NCAA Football Free Betting Preview – Rice Owls at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (-26) are gearing up to welcome the Rice Owls to BB&T Field. CHSS has the TV rights and the daytime game is scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Rice Owls vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest has been tabbed as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 26 points to Rice. If the Owls seize control early it will generate a nice betting opportunity in-game. Vegas has yet to decide what the game’s over/under (O/U) will be.

The line initially opened at -25, but has recently shifted.

The Owls have lost 2.0 units so far in 2018 and are 2-2 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U mark of 4-0.

The Demon Deacons have lost 1.0 unit this season. The team is 0-4 ATS and has an O/U record of 3-1.

The Owls have gone 1-3 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Demon Deacons are 2-2 SU.

The Owls are most-recently reeling from a 40-22 loss to Southern Miss last week. Shawn Stankavage completed just 13-of-26 passes for 125 yards, two scores and two interceptions. Emmanuel Esukpa (only 37 yards on 18 rushes) and Austin Walter (81 yards on six carries, one TD) led the ground attack while Trammell (six receptions, 60 yards) and Jordan Myers (three catches, 35 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Wake Forest just fell 56-27 to Notre Dame. As a group, the team collectively completed 16-of-31 passes for 139 yards and one interception. Sam Hartman went 12-for-24 for 110 yards while Jamie Newman was four-of-seven for 29 yards and one interception. Hartman (11 yards on 16 rush attempts) and Cade Carney (79 yards on 13 carries) mounted the running game as Greg Dortch (six receptions, 56 yards) and Kendall Hinton (three catches, 23 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the loss.

Rice’s run the ball on 56.5 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Wake Forest has an overall rush percentage of 58.6 percent. The Owls have rushed for 185.3 yards/game and have five scores on the ground this year. The Deacs are averaging 262.8 rushing yards per game and have seven total rush TDs.

If 2018 results can translate to this game, then it appears the Deacs may own an advantage in terms of efficiency in the ground game. Their backfield has logged 4.8 yards per carry while the defense has allowed a YPC of 4.4 to opponents. The Owls have rushed for 4.6 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 5.6 to opponents.

The Owls offensive scheme has averaged 200.8 yards in the air overall and has seven passing scores so far. The Deacs have recorded 243.3 pass yards per outing and have six total pass TDs.

Defensively, Rice has allowed 174.3 rush yards and 327.8 pass yards per game. The Wake Forest D has allowed 313.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 170.3 yards per game on the ground. The Deacs are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of 8.75 to opposing QBs, while the Owls have given up an ugly 11.80 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Stankavage is up to 372 yards on the year, and has connected on 40-of-72 attempts with five scores through the air and three interceptions. He’s got a 4.35 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 5.83 over the last two outings.

The Owls will probably try to control the clock by putting the ball into the hands of their running backs. Along with Austin Trammell (159 yards), Austin Walter (219 rush yards, three rush TDs, 86 receiving yards) and Emmanuel Esukpa (291 rush yards, one rush TD) have brought significant production to the Rice offensive scheme.

In the other locker room, Sam Hartman has completed 60-of-102 passes for 730 yards, four TDs and three INTs. Hartman’s ANY/A sits at 6.18 for the season and 3.04 over his past two games.

The Deacs will also try to control the game’s pace by turning to their backfield. Greg Dortch (299 receiving yards, one TD) has chipped in lately, but Cade Carney (263 rush yards, two rush TDs) and Matt Colburn II (111 rush yards, one rush TD) have gotten a lot of looks lately.

Rice Owls vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Free Pick

SU Winner: Wake Forest, ATS Winner: Rice

Betting Trends

  • The Wake Forest defensive unit has tallied 10 sacks on the year while Rice has six.
  • The Wake Forest offense has lost two fumbles in 2018 while the Rice offense has lost one.
  • The Demon Deacons have made four pass plays of 30+ yards while the Owls have accounted for six such plays.
  • The Rice defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Wake Forest has given up five such plays.
  • The Rice offense has created 13 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Wake Forest has created nine such runs.
  • The Owls defense has allowed six rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Demon Deacons have given up eight such runs.
  • Rice has averaged 3.88288288288288 yards per rush attempt across its past three contests and 4.2 over its last two.
  • Wake Forest has averaged 5.1 yards per carry over its last three outings and 4.6 over its past two.