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Belk Bowl ATS Picks

College Football Bowls Picks

How will the Texas A&M Aggies handle playing for an interim head coach in the Belk Bowl on Friday, December 29, as they take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons? The Aggies hired Jimbo Fisher and signed up to a huge 10-year, $75 million dollar deal to replace the fired Kevin Sumlin, but Fisher will not be coaching the bowl game. Jeff Banks, who is the special team’s coordinator and tight ends coach, will be the interim coach for the bowl game. Oddsmakers have Wake Forest listed as a slight favorite in what is expected to be a high scoring game, as the total is listed in the mid-60’s.

Belk Bowl – Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Date and Time: Friday, December 29, 2017, 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Opening Belk Bowl Odds: Wake Forest -3, O/U 64
Belk Bowl TV Coverage: ESPN

The Demon Deacons went 7-5 SU this season and 8-3-1 ATS. Wake Forest averaged over 33 points per game this season and gave up more than 26 per contest, so this game could be high scoring.

The Demon Deacons have quarterback John Wolford who is a dual-threat. He led the team with 10 rushing TDs and was second on the team in rushing with 615 yards. He had a rushing TD in eight of his first nine games this season. Wolford also threw for nearly 3,000 yards this season.

A&M went 7-5 SU this season and 7-4-1 ATS. They will be playing in a school-record ninth straight bowl game but they have lost their last two bowl games. They will have an interim head coach, as Sumlin was fired and Fisher was hired. Who knows how the team will respond to the entire situation.

The Aggies feature quarterback Nick Starkel who goes against a rotten Wake Forest secondary that was 103rd in the country against the pass. Starkel is 2-2 as a starter since his return, throwing 10 TDs against five interceptions.

Key Stat

Wake Forest was excellent this season in the red zone, scoring 47 times in 50 chances. They go against a bad Texas A&M defense in the red zone, as the Aggies were tied for 112th in the country in red zone defense.

The Demon Deacons are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games. The Demon Deacons are 8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Aggies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. The Aggies are 16-37-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Aggies are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 bowl games. The Aggies are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. the ACC.

The Over is 4-1 in the Demon Deacons last 5 non-conference games. The Over is 4-1 in the Aggies last 5 non-conference games.

Belk Bowl Free Picks

There has been no movement yet on the side, as Wake Forest is a 3-point favorite. There has been a little bit of movement at top sportsbooks, as the total opened at 64 and it now up to 65.

The obvious question in the Belk Bowl is how motivated will Texas A&M be to win for an interim coach. Fisher has been focused on recruiting so his impact won’t be felt until next year. I lean toward taking Wake Forest in this contest simply because of all of the uncertainty on the A&M sideline.

While I lean toward the Demon Deacons, I think the best play in this game is on the total. Wake Forest has a good dual-threat quarterback and A&M has shown no ability to stop those types of quarterbacks this season. Overall, the A&M defense simply isn’t very good, as they gave up more than 28 points per game. The one thing that Wake Forest can do is score, as they averaged more than 33 points per game this season. I can’t see anything other than a shootout in this contest, so I will go over the total of 64 in this game.

Belk Bowl ATS Pick: Wake Forest -3 and Over 64 at
Belk Bowl Score Prediction: Wake Forest 38, Texas A&M 30