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Posted on 12/29/2007 7:55 AM
By: CappersPicks.com College Football Handicapping Staff
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The Connecticut Huskies (+2½) and Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-2½) have split two meetings SU (straight up), with the Deacons taking the last one 24-13 on Sept. 16, 2006 as the 6½-point underdogs. Now, the two meet again on Saturday in this year’s Meineke Bowl for your NCAA football betting entertainment and we have the winning selection.
Connecticut bounced back from a dismal 2006 campaign to win a share of the Big East title this season at 9-3 SU and 7-3 ATS (against the spread). Wake Forest, meanwhile, continued to emerge in the ACC by qualifying for consecutive bowls for the first time with a record of 8-4 SU and ATS.
The Huskies were able to turn a profit for its investors off the arm of Tyler Lorenzen, who completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,269 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. The junior has struggled at times behind an offensive line that allowed him to get sacked 28 times, second most in the Big East.
On the ground, Connecticut relies on sophomore running backs Andre Dixon and Donald Brown II, who combined for 1,558 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
As a unit, the Huskies scored 27.8 points per game and collected 358.3 yards offensively. On defense, Connecticut allowed just 18.6 points per game and 346.3 yards. They gave up 158.5 rushing yards and 187.8 passing.
Connecticut is just behind Wake Forest, returning five interceptions for touchdowns. The Huskies have 22 interceptions, one fewer than Cincinnati, South Florida and Central Florida for the most in the FBS.
The team is in its first postseason game since winning the 2004 Motor City Bowl 39-10 over Toledo.
– Huskies are 27-10-1 ATS in their last 38 non-conference games.
– Huskies are 7-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
– Huskies are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games on grass.
– Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Wake Forest is led by quarterback Riley Skinner, who’s in his second year as the starter. The sophomore’s 71.9 completion rate ranks behind only Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell (72.7) in the FBS.
Skinner threw for 1,936 yards and 11 touchdowns, although he also had 12 interceptions. His No. 1 target is senior Kenneth Moore, who had 87 receptions for 899 yards and five touchdowns.
Skinner has been aided by the emergence of freshman running back Josh Adams, who led the team with 887 rushing yards and 10 scores.
The Demon Deacons put 28.2 points per game and earned 334.5 yards. Defensively, they surrendered 23.3 points and 351.0 yards. They gave up 108.9 rushing yards and 242.1 passing.
– Demon Deacons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
– Demon Deacons are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
– Demon Deacons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
– Demon Deacons are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
NCAA football odds list Wake Forest the 2½-point favorites with a game total of 47½.
– Demon Deacons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
– Demon Deacons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0.
Analysis: Wake Forest comes into this one having the momentum at the ticket counter, as they’ve covered the sread in six of their last seven games. Meanwhile, Connecticut has dropped the cash in two of its last three.
Expect the Demon Deacons to be able to get to the Huskies quarterback, taking away much of his affectiveness with pressure, as Wake Forest should then be able to contain running backs Dixon and Brown in a money-making bowl victory.
NCAA Football Free Picks: Wake Forest Demon Deacons -2½
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