Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#357 Wake Forest vs.
#358 Army
Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT
Written by Chris King

It’s a non-conference clash on the gridiron when a team from the ACC takes on one of the lone remaining independent programs up in the Empire State. The #16 Wake Forest Demon Deacons are on the road as they make the trip to face the Army Black Knights Saturday afternoon. Wake Forest comes in off a bye week last week: they defeated Syracuse 40-37 in overtime on the road in their previous game October 9. Army was knocked off 20-14 on the road by Wisconsin last Saturday in their most recent contest. In the all-time series between the teams, the Demon Deacons own an 11-5 advantage though it was Army earning a 21-13 road win as a 17.5-point underdog in the most recent meeting on October 29, 2016.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Seeking to Remain Unbeaten

Wake Forest had a tougher than expected challenge against an overmatched but game Syracuse squad yet emerged victorious to remain unbeaten on the year. The Demon Deacons improved to 6-0 overall and stand 4-0 in the ACC, putting them atop the Atlantic Division standings. Against Syracuse, Wake Forest trailed 7-3 after one quarter, 21-17 at the half and 27-26 after three quarters. The Demon Deacons led 34-27 in the final minute of regulation before giving up the tying score with 28 seconds to play. In overtime, Wake Forest conceded a field goal before winning it on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Sam Hartman to A.T. Perry. The Demon Deacons were outgained 514-426 in total offense, gave up 33 first downs while picking up 21 and lost the time of possession by a 33:50 to 26:10 margin yet prevailed. Each team turned the ball over once in the contest.

The Demon Deacons enter this contest tied for 31st in the nation in passing offense with 270.5 yards per game through the air and 57th in rushing offense with an average of 171 yards per contest. Wake Forest is 12th in the FBS in scoring offense as they average 38.7 points per game while they stand 44th in scoring defense by allowing only 21.3 points a contest. Sam Hartman is 116 of 184 passing for 1,615 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 125 yards and three scores on the ground. Leo Kelly is one of four for eight yards while Mitch Griffis misfired on both his pass attempts. Christian Beal-Smith leads the team on the ground with 82 carries for 375 yards and five scores. Christian Turner (56 carries, 219 yards, two TD) and Justice Ellison (55 carries, 255 yards, three TD) are also in the mix. A.T. Perry is second on the team with 23 receptions for 454 yards plus seven scores. Jaquarii Roberson (team-high 31 catches, team-high 515 yards, two TD) and Taylor Morin (21 grabs, 269 yards, two TD) are next in line in the passing attack. Nick Sciba has hit all 24 extra-point attempts and 12 of 12 field-goal attempts with a long of 46 on the year.

Army Black Knights Hoping to Bounce Back at Home

Army started the year 4-0 but comes in off back-to-back road defeats at the hands of Ball State and Wisconsin. The Black Knights are 4-2 overall and own a win over one of the other remaining independents on the year. Against Wisconsin, Army was blanked over the first three quarters, rendering their two fourth-quarter touchdowns moot as they ended up six points short. The Black Knights got within 20-14 with 38 seconds left but couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick. Army was outgained 310-266 in total offense, gave up 18 first downs while picking up 13 and was edged 30:47 to 29:13 in time of possession. Both teams turned the ball over once in the contest.

On the season, the Black Knights are 129th, or next-to-last, in the nation in passing offense with an average of 72.5 yards per contest, while they are second in rushing offense with 295 yards per game. Army is 48th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 31 points per game while they are 40th in scoring defense by allowing an average of 20.7 points per contest. Christian Anderson leads the team at quarterback, completing eight of his 15 pass attempts for 187 yards plus three scores while adding a team-high 431 yards and five scores on the ground. Jemel Jones (seven of 13, 135 yards, TD, INT, 87 rushing yards), Jabari Laws (five of six, 87 yards) and Tyhier Tyler (one of five, 26 yards, INT, 199 rushing yards, three TD) have seen action under center as well. Tyrell Robinson (31 carries, 282 yards, two TD), Jakobi Buchanan (64 carries, 199 yards, four TD) and Anthony Adkins (43 carries, 191 yards, three TD) have all seen a good amount of work in the run game. In the passing game, Isaiah Alston leads the team with four receptions for 109 yards plus a score. Braheam Murphy (three grabs, 74 yards, two TD) and Robinson (three catches, 66 yards, TD) are the only other players with more than two catches. Cole Talley is 19 of 21 on extra-point attempts and three of four field-goal attempts with a long of 31 this year. Quinn Maretzki is three of three on extra points and hit his lone field-goal attempt from 31 yards.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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We’re looking at a pair of above-average defenses on the field in this contest. Both teams are proficient offensively but in different ways. The Demon Deacons can do damage through the air and they have a pretty capable run game to work with as well. Meanwhile, Army likes to pound teams into submission with the run game and throw only if necessary. Anderson hopes to return for this game after missing the Wisconsin game with a shoulder injury. The problem for the Black Knights is that they are facing a high-octane Wake Forest offense that is capable of piling up points and moving the ball at will. Army struggled in their only other contest against a team like that in Western Kentucky, giving up 435 yards through the air in a three-point win. The Black Knights had three picks of Bailey Zappe in that game but Hartman won’t make that many mistakes. Look for Wake Forest to come up with the road win here.

Prediction: Wake Forest Demon Deacons -3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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For all their offensive weaponry, the Demon Deacons have seen the under hit in four of their six games this season. Of course, the two overs have hit in the last two games, three-point victories over Louisville (37-34) and Syracuse (40-37 in overtime), so the numbers have been increasing. Army has split their six games in regards to the total with three straight overs to open the season followed by three straight unders coming into this contest. The under is 6-1 in the Black Knights’ last seven games against ACC foes and 5-1-1 in their last seven after being held to under 275 yards of offense in their previous contest. We’ve seen the under hit in each of the last four meetings: with both defenses playing well, look for this one to end up short of the total.

Prediction: Under 52.5

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.