TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Wake Forest at Rutgers 12/31/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Friday morning. Rutgers was selected as a replacement team after Texas A&M had to opt-out due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are 10-3 on the season after spending a good portion of the year undefeated. They are coming off a 45-21 home loss against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Quarterback Sam Hartman completed 21 of 46 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. He threw 4 interceptions and had a QBR of 52.9.

Sam Hartman has started all 12 games for Wake Forest and completed 58.8% of his passes with 36 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has also rushed for 342 yards and a team-best 11 touchdowns on the ground.

Wake Forest ranks fifth with 41.2 points per game and are 12th in yards per game with 469.2 total yards. They are 13th in the nation with 307.6 yards per game. On defense, Wake Forest is 99th, allowing 424.2 yards per game and 94th allowing 30.3 points per game. 

Rutgers hasn’t played since last November after they were  crushed 40-16 as a two-point home favorite by Maryland. Rutgers had 4 different guys throw passes in this game. Evan Simon And Noah Vendral both were 7 of 14 in the loss.

Noah Vendral has seen the most snaps for the Scarlet Knights this season and has 1,726 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. 

On offense, the Knights are averaging 313.5 yards per game and 20.5 which both rank in the bottom third. The Scarlet Knights are allowing 391.6 yards and are giving up 24.6 points per game.

The Scarlet Knights are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog and are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Demon Deacons are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss. Wake Forest was likely expecting a more interesting end to their season while Rutgers is just happy to be invited to this one. I like for Wake Forest to easily win and cover in this game as Rutgers isn’t on the same level in all aspects of the game.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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