Wake Forest vs Louisville Odds, Picks: Count on Cunningham & Cards
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Louisville Cardinals
- Louisville hosts Wake Forest in a Week 9 ACC college football battle.
- Malik Cunningham vs. Sam Hartman will be fun, but which quarterback has the edge?
- Kyle Remillard breaks it all down and more below.
Wake Forest vs Louisville Odds
Wake Forest is officially a top-10 team in the country for the second time in program history. The Demon Deacons hope to continue moving up the rankings with a matchup against the Louisville Cardinals this weekend.
Wake Forest is 6-1 on the season, with its only loss coming in a double-overtime thriller to Clemson. Its six victories have been by an average of 21 points.
The success can be attributed to a high-powered offense that ranks eighth in scoring offense, putting up 41 points per game.
Louisville will look to make it three conference wins in a row after dominating victories over Virginia and Pittsburgh. It will certainly be a hostile environment as it’s the homecoming game for the Cardinals.
Is this a potential trap game for Wake Forest with a grueling schedule approaching?
There is no denying the dominance of the Wake Forest offense this season. The Demon Deacons run a well-balanced offense that has pumped out 41 points per game.
The success is driven by the arm of quarterback Sam Hartman. In six games, he’s averaging 9.1 yards per pass attempt and 293 yards per game. There’s no doubt he’s the top quarterback in the ACC, as he's thrown 21 touchdowns to only three interceptions on the season.
Even though Wake Forest runs the ball on 55% of its plays, that hasn’t resulted in much success. The group is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry, which ranks 104th in the nation. That’s equated to the 89th ranking in Success Rate and 78th in Line Yards.
The defense has been serviceable by allowing 26 points and 400 yards of total offense per game. With an offense as high-powered as theirs, that’s all the Deacs needs to be successful.
But this week, the defense will be challenged by dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham. Last season, Cunningham lit up the defense for 309 passing yards while averaging 11.9 yards per attempt. He tossed two touchdowns and ran in another two scores.
Head coach Scott Satterfield knows how big this matchup is and pleaded to the Cardinals fans to make it a rowdy atmosphere in his press conference.
Scott Satterfield's full comments on hoping fans come out on Saturday pic.twitter.com/8u9NOo9Pk7
— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) October 25, 2022
After starting 0-3 in ACC play, the Cardinals have started to turn over a new leaf by winning their last two matchups. The defense dominated the defending ACC champions last week by holding them to just 10 points.
This matchup will come down to the play of quarterback Cunningham, who is one of the most explosive playmakers in the country. Cunningham has been an efficient passer this season, averaging seven yards per pass attempt while completing 61% of his passes.
But he thrives with his lightning speed that can’t be simulated in practice.
Cunningham is the leading rusher for the Cardinals, averaging 84 yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry. The redshirt senior has punched in nine touchdowns with his legs this season.
The Louisville defense has flown under the radar this season, allowing just 21 points per game, which ranks 19th in the nation. The secondary has allowed 7.7 yards per pass attempt and will need to prevent the big plays in this matchup.
The Cardinals' defense ranks fourth in the nation with a Sack Rate of 11% on drop backs. The unit also ranks sixth in the nation with 2.3 takeaways per game.
Wake Forest vs Louisville Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wake Forest and Louisville match up statistically:
Wake Forest Offense vs. Louisville Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Louisville Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||40||26|
|Seconds per Play||23.6 (19)||26.3 (69)|
|Rush Rate||54.5% (62)||57.3% (40)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Wake Forest vs Louisville Betting Pick
This is an interesting game from a scheduling perspective for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have matchups looming against three-straight ranked conference opponents in NC State, North Carolina and Syracuse.
Last season, Cunningham shredded this defense both through the air and with his legs while totaling four touchdowns. This time around, the Cardinals will be at home, and it should be another tight matchup that comes down to the wire.
With it being homecoming for the Cardinals, I’m anticipating a hostile crowd that will give them a nice home-field advantage.
In the last eight meetings between these two programs, the underdog has covered in each game. I have Louisville pegged as a 2.5-point underdog in this matchup and will be playing anything over a field goal.
I’ll also be including the Cardinals in my underdog parlay this week.