College Football Odds & Picks for Vanderbilt vs Wake Forest: Value on Week 2 Favorite

College Football Odds & Picks for Vanderbilt vs Wake Forest: Value on Week 2 Favorite article feature image

Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Wake Forest quarterback Mitch Griffis.

Vanderbilt vs Wake Forest Odds

Saturday, Sept. 9
11 a.m. ET
ACC Network
Vanderbilt Odds
-115o / -105u
Wake Forest Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Vanderbilt hits the road for the first time this season, looking for its third win of 2023 in a game it probably has to win to secure bowl eligibility for the first time since 2018.

Dave Clawson and Wake Forest await the Commodores in a bit of a program transition with elder statesman Sam Hartman transferring to Notre Dame.

Wake Forest won this matchup, 45-25, last season in Nashville with Hartman passing for 300 yards and four touchdowns. Vanderbilt’s AJ Swann came on in relief of Mike Wright, throwing for two touchdowns as he established himself as the Commodores' starter moving forward from that point.

Have Clark Lea’s Commodores closed the gap on Wake Forest, or will the Demon Deacons repeat their performance from a season prior?

Let's dive into the odds for Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest and find a betting pick and prediction in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 9.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt makes the trip to Winston-Salem as one of the few teams with two wins on the season. The Commodores topped Alabama A&M by a score of 47-13 to build off their seven-point win over Hawaii in Week 0.

Vanderbilt was one of just three SEC teams to return both its starting quarterback and offensive coordinator, and so far, Swann has avoided any killer mistakes that he was so close to making last year (13 turnover-worthy throws in just 201 pass attempts).

Swann has five passing touchdowns to just one interception so far this season.

The Commodores rely on a group of running backs after losing workhorse back Ray Davis to Kentucky. Three backs have over 10 carries this season, with Sedrick Alexander leading the way at 6.4 yards per carry.

Vanderbilt’s defense was the biggest cause for concern entering the season. Last year’s rankings were a nightmare:

  • 96th in rushing defense
  • 12th in yards per rush allowed
  • 122nd in passing touchdowns allowed
  • 127th in opposing QB rating
  • 128th in pass defense
  • 128th in yards per play allowed

Wake will have the best offense these Commodores have seen to date, which could spell trouble for a Vanderbilt side that surrendered 351 passing yards and three passing touchdowns to Hawaii.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest officially passed the torch at the quarterback position to Mitch Griffis in Week 1, and it went pretty well for a player making just his second career start.

The fourth-year quarterback finished with 329 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-30 passing in Wake’s 37-17 win over Elon — although he did throw a pick-six in the second half.

Even with the departures of Hartman, star wideout AT Perry and an injury to receiver Donavon Greene, Wake Forest still has one of the deepest receiving corps in the ACC that should be in prime position to succeed this week. In fact, this Vandy defense finished last in the Power 5 in yards allowed per pass last season.

One troublesome spot on offense for the Demon Deacons, however, was the ground game against Elon. They rushed for only 98 yards, averaging less than 3.0 yards per carry in Warren Ruggiero’s slow-mesh RPO offense — something that must improve for Wake going forward to help out an inexperienced quarterback.

Despite the offseason turnover on defense that included losing veteran lineman Rondell Bothroyd, the defense held up its end of the bargain against Elon. The Phoenix didn’t cross midfield until the second quarter and scored only one offensive touchdown.

Wake Forest struggled to generate turnovers last season, ranking 86th nationally with 16 but forced two interceptions against Elon.

Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest

Betting Pick & Prediction

This year’s version of the game should be closer than the 20-point Wake victory, considering one of the country’s better quarterbacks in Hartman is no longer lining up for the Demon Deacons. But I still think Vanderbilt is getting a little too much love after recording a couple of SEC wins in 2022.

The Vanderbilt secondary is still a huge liability, and Lea did virtually nothing to address any of the roster concerns in the offseason.

Griffis is no Hartman, but he had three years to learn the slow mesh and has a stable of good receivers led by Jahmal Banks and Cameron Hite.

This line opened at Wake -14 before all the Vandy love steamed this down to where it is now. The Commodores are trending in the right direction, but Swann and the offense won’t be enough to keep pace with the Demon Deacons.

Pick: Wake Forest -10 (Play to -12.5)

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