Gasparilla Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Missouri Tigers Betting Pick

The Gasparilla Bowl is set to take college football fans into the holiday season. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Missouri Tigers meet at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The Demon Deacons (7-5) had high expectations that were shot when quarterback Sam Hartman missed the start of the season. They handled it well even when he returned but struggled down the stretch, losing four of their last five games, including three on the road.

The Tigers (6-6) showed progress under Eli Drinkwitz even though the record doesn’t show it. They had a lead against Georgia in the fourth quarter but fell in a string of three straight losses. They also lost to Kentucky on their home field before getting blown out by Tennessee.

Wake Forest is favored by 2.5 points with a point total of 58.5. The Demon Deacons are -135 on the moneyline while the Tigers are +115.

Keep the offense rolling

Dave Clawson has built an offensive system that has opposing coaches frustrated and administrators enamored with how he wins at such a high academic place.

The Demon Deacons were 16th in scoring 36.8 points per game and 29th in gaining 447.8 yards of offense per game. They were 10th in passing for 314.6 yards per game and 91st rushing for 133.2 yards per game. Their six turnovers was tied for 47th.
Defensively, there were issues. They allowed 29.3 points per game, which ranked 95th, and 410.8 yards of offense per game, which ranked 94th. Teams passed for 272.8 yards per game, ranking 116th, and rushed for 138.0 yards per game, ranking 45th. Their seven turnovers generated was 107th.

Strength will be tested

Missouri’s defense was formidable and kept the Tigers in games. They ranked 58th in allowing 25.0 points per game but were 28th in holding teams to 337.3 yards per game. That includes ranking 42nd against the pass in allowing 209.8 yards per game and 35th against the rush in 127.6 yards per game. The 10 takeaways were 63rd.

Offensively, the Tigers were 83rd in scoring 25.5 points per game and 82nd in gaining 370.8 yards per game. They were 91st passing in gaining 212.0 yards per game and 62nd rushing for 158.8 yards per game. Their 10 giveaways was 106th.
Demon Deacons/Tigers betting prediction

It’s the first time these two programs have met. Both teams were 7-5 against the spread this season, while the Demon Deacons were 5-7 on over/unders and the Tigers were 4-8.

Wake Forest was 5-5 as favorites against the spread, including an 0-4 record when favorites by 6.5 or less. Missouri was 5-2 against the spread as underdogs.

The public likes Wake Forest, with 66% of the bets on the Demon Deacons and another 61% on the over.
Expect Hartman and Wake Forest to want this game more than Mizzou. We’ll take Wake Forest -2.5.

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