Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#121 Louisville 66 vs.
#122 Wake Forest -7
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 7:30pm EDT
BB&T Field, Winston Salem
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#121 University of Louisville
#122 Wake Forest University
3-2
5-0
3-2
2-2-1
2-3
2-3
32
35
25
20

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The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will host the Louisville Cardinals in ACC play Saturday night from BB&T Field.

The Louisville Cardinals enter this matchup winners of three out of their last four games. They dropped their first conference game in a 35-24 road decision to Florida State in week four, and they countered with a much-needed 41-39 home win against Boston College last week to improve to 1-1 in ACC play. Louisville QB Jawon Pass remains questionable. Malik Cunningham has shined in the absence of Pass. The duo has combined for a 9:2 TD to INT ratio. The Cardinals are 1-1 on the road this season.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons enjoyed a well-deserved bye last week. They have won all five games which include wins against Utah State, North Carolina, and Boston College. The Demon Deacons' offense has received steady production both in the air and on the ground. Their passing offense has especially been sharp led by Jamie Newman who features a dazzling 14:3 TD to INT ratio. Despite not playing last week, Wake Forest ascended three spots to #19 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings due to their undefeated record.

Louisville Earns First ACC Victory

The Louisville Cardinals enter this challenging matchup with confidence. They notched their first conference win in a thrilling 41-39 victory against Boston College last week in a game that had the Cardinals labeled as four-point favorites. The Cardinals have utilized several QB’s due to the injury to Jawon Pass who has missed the last three games. Malik Cunningham has been sharp in his absence. Cunningham recorded 288 passing yards in the win last week, and the sophomore QB has accrued 721 passing yards with a 5:1 TD to INT ratio. Look for Cunningham to see a majority of the action again this week if Pass is unable to play. Pass is dealing with turf toe and is questionable.

The Cardinals feature a dangerous running game that ranks 20th in the FBS. Javian Hawkins is having a tremendous freshman year, rushing for 562 yards on an average of over six yards per attempt. Hawkins has registered at least 100 rushing yards in three games this season.

Look for Tutu Atwell to be targeted heavily against a subpar Wake Forest pass defense. The sophomore WR brought in 110 receiving yards last week, and he is up to 424 receiving yards. The Louisville offense should continue to improve if a #1 QB is established and it looks as if Cunningham is starting to blossom.

The Cardinals defense has struggled in their two ACC games, squandering 35 and 39 points respectively. They are having some trouble defending the pass. Louisville is scoring an average of 32.4 points, good for 52nd in the country. They are conceding an average of 26 points, placing them 62nd overall.

#19 Wake Forest Looks to Improve to 6-0

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will attempt to keep their perfect record intact. The Demon Deacons have posted a sizzling 5-0 start which has landed them in the AP Top 25. Wake Forest is 2-0 in ACC play which included a 27-24 road win against Boston College in their latest game before the bye in a clash that had the Demon Deacons favored by 4.5 points. Deacons’ QB Jamie Newman is having a tremendous season, connecting on 69% of his passes for 1521 yards accompanied with a 14:3 TD to INT ratio. The junior QB has tallied at least 300 passing yards in three games this season.

“I tell the players all the time: It’s an affirmation of that they’re doing things right and they need to continue to do those things,” Clawson said. “We don’t talk about it. ‘Keep your eye on the ball, 1-0. Focus on Louisville, and if you do that, all that other stuff takes care of itself.’

-Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson on his team's #19 ranking.

Wake Forest has a ton of weapons all over the field which includes Kenneth Walker III. The freshman RB has rushed for over 100 yards on three occasions, and he is up to 318 rushing yards on an average of 9.6 yards per attempt.

The Demon Deacons feature two big threats in their receiving core led by Sage Surratt who has accumulated 515 receiving yards, while Scotty Washington has 470 yards. Surratt is a talented sophomore who has recorded 100 receiving yards in two out of his last three games. The Wake Forest offense is very balanced as they rank 10th in the FBS with an average of over 500 total yards per game.

The Demon Deacons defense has been sharp after allowing 35 points to Utah State in week one. They limited Boston College to only 24 points in their latest action. They will give up yards in the air as seen in their 87th ranked pass defense. Wake Forest is scoring an average of 35.8 points, placing them 32nd overall. They are holding opponents to only 21 points, good for 36th in the FBS.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I like Wake Forest in this one. This is a reasonable spread in Wake Forest’s favor. This team is sharp on both offense and defense while Louisville relies on their offense to win games. The Cardinals defense hasn’t been effective recently, squandering 35 and 39 points respectively in their last two clashes against Florida State and Boston College. Wake Forest features a stellar passing offense that ranks 13th in the FBS, and Louisville’s pass defense stands down at 78th in the country.

Furthermore, I expect the Demon Deacons’ defense to neutralize the Cardinals offense. This is the best defense the Cardinals have seen this season. They only scored 24 points at FSU in their lone conference road game, and the Demon Deacons have limited their opposition to 24 or fewer points in four consecutive games.

Prediction: Wake Forest

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am going with the over in this matchup. Wake Forest should pile on the points against a Louisville defense that has issues against the pass and run. The Demon Deacons feature a locked in Jamie Newman who has tossed 14 TD passes, and their ground game is led by Kenneth Walker III who is averaging a stellar 9.6 yards per attempt. The over is 8-1 in the Demon Deacons’ last nine home games against a team with a winning road record.

In addition, the Cardinals' offense is a strength. They have averaged 34.3 points in their last three games and that production came without the experienced QB Jawon Pass, plus the over is 7-0 in the Cardinals’ last seven October games.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Wake Forest team total offered on PointsBet is a solid play. The Demon Deacons have too many threats, and Louisville is not strong enough to shut them all down. QB Jamie Newman has connected on 70% of his passes, Walker III is averaging 9.6 yards per attempt, and they have two dominant receivers in Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington who have combined for nearly 100 receiving yards. Wake Forest ranks 9th in the FBS with over 500 total yards per game, and they should have another big game offensively.

Prediction: Wake Forest Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I expect a high-scoring game in both the first and second half. The Demon Deacons are averaging a terrific 19.8 points in the opening half, and the Cardinals have not fared well from a defensive standpoint in the first half where they have allowed an average of 17.8 points, pegging them down at 95th in the FBS. Also, Louisville is averaging a sizzling 20 points in the opening half.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.