College football bowl season continues with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Wisconsin Badgers meeting in the Duke's Mayo Bowl. That contest is followed by the Florida Gators battling the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl Classic. With betting odds posted at DraftKings Sportsbook - here is a breakdown and picks for those two matchups slated for Wednesday, December 30th.
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Duke's Mayo Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Wisconsin (-10) | TOTAL: 51.5
Established in 2002 as the Queen City Bowl, the 2020 Duke's Mayo Bowl features the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Wisconsin Badgers. Kickoff is slated for 12:00 p.m. ET on December 30 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Demon Deacons represent the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Badgers represent the Big Ten Conference. Both programs were established in the late 1800s, but this is the first meeting between these teams.
Wake Forest (4-4) was tested right out the gate as they played No. 1 Clemson in their season opener. The Demon Deacons fell behind 27-0 at halftime and never recovered during a 37-13 loss to the Tigers. That was followed by a 45-42 loss to North Carolina State. Wake Forest rebounded with four straight wins, including a 23-16 upset of No. 19 Virginia Tech. The Demon Deacons stumbled down the stretch as they closed their season with losses to North Carolina and Louisville.
Wisconsin (3-3) was impressive during their home opener as the Badgers blasted Illinois 45-7. After two games were canceled due to COVID-19 issues, Wisconsin was sharp again during a 49-11 win against Michigan on the road. The Badgers offense struggled after that as they lost three straight to No. 19 Northwestern, No. 12 Indiana, and No. 16 Iowa by a 59-20 combined count. The defense led the way as Wisconsin closed out their season with a 20-17 win over Minnesota.
Strength versus strength is featured here as the high-scoring Wake Forest offense battles the rock-solid Wisconsin defense. The Badgers will establish the run against the Demon Deacons’ defense that allowed 191 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin will need a strong rushing attack as QB Graham Mertz has thrown just one TD pass and five interceptions during the last four games. The spread seems too high here, so I am taking the points and Wake Forest.
Duke's Mayo Bowl Pick: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+10) at DraftKings
Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 6 Oklahoma (-5) vs. No. 7 Florida | TOTAL: 68.5
Established in 1937, the 2020 Cotton Bowl Classic features No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners batting No. 7 Florida Gators. Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. ET on December 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Sooners represent the Big 12 Conference, and the Gators represent the Southeastern Conference. This is just the second meeting between these teams. The first matchup was a big one as Florida defeated Oklahoma 24-14 in the 2009 BCS National Championship game.
Oklahoma (8-2) opened the season with a 48-0 win against Missouri State as -40.5 point favorites. The Sooners stumbled during their next two games as they lost 38-35 to Kansas State and 37-30 to Iowa State, who was unranked at the time. Although their shot at a National Championship took a huge hit - Oklahoma rebounded with seven wins. That includes a 27-21 victory in the rematch against Iowa State as the Sooners claimed a sixth straight Big 12 Championship title.
Florida (8-3) opened the season with convincing wins against Ole Miss (51-35) and South Carolina (38-24) before losing 41-38 to Texas A&M, who finished No. 5 in the final AP Top 25 rankings. The Gators won their next six games - including a 44-28 win against Georgia, ranked No. 5 at the time. Stumbling down the stretch, Florida lost 37-34 to LSU and 52-46 to No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship game. The Gators averaged 41.6 points per game on offense.
Whether Florida can maintain that scoring pace is a concern as TE Kyle Pitts, plus wide receivers Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes, and Jacob Copeland, will not play in this game. Those players caught 34 of the Gators' 45 TD passes this season. Florida still has Heisman Trophy contender QB Kyle Trask as their starter, but lacking so many key receivers will be an issue. Oklahoma averaged 41.8 PPG on offense, and I can't see the shorthanded Gators keeping pace with the Sooners.
Cotton Bowl Classic Pick: Oklahoma Sooners (-5) at DraftKings
2020 NCAA Football Record: 13-6 ATS
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