College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs. Wake Forest: How to Bet This ACC Showdown

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Louisville vs. Wake Forest: How to Bet This ACC Showdown article feature image
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  • Wake Forest attempts to stay unbeaten as it hosts Louisville at 12:30 p.m. ET
  • The Demon Deacons and Cardinals are currently a combined 3-0 in the ACC.
  • Mike McNamara previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Louisville vs. Wake Forest Odds

Louisville Odds +7 (-105)
Wake Forest Odds -7 (-115)
Moneyline +230 / -290
Over/Under 64 (-105 / -115)
Time 12:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

When the 2021 season began, there weren’t many that would’ve called this matchup between Louisville and Wake Forest a pivotal game for positioning within the Atlantic Division of the ACC.

Clemson has absolutely dominated the division in recent years and there were no signs of that changing this season.

Flash forward four weeks into the season, and this game is just that, pivotal.

Wake Forest has started the year with four consecutive victories and none of those contests were particularly close.

Louisville has won three in a row, headlined by the Cardinals’ 42-35 triumph over UCF in Week 3.

With Clemson’s sluggish start to the year, the ACC is now completely wide open. Both of these teams have every reason to believe they can contend for the Atlantic Division and fight their way to Charlotte for the ACC Championship.

We’ll know more about each group’s chances after this week.


Louisville vs. Wake Forest Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 2
12:30 p.m. ET
ESPN3

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Offense

After a lopsided Week 1 loss to Ole Miss in Atlanta, many were wondering if the Scott Satterfield era could be winding down. The Cardinals struggled to sustain drives and were playing from behind the entire game.

The Ole Miss loss doesn’t look nearly as bad now that the Rebels are inside the top 15 in the country.

Senior quarterback Malik Cunningham has really picked it up since the opener. The veteran has rushed for two touchdowns in each of the last three games while completing over 60% of his passes in all of those contests.

More importantly, Cunningham is taking care of the ball and challenging opposing defenses with both his arm and legs.

The Cardinals’ offense has been very efficient on 3rd down — converting 9-of-18 attempts against Florida State last week — and consistently moving the chains in the biggest moments of the game.


Louisville Defense

Defensively, Louisville continues to struggle, particularly against the run. The Cardinals’ defense currently ranks 114th in Rush Success and 113th in Line Yards.

The inability to stop the run has put added pressure on the back end of the defense, which is the most talented area of the group.

The secondary has still held up okay to this point, but if this team is going to continue to build on their three-game winning streak, it’ll need to be much better in the trenches.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest Offense

The Wake Forest offense has been a well-oiled machine in four games of play to start the year.

Senior quarterback Sam Hartman has taken full control of the offense and is playing like the talent many hoped he would after showing glimpses of potential when he was first thrust into action as a freshman in 2018.

This offense doesn’t turn the ball over and the Deacs have had plenty of success both on the ground and through the air.

Sophomore wide receiver A.T. Perry has emerged as a dynamic weapon for Hartman, notching 155 receiving yards in the win against FSU.

If there would be any knock on the group, it would be for the Deacs’ lack of big plays as they currently rank 113th.

Dave Clawson will look to change that against a Louisville defense that has given up some chunk plays this season.


Wake Forest Defense

The defense has been pretty darn consistent to start the year. It’s not a unit that’s going to overpower you with crazy talent, but defensive coordinator Lyle Hemphill does a great job of putting his guys in the right spots.

In four games against Old Dominion, Norfolk State, Florida State and Virginia, the Deacs have surrendered 10, 16, 14, and 17 points, respectively.

The Louisville offense will certainly test those numbers, as Cunningham and Co. present the biggest challenge this Wake defense has seen thus far.

Forcing a turnover or two would go a long way in helping them gain their fifth victory.


Louisville vs. Wake Forest Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Louisville and Wake Forest match up statistically:

Louisville Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 101 48
Line Yards 58 91
Pass Success 41 111
Pass Blocking** 12 68
Big Play 92 52
Havoc 24 13
Finishing Drives 14 15
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Wake Forest Offense vs. Louisville Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 82 114
Line Yards 67 113
Pass Success 12 35
Pass Blocking** 14 103
Big Play 113 128
Havoc 21 92
Finishing Drives 35 101
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 107 30
PFF Coverage 20 21
Middle 8 55 51
SP+ Special Teams 27 23
Plays per Minute 73 24
Rush Rate 52.% (78) 59.7% (34)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Hartman and Cunningham are two of the most experienced quarterbacks in the ACC and both have been playing stellar football thus far in 2021.

Louisville should be able to move the ball consistently on the ground with a combination of Cunningham and running back Jalen Mitchell.

Wake is not equipped to handle Cunningham’s dual-threat ability and he’ll be the most dynamic QB the defense has seen thus far.

On the other side of the ball, Hartman and the Wake offense should continue to move the chains.

That said, the real weakness of the Cardinals’ defense comes in stopping the run. When Hartman drops back, the Cardinals have the personnel to at least challenge the Wake wideouts and make things a bit more difficult.

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Louisville vs. Wake Forest Betting Pick

This line opened with the Demon Deacons favored by a touchdown and has hovered around there throughout the week.

To me, that’s too many points to not identify real value on the visiting Cardinals.

The Louisville offense has been rolling since the opening week loss and I don’t see any reason why that’ll change this week. In the last two meetings between these teams, Satterfield’s offenses have gone for 62 and 45 points, respectively.

Wake remains one of two unbeatens left in the ACC. The Demon Deacons will need to be at their best on both sides of the ball to keep the perfect season alive after this one.

Give me the Cardinals and the points.

Pick: Louisville +7 (Play to +6)

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