Gasparilla Bowl Wake Forest vs. Missouri Prediction: Odds, Spread, and More

Can the Tigers tame the masters of the elongated mesh in the 2022 Gasparilla Bowl? Find out with our Wake Forest vs. Missouri prediction.

After reportedly ducking Kansas in the Liberty Bowl, the Missouri Tigers will face elongated mesh masters Wake Forest in Tampa for the Gasparilla Bowl. Can the Tigers get their first bowl win since the 2014 season, or will Wake walk away with their second consecutive bowl win? We’ve got all the latest college football betting odds and a Wake Forest vs. Missouri prediction.

Wake Forest vs. Missouri Betting Preview

  • Spread
    Wake Forest (-1)
  • Moneyline
    Wake Forest (-115), Missouri (-105)
  • Over/Under
    59 points
  • Game time
    6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location
    Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
  • Predicted weather
    47.2 degrees, clear, 19.2 mph winds
  • How to watch
    ESPN, fuboTV

If momentum wins football games, then you should be putting all your Gasparilla Bowl betting eggs in the Missouri basket. The Tigers won their last two games to become bowl-eligible, while also covering the spread in both contests. Having surpassed the point line just once in their first nine games, Missouri finished the year by hammering the over in their last three games.

Meanwhile, there’s negative momentum for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons opened the year 6-1 but have won just one game in the last five, a 10-point win over a Syracuse team that also sloped off towards the end of the year. In those final five games, Wake Forest failed to cover the single-digit spread in four, despite being a moneyline favorite in all of them.

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Despite the Wake Forest vs. Missouri odds, momentum points towards the Tigers on the moneyline and against the spread.

However, to quote the legendary Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friend.” The Tigers have a substantial amount of injuries, opt-outs, and transfer-portal entrants — on both sides of the ball — that could have a serious impact on the outcome of this game. Let’s take a look at the Wake Forest vs. Missouri prediction to find out how much of an impact they might make to the final score.

Prediction for Gasparilla Bowl Wake Forest vs. Missouri

As is the case with multiple matchups in the 2022-2023 college football bowl season, these two teams have never met before. Who will hold the bragging rights at the end of the Gasparilla Bowl? Can Eli Drinkwitz’s team finish with a winning record for the first time since 2018, or will Dave Clawson’s Wake Forest team clinch a fifth bowl win in their seventh consecutive postseason appearance?

On the surface, this game should be a tale of a high-scoring offense vs. a formidable and underrated defense, counterweighted by one of the most porous defenses in the nation vs. an offense that has struggled to move the ball with any consistency this season. The result should be an intriguing, close-fought, CFB chess match, as evidenced by the one-point spread line.

Wake Forest boasts the aforementioned high-scoring offense. Whether it’s been record-setting quarterback Sam Hartman or Mitch Griffis at the helm, the Demon Deacons and their elongated mesh passing game continue to cause defenses trouble. They’ve averaged 36.8 points per game this year, ranking 15th in the nation for scoring offense.

The passing game ranks 10th in all of college football for yards per game (314.6), while Hartman and Griffis have combined for a nation-leading 40 passing touchdowns. Hartman will play in the Gasparilla Bowl, as will leading receiver A.T. Perry. The 6’5″, 200-plus-pound pass catcher has snagged 70 receptions for 980 yards and 11 touchdowns this year as a big play threat for the Demon Deacons.

Ordinarily, the Missouri passing defense is the strength of their team. The Tigers have allowed just 15 passing touchdowns this year while restricting opposing QBs to a 59.4 completion percentage. They’ve also been improved against the run compared to the 2021 season, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry and 127.17 yards per game — the fourth fewest in the Southeastern Conference.

I say ordinarily because the Missouri defense has been savaged by opt-out, injury, and transfer-portal defections, which is exactly what you don’t need when facing the Wake Forest offense. Leading backfield presence Isaiah McGuire (14 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks) is headed to the NFL and won’t play. The only other players with double-digit tackles for loss — Ty’ron Hopper and Martez Manuel — will also be missing.

Furthermore, an offense that has only averaged 25.5 points per game — ranking 83rd in the nation — is also missing its most potent weapon. Dominic Lovett racked up 846 receiving yards and three touchdowns this season, but entered the transfer portal and won’t play in the Gasparilla Bowl.

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Despite the presence of five-star Luther Burden (seven total touchdowns), the offense led by Brady Cook likely doesn’t have enough firepower to keep pace with Wake Forest’s offense. Although the Demon Deacons have allowed 29.2 points per game and will be without leading defensive back Gavin Holmes, who is currently embarking on a tour of prominent CFB programs, Missouri’s lack of offensive consistency could prove decisive in the Gasparilla Bowl.

Prediction: Wake Forest 31, Missouri 27