’s not just that Wake Forest has lost three in a row, it’s that all three losses have come against teams that are in the bottom half of the ACC standings. Wake’s lack of depth is also concerning, especially against a quality opponent.

Keep in mind that the Tigers are trying to secure a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, so they have a lot at stake in this game and will be motivated to win. The Tigers also have an impressive amount of star power on their roster and have come on strong late in the season. A Clemson win could be in the cards, but if nothing else, the Tigers are going to make this a close game in the end and beat the spread.

Clemson vs Wake Forest Pick: Clemson +3.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook

How to Watch Clemson vs Wake Forest 

  • When: 6:00 PM EST on Saturday, March 9

  • Where: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • TV: ACC Network

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Bryan Zarpentine

174 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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