Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4781 Louisville vs.
#4782 Wake Forest
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 8:30pm EST
Written by Blake V.

No. 16 Louisville has a chance to extend its perfect start to ACC play when it travels to Wake Forest on Wednesday night. The Cardinals are riding a four-game winning streak and are coming off a win over No. 19 Virginia Tech. Wake Forest has lost all three of its conference contests.

Cardinals off to great start in ACC

No. 19 Louisville is off to a fantastic start this season. The lone loss came at No. 12 Wisconsin on Dec. 19, but the Cardinals have responded with a four-game winning streak. They picked up a 73-71 win over No. 19 Virginia Tech last Wednesday. The Hokies had a chance to win the game on a 3-pointer, but they came up short at the buzzer. Louisville was scheduled to play against Georgia Tech on Saturday, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues. Offense has not been a strength or weakness for this team. The Cardinals are No. 80 in effective field goal percentage, but they are No. 194 in turnover rate.

They will be facing a Wake Forest defense that has allowed teams to shoot really well, but it is No. 16 in forcing turnovers. Senior guard Carlik Jones leads Louisville with 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He averaged 20.0 points per game last year, but his shooting percentage is down to open the year. Sophomore guard David Johnson is scoring 14.7 points and is grabbing 6.1 rebounds per game. Johnson is also dishing out 3.7 assists and has really developed since scoring 6.3 points per contest during his freshman season. Freshman forward Jae’Lyn Withers is also in double figures, scoring 10.0 points per game.

Demon Deacons struggling with ACC foes

Wake Forest opened the season with three wins over bad non-conference opponents. The Demon Deacons were supposed to have some tests against No. 17 Virginia and Syracuse in December, but those games were canceled/postponed due to COVID-19 issues. They have opened conference play with consecutive road losses at Georgia Tech, Virginia and Duke. All of those losses came by at least nine points. They have shot the ball very well this season, ranking No. 19 nationally with an effective field goal percentage of 56.1. However, they have struggled with turnovers and a lack of offensive rebounding.

This will be a tough test against a Louisville defense that ranks No. 25 in KenPom’s efficiency ratings, but the Cardinals do not force many turnovers. Junior forward Isaiah Mucius leads Wake Forest with 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He had 21 points and five rebounds in the road loss at Georgia Tech. Guard Ian DuBose is currently out indefinitely due to medical reasons. He was the team’s second-leading scorer. Forward Tariq Ingraham was also scoring in double figures, but he is out for the year after contracting COVID-19. Junior guard Daivien Williamson is adding 10.2 points and 3.0 rebounds.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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This should be a convincing win for Louisville. The Cardinals have had a week off and will be eager to get back on the court. They are facing a Wake Forest team that has been hit really hard by COVID-19. Not only did the Demon Deacons have multiple games canceled, but they lost two of their double-digit scorers in the process. They have had a tough schedule to open conference play, having to go on the road in all three games. Louisville is better on both ends of the court and will be the fresher team in this matchup.

Prediction: Louisville -7.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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I like this one to go over the total. Wake Forest has been really bad on the defensive end, allowing teams to shoot really well. Louisville has three top-tier weapons on offense and should be able to score a load of points on Wednesday night. The Cardinals do not force many turnovers defensively, so I expect Wake Forest to put up some points as well. The Demon Deacons have gone over the total in eight of their last 11 games. These teams have gone over in four of their last six head-to-head meetings.

Prediction: Over 136.5
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.