College Football Week 1 Preview: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. ULM Warhawks

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Thursday, 8/28/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Wake Forest -7
Current Betting Line:  Wake Forest -7
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are 5-20 SU in road openers
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are 5-20 SU in road openers

Wake Forest is 5-20 SU in road openers, with five straight losses in that situation—two of them coming in overtime.  The Demon Deacons suffered a 21-19 setback to Louisiana-Monroe as 2.5-point home favorites last year—getting outgained by a 424-325 margin in that affair.  The program will have a new look this year, with former Bowling Green front man Dave Clawson taking over for the departed Jim Grobe.  It’s important to take note that the team is 0-4 in its last four Thursday games when looking over the college football odds page.

The Demon Deacons will be replacing their No. 2 career passing leader under center, but their passing numbers were pedestrian at best in 2013—averaging just 197 yards per game through the air and a 52.9 percent completion percentage.  Wake Forest has very little returning at the skill positions, which will place a lot of pressure on the defense.  The secondary will be the team’s biggest strength, with an experienced group being led by Merrill Noel.

ULM set a school record with 104 plays in last year’s matchup, which is important to consider when making your college football betting picks, especially with the departure of quarterback Kolton Browning.  The Warhawks welcome back 15 returning starters to a team that finished 6-6 in 2013—just missing out on a chance of participating in the postseason.  Keep an eye on the practice fields leading up to the season opener, as Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas is expected to be under center from the get go.  ULM has failed to cover the number in its last four games in the month of August.

The Warhawks play a 3-3-5 style on defense, which may lead to big things on that side of the football, with six of their top eight playmakers in the secondary coming back.  ULM is known for taking on top-flight competition from the opening bell, as it has played the likes of Texas, Arkansas, Florida State and Oklahoma in Week 1 of its schedule.

Sports bettors will likely back the Warhawks due to their experience at the quarterback position with Thomas transferring in.

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