Former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked a magnificent seven penalties from seven attempts in a 29-24 victory but it was not quite enough to enable Sarries to depose Harlequins at the summit.
Hodgson's only kicking miss was a conversion attempt from the touchline after lock Alistair Hargreaves scored Sarries' only try.
South African Hargreaves had an afternoon of mixed fortunes, grabbing his charge-down try and being sin-binned before being carried off on a stretcher following a controversial challenge by James Haskell.
Saracens' other three points came from a Nils Mordt penalty while Hodgson was off the pitch receiving treatment for a cut.
But Wasps pushed them all the way, with tries from winger Tom Varndell and scrum-half Charlie Davies, three penalties and a drop goal from Nick Robinson and a conversion by his replacement Tommy Bell not quite enough to stop their four-match winning run in all competitions from coming to an end.
A 70-metre try from wing Nick Scott with the last action of the match gave London Welsh an unlikely but crucial 16-9 win against Bath in their battle for survival.
Scott picked off Stephen Donald's telegraphed pass and had sufficient pace to hold off the cover for the match-winning try, which Gordon Ross converted.
It was the only try in a desperately poor game and a draw would have been a fair result as neither side played well enough to deserve a win.
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