Capper Picks Tulane As ATS Live Dog In Wake Forest Visit In Season Opener

Willie Bee

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 9:21 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 9:21 PM UTC

One of the lesser Week 1 matchups on the college football betting card is Tulane visiting Wake Forest where the Demon Deacons are favored by more than two TDs.

Coming off successive 3-9 campaigns, and having last experienced a winning season in '08, one might find it difficult to get excited about Wake Forest football entering 2016. But Dave Clawson, who is entering his third year at the controls in Winston-Salem, is indeed excited about his Demon Deacons, and he's not alone.

There should at least be some excitement among the Wake fans at BB&T Field this Thursday evening when their squad takes on the Tulane Green Wave. Kickoff is 7 PM (ET), the game part of a long list of contests being streamed on ESPN3, and the Demon Deacons are decided 17 point chalk after the matchup officially opened at -15½.

While the spread has moved up since it started, the total has dropped. BetOnline sent it out at 47, but the tally is down to 43 across the board on SBR's live NCAA football odds.

The schools are meeting on a gridiron for the first time since 1995 when they got together in New Orleans, the Green Wave posting a 35-9 victory as very slight 1½ point favorites. That was only the second clash for the schools, the other taking place in 1959 when it was also played at Tulane and the Green Wave won a 6-0 defensive battle.


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Big Changes Coming To Tulane With New Head Coach
Like Wake Forest, Tulane is coming off back-to-back 3-9 seasons. And again like Wake Forest, there's reason for optimism down in New Orleans after the Green Wave hired Willie Fritz to take over as head coach.

Unlike the Demon Deacons, however, Tulane is going through some major adjustments under Fritz who brings his triple-spread option ground game with him from his former place of occupation, Georgia Southern. It did work well for the Eagles who led the FBS level each of the last two years in rushing. Still, it remains to be seen how quickly the Green Wave will make it work in the Big Easy.

The biggest question on offense is just who will direct the new scheme at quarterback. Glen Cuiellette, a redshirt soph, and true frosh Darius Bradwell could both see action in this one, and the good news is they'll have talented Dontrell Hilliard in the backfield. The bad news is the line in front of them is a bit of a mystery, at best. There is some talent on the defensive side, but new coordinator Jack Curtis is also inheriting a unit that was near the bottom of the list nationally in 2015 allowing over 36 PPG.


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Can Clawson Settle On His QB & Get The Offense Going?
Putting points on the board has been a huge problem for Wake Forest the past two years. The Demon Deacons were next-to-last in '14, not even breaking the 15 PPG plateau, and it didn't get much better last year when their 17.4 PPG clip ranked 120th. That obviously has to change if Wake is going to have a shot at a bowl game this time around.

Clawson was working with a very young and inexperienced line the last two seasons, and all five big uglies are back with experience under their belts. Now, if Clawson can just settle on a QB, things might begin looking up. He was criticized often for how he employed John Wolford and Kendall Hinton last year, and he is probably going to use them both again in this game and possibly early into the 2016 slate.

There is a small shot at some rain in the Winston-Salem area for Thursday, but nothing major with the expectations for muggy temps in the mid-80s with a very light NW breeze at kickoff. I'm also expecting a victory for Wake, but the Deacons are not accustomed to being the favorite, just three times the last two years and going 1-2 ATS. Make my free college football pick on the visitors plus the points.

Free NCAAF Pick: Tulane +17 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
Season: 0-0

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