Duke’s Mayo Bowl Picks and Odds – Wake Forest vs Wisconsin

Graham Mertz

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Minnesota Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
  • The Duke’s Mayo Bowl, featuring Wisconsin (3-3) and Wake Forest (4-4) will kick off on Wednesday, Dec. 30th, at 12:00 PM EST
  • The Badgers have been blown out against the spread in four consecutive games, while the Demon Deacons have covered in five of six
  • Check out the odds for the game and key information about the matchup in the article below

Wednesday’s matchup between Wisconsin and Wake Forest in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl (12:00 PM ET kick off) features a situation of strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness.

Wisconsin boasts the No. 1 defense in FBS based on yards allowed, while Wake Forest’s offense is No. 7.

Inversely, the Badgers don’t have a very strong offense, and the Demon Deacons have a porous defense.

What that leads to is a spread of just over a touchdown in Wisconsin’s favor, as the current odds show.

Wisconsin vs Wake Forest Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Over/Under Total
Wisconsin -310 -7.5 (-104) Over 51.5 (-110)
Wake Forest +240 +7.5 (-118) Under 51.5 (-110)

Odds taken Dec. 28 at FanDuel

How They Got Here

How about this, a bowl game in which the two participating teams have combined for seven wins. Only in 2020, right?

Wake Forest played a schedule of seven conference opponents (i.e. fellow ACC foes) plus an FCS opponent, Campbell. Thanks to battles with Clemson, North Carolina and NC State, the Demon Deacons finished 26th of 127 FBS teams.

Wake Forest was never ranked throughout this season, but they fared well against their two ranked opponents: against then-No. 1 Clemson, Wake Forest covered as massive underdogs; against then-No. 19 Virginia Tech, Wake Forest won straight up as a double-digit underdog.

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Wisconsin went through the 2020 season in a bit of a different way than Wake Forest. The Badgers opened the year ranked No. 13 in the AP poll and rose to No. 10, but a three-game losing streak dropped them out of the rankings — and into a mayonnaise-themed bowl game.

The Badgers (52nd in strength of schedule) faced three ranked opponents this season and loss all three games straight up. To make matters worse, they were favored in all of those games — though, to be fair, two of those three were on the road.

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Offense vs Defense

Normally we’d like to look at head to head matchups, or at least a comparison of common opponents. But neither of those concepts apply here, so we’ll contrast how these teams look on both sides of the ball.

Wisconsin has seen the under hit in four consecutive games, thanks to a defense that allows just 263.5 yards per game (fewest in FBS). They’ll face a solid offense from Wake Forest, though, which averages 435.4 yards (33rd in FBS) and 37 points per game (19th).

When the field is flipped, it gets uglier for both teams. The Badgers’ offense ranks 95th in yards per game and 105th in scoring, while the Demon Deacons’ defense ranks 107th in yards allowed and 79th in scoring.

It’s possible these strengths and weaknesses will have a bit of a cancelling-out effect.

ATS Analysis

Here’s where Wake Forest makes its mark. The Demon Deacons finished 6-2 against the spread this year (despite dropped their final game in blowout fashion as 1-point favorites).

All six of Wake Forest’s covers have come by a touchdown or more, and five of them have come by 10 points or more. They also covered in all three opportunities as the underdog.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, has lost ATS in four consecutive games — by overwhelming margins. All of the Badgers’ ATS defeats have come by more than a touchdown, including three that featured a margin of 17 points or greater.

Is it possible that the Badgers’ skillful defense can keep scoring low? Yes. But Wake Forest has demonstrated an ability to cover, even if it doesn’t always win. Take the points.

Pick: Wake Forest +7.5 (-118)

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