This Friday the Rice Owls (0-1) will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0). Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Rice Stadium in Houston, TX and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Right now the Demon Deacons are a 17.5-point favorite at most books, though some are still on the opening number of 18. The total has jumped from 56.5 up to 57.5 at most books.

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Vegas Free Pick & Game Betting Odds: Wake Forest vs Rice

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

The Demon Deacons had quite the first game of the season. Wake Forest edged out a 38-35 win at home over Utah State, scoring the go-ahead touchdown on 4th and goal with 1:08 left in regulation. The defense then sealed the deal with an interception after the Aggies had got it down to the Wake Forest 31-yard line.

The Demon Deacons failed to cover the spread as a 4.5-point favorite. The game went over the total of 61.5.

Junior quarterback Jamie Newman was outstand in the win. Newman completed 34 of 47 attempts for 401 yards and 3 scores (0 interceptions). He also rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore wide out Sage Surratt had 7 receptions for 158 yards and a score, while senior Cade Carney led the way with 105 rushing yards on 25 attempts.

Rice Owls

The Owls flirted with a massive upset in Week 1. Rice was a 23-point road dog at Army and were tied with the Black Knights at 7-7 with less than 5 minutes to play in the 4th quarter. The upset bid came up just short, as Army escaped with a 14-7 win. As you probably guessed, the game stayed well under the posted total of 46.5.

It was a much more competitive Rice team than we saw in 2018. The Owls finished 2-11 last year with one of those wins coming against a FCS foe in Prairie View A&M. Definitely a positive sign for the direction the program, as they are now in year two under head coach Mike Bloomgren.

While there’s not a lot to be excited about an offense that scored just 7 points and managed 243 total yards, that was quite the defensive showing by the Owls. Especially given that  they gave up 36 ppg and 446 ypg last year.

Matchup History

These two played last year in Winston-Salem. The Demon Deacons won that contest 56-24 and covered as a 28-point favorite. The game went well over the posted total of 66. The previous meeting before last year was in 1990.

Free College Football Pick & Betting Prediction: Wake Forest -17.5

My early lean here would be to lay the points with Wake Forest, but I would wait to see if this line doesn’t keep dropping. I just think we  are seeing Rice get a little bit too much love for their near upset of Army in Week 1. Getting all offseason to prepare for the triple-option definitely helped their defensive showing against the Black Knights.

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I also have to think that result was also a bit of Army looking ahead to their massive Week 2 game at Michigan. Given how bad Rice has been the last couple of years, that’s an easy team to overlook with a big opponent on deck. You can bet Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson will be telling his team to not sleep on Rice and I also think there will be a point to create more separation after that scare against Utah State.

I just don’t think the Owls have enough offense to keep this within 20-points. Rice’s only points against Army came on a 54-yard TD run. Another thing that stands out to me is the Owls don’t seem to trust red-shirt freshman quarterback Wiley Green that much. He attempted just 14 passes and only completed 7 for 62 yards (4.43 yards/attempt).

If they fall behind he’s going to have to throw and Wake Forest’s defense had 3 interceptions on a really good quarterback in Jordan Love in Week 1.

Another thing is the Wake Forest offense actually should have scored a lot more than the 30-points they put on the scoreboard. The Demon Deacons turned it over twice on downs after failing on 4th and goal.

Also, last year’s final score between these two teams is a bit misleading. It was 28-0 before Rice even scored and 56-10 midway thru the 3rd quarter. With backups playing the Owls got it to the final score of 56-24. Give me Wake Forest -17.5