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Wake Forest vs. Rutgers picks and best bets for 2021 Gator Bowl

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Rutgers Scarlet Knights face off in the 2021 Gator Bowl. We break down our picks and best bets for the game.

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Corey Perrine / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New Year’s Eve slate will begin with a late-morning matchup in Jacksonville as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons will battle the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the Gator Bowl. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN.

Wake Forest (10-3) experienced just its second 10-win season in program history this year, a campaign that included the team claiming an ACC Atlantic division title before falling to Pittsburgh in the conference championship game. This could be a showcase game for quarterback Sam Hartman, who threw for just under 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns this year.

Rutgers (5-7) got the call to be a last-second fill-in for the Gator Bowl after Texas A&M pulled out due to COVID-19 issues within the program. After a 3-0 start, the Scarlet Knights unsurprisingly began to sputter in Big Ten play and a 40-16 blowout loss to Maryland in the season finale seemingly sealed their bowl fate. Now Greg Schiano’s guys will have the chance to pick up a bowl win.

SP+ Rankings

Wake Forest: 39th overall, 13th offense, 95th defense
Rutgers: 85th overall, 109th offense, 41st defense

Gator Bowl opt outs, injury updates

Wake Forest

WR Jaquarii Roberson opted out


No new injuries to report


Against The Spread

Wake Forest: 6-7 ATS
Rutgers: 6-6 ATS


Wake Forest: Over 6-7
Rutgers: Over 5-7

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Wake Forest -16.5
Total: 63
Moneyline: Wake Forest +100, Rutgers +475

Opening line: Wake Forest -13.5
Opening total: 62


70 degrees, 8 MPH Winds SW, Partly Cloudy

Wake Forest vs. Rutgers: 2021 Gator Bowl Pick

Wake Forest -16.5

Wake Forest will be missing a 1,000-yard receiver with Jaquarri Roberson opting out but they’ll have another one on hand in A.T. Perry. The Demon Deacons have had a month to concentrate on the game while the Scarlet Knights are practically rolling out of bed for this matchup. Lay the points with Wake Forest.

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