This Saturday the No. 19 Wake Forest Demon Deacons will make the trip to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST at Lane Stadium and will be televised on the ACC Network.

Oddsmakers opened up this line at Wake Forest -3, but early money has thing under a field goal with the Demon Deacons -2.5 at most books. The total for this matchup opened at 65 and is down to 63.

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Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview: Virginia Tech vs Wake Forest

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)

The Demon Deacons have to be one of the biggest surprises in the country. Wake Forest has come out of nowhere to go 7-1 in their first 8 games. Last week the absolutely annihilated NC State 44-10, easily covering as a 8.5-point favorite.

The only loss on the season for the Demon Deacons is a 62-59 loss at home to Louisville, where WF somehow managed to lose with 668 total yards (outgained Cardinals by 148 yards).

With a win on Saturday against the Hokies, Wake Forest will head to Clemson next week with 1st place in the ACC Atlantic up for grabs.

Virginia Tech Hokies (5-3 SU, 3-4 ATS)

The Hokies come into this one off a gut-wrenching 21-20 loss at Notre Dame. On the bright side, as least for the VA Tech backers, the Hokies easily covered as a 17.5-point underdog. Virginia Tech got a 98-yard fumble return in the final seconds of the 1st half to tie the game at 14-14, they would take the lead on the opening drive of the 2nd half and would maintain the lead until giving up a 18-play 87-yard TD drive that put the Irish up 21-20 with less than 30 seconds to play.

That loss snapped the Hokies 3-game winning streak, but it didn’t hurt them in the grand scheme of things. Virginia Tech is just 2-2 and have 4 teams ahead of them in the ACC Coastal standings, but if they win out they will be the team that advances to the ACC title game. Even with a loss they aren’t out of it, as long they win their last 3 games.

Matchup History

This will actually be the first time that these two teams have played since 2014, so it’s hard to read a ton into the recent meetings. For it’s worth, Wake Forest won the last matchup by a score of 6-3.

Free NCAA Football Picks & Predictions: Wake Forest -2.5

My early lean here would be to back the Demon Deacons. I just feel like this is too good a price to pass up with Wake Forest laying less than a field goal. I think a big reason why we are seeing a lower line than what we should be is because the Demon Deacons have that big game against Clemson on deck. I’m sure if you asked head coach Dave Clawson he would say the same thing. Next week’s game against the Tigers means absolutely nothing if they don’t win this one.

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In fact, I think the team that will struggle to show up this Saturday is Virginia Tech. I gave out the Hokies last week against Notre Dame, but that was 100% situational. I saw a ton of value with a Hokies team that had been playing well of late coming off a bye against a deflated Irish team that just had their playoff hopes crushed the week before.

It played out just as I expected, as Notre Dame did everything they could to give that game away. The Irish had an interception in the red zone that took points off the board and then had that catastrophic fumble in the final second of the 1st half that Va Tech returned for a 98-yard score. Notre Dame also had another pick in Va Tech territory just outside the red zone and missed a chip-shot 35-yard field goal. Notre Dame finished with a 442 to 240 edge in total yards and 25 to 12 advantage in first downs.

My concern with the Hokies isn’t that they got outplayed and lost the game, it’s how they lost the game. There’s just some losses that sting more than others and losing in the final seconds of historic Notre Dame Stadium is not one they will soon forget. I also think the fact that they can lose this game and still win the Coastal makes it that much tougher on them to bounce back.

All of this and I haven’t even got to the most important part and that’s that Wake Forest is the better team. The Demon Deacons have something special going and for me this one is all about the matchup. Wake Forest’s offense is built around their passing game. It’s ranked 9th in the nation at 323.6 ypg and will be facing a Virginia Tech secondary that ranks 109th, giving up 261.5 ypg.

Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson has not let his teams suffer letdowns. Clawson is 11-1 ATS in the 12 times his team has come in off a conference blowout win by 21 or more points. Give me Wake Forest -2.5.