Baylor vs Wake Forest College Football Predictions, Picks & Odds: Baylor and Wake Forest will open the season against each for a second straight year when they meet at BB & T Field this afternoon. Wake got a 13-41 win in Waco last year after Baylor turned the ball over three times. The Bears are hoping to avoid any miscus when things get underway today at 3:30pm ET in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. College football predictions at Bodog.com have the Demon Deacons listed as a -2.5 against the spread home favorite in today's game.
Record-wise, Baylor's 2008 season looked like most any other Bears' season. The team finished 4-8 under new Head Coach Art Briles and in fifth place in the Big 12 South with a 2-6 conference mark. However, the talent level on the field indicated that, despite the poor record, this was not an ordinary Baylor squad.
The team's tremendous upside could start to be realized this season as sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin turns into an even more potent weapon. Griffin had an amazing true freshman season in 2008, throwing for 2091 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just three interceptions while rushing for 843 and 13 scores. He is the kind of player that gives defensive coordinators nightmares.
Griffin will have the luxury of working behind an offensive line that returns eight of the top 10 from a season ago. The Bears also have leading rusher Jay Finley back as well as top receivers Kendall Wright and David Gettis.
Defensively Baylor fared decently for playing in the Big 12 South with offensive juggernauts like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech. The team gave up 29.3 points and 393 yards per game. Those numbers will most certainly drop with eight starters back, including top players Joe Pawelek and Jordan Lake.
Wake Forest had its third straight winning season last year, going 8-5 and finishing in fourth place in the ACC Atlantic division. They concluded the year with a 29-19 win over Navy in the EagleBank Bowl.
Head Coach Jim Grobe welcomes 13 starters and 44 lettermen back from that team, which should translate into another solid finish in the standings. The Demon Deacon offense, which averaged 21 points and 308 yards per game in 2008, should see some positive developments with nine starters returning, including quarterback Riley Skinner. In addition to Skinner, the offense also brings back leading rushers Brandon Pendergrass and Josh Harris and most of the two-deep offensive line.
Wake Forest will, however, see a drop in their defensive production. Only four starters return from last year's stellar unit and the losses are huge. First round draft pick and top tackler Aaron Curry (LB) is gone, as is second round selection Alphonso Smith (CB).
Baylor Bears +2.5 (-110), Over 54 (-105)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons -2.5 (-110), Under 54 (-115)
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