Wake Forest at Syracuse
Time: 11:30 AM CST
Spread: WAK -3.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons knocked off Duke last week 39-27 to improve to 8-3 on the season. It is situated No. 3 in the ACC as it visits Syracuse in the regular-season finale. Wake is 3.5-point favorites in the game, which has an over/under set at 69 total points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at 5dimes. The game will kick off at 11:30 AM (CST) on the ACC Network.
Wake Forest has done a good job of beating the teams it is “supposed to” while not having really knocked off any of the huge programs this season. Even so, an 8-3 record is a huge step in the right direction for the Demon Deacons. The team has been great offensively, with a top-25 passing offense and a top-50 rush attack. The Demon Deacons average 33 points per game while allowing 28.4, good for a differential of +4.6 points.
Starting QB Jamie Newman has plenty to do with the offensive success. He leads Wake in rushing attempts (151) and is No. 3 in yardage (464) while also leading the team in rushing TDs (6). His arm has not been too shabby in its own right. Newman has thrown for 2,622 passing yards at a 62.9 percent clip with 23 touchdowns and nine picks. He has suffered 17 sacks for 116 lost yards but still has a passer rating just under 150. For a guy considered a true dual-threat, this is all far more than just “passable.”
Lead running back Kenneth Walker Jr has averaged 6.5 yards-per-carry, but he has just 80 attempts on the season. Even so, he has a 96-yard rush to his credit to go along with four rushing touchdowns. The best receiver has been Sage Surratt, who leads the team in total catches (66), yards (1,001) and touchdowns (11). The Demon Deacons have scored 26 of its 43 total touchdowns via the pass, despite being something more of a rushing team. Regardless, it has such a dangerous offense that even a moderate defensive improvement could make it a conference-contending team as soon a next season.
Syracuse is 4-7 this season, but it is just 1-6 in conference play. The Orange were badly defeated by the much-improved Louisville Cardinals last week, but the week prior it stomped Duke 49-6. So, consistency is something of an issue, not to mention just being overall poor. The Orange are middle-of-the-pack in both rushing and passing, and it scores 27.3 per game, which would be fine if it did not surrender over 30 per contest.
Quarterback Tommy DeVito has been solid if nothing else. He has 2,333 yards on the season at 63.2 percent completion ratio, with 19 TDs and five INTs. Where the real problem begins is that he has been sacked 44 (!) times this season for a massive loss of 264 yards total. Naturally, this lack of protection extends a little to the rushing game: Moe Neal would average more than five yards-per-carry given his talents if Syracuse could simply create him some holes and provide some protection when he carries it. His 748 yards are a very deflated stat relative to how good he is. Trishton Jackson has been the lead receiver and he has 10 of the team’s 21 passing touchdowns.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):