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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Odds & Game Pick (2021)

by December 27, 2021
Sam Hartman

Full disclosure. I’m a Rutgers fan. I was assigned this game way before Rutgers was in this bowl game. I’m incredibly excited that Rutgers will get an opportunity to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. I’m usually highly optimistic. But even I can’t imagine such an upset.

Let’s talk about it.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights finished the season 5-7, but after Texas A&M opted out of the bowl game due to COVID, the Scarlet Knights accepted a bid into the Gator Bowl to take on Wake Forest. Rutgers had the highest APR of all 5-7 teams and got first dibs on the game.

The Scarlet Knights accepted the bowl bid and will now play Wake Forest on Friday, December 31, right before the College Football Playoff begins. This will be Rutgers’ biggest bowl appearance in the program’s history. But it’s going to be no easy task to knock of a Wake Forest team that went 10-3 on the season.

Here are our picks and predictions for the Gator Bowl between Wake Forest and Rutgers.

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Details

  • Opening Line: Wake Forest -13, O/U 61
  • Current Line: Wake Forest -14.5, O/U 61.5
  • Last meeting: October 2, 1999, Wake Forest 17, Rutgers 10

Overview 

The Scarlet Knights practiced the first week after going 5-7. Rutgers thought there was a chance that a bowl game position would open up. After one week into the off-season, the team lost a little bit of hope. However, the school itself stayed open for finals a little later than most.

This allowed Rutgers to get back into consideration. Sure, some players opted to get ready for the NFL Draft, and others might’ve transferred out of the program before knowing about a bowl opportunity. Some players ultimately went home for the holidays after finals. But it looks like Rutgers has been able to regroup. Preparation will be just like any other game week for Rutgers.

These teams will play the game on Friday, and practice started on Sunday. It’s a great opportunity for Rutgers to get a taste of a big bowl game. However, Rutgers isn’t close to being as good as Wake Forest.

Rutgers scored just 20.5 points per game this season, while Wake Forest scored 41.2 points. But against Wake Forest, there is some belief that Rutgers could find a way to score a hefty amount of points. After all, the Demon Deacons allowed 30.3 points per game on the season.

We’re used to plenty of points and lots of yards in Wake Forest games. In Rutgers games, it’s the exact opposite. That’s what makes this game so exciting. But ultimately, Wake Forest has Sam Hartman under center. He was one of the best ACC quarterbacks this season, throwing for 36 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards.

Noah Vedral, the quarterback of Rutgers, threw just seven touchdowns on 1726 passing yards. So you can see a big difference here.

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Trends 

  • Scarlet Knights are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Under is 8-0 in Scarlet Knights last 8 games in December.
  • Under is 4-0 in Scarlet Knights last 4 bowl games.

Bottom Line 

Rutgers is built on defense. However, it’s hard to know which players will make the trip to play in this game and which players will stay home and prep for the draft. After all, Rutgers had plenty of seniors ready to take the next step in their careers.

Wake Forest will never have trouble scoring the football. Although that defense played miserably towards the end of the year, Rutgers doesn’t have a fundamentally sound offense to put up points against borderline defenses.

I’ll take Wake Forest -14.5 in this game. Rutgers, coming off just one week of prep, just isn’t going to be enough.

Pick: Wake Forest -14.5 (-110)

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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.

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