Wake Forest vs. Louisville NCAAF Week 9 Pick and Prediction: Can Louisville Stop Hartman?

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Sam Hartman #10 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons looks to pass against the Boston College Eagles. Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP.

Wake Forest’s quarterback, Sam Hartman, launched 5 touchdown passes last week in the Demon Deacons’ 43-15 victory over Boston College and his 93-career touchdown passes place him 3rd on the all-time ACC list in that category.

Let’s check out the college football odds and analyze this matchup as we look to cash our college football picks on Saturday.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Louisville Cardinals

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Cardinal Stadium

Wake Forest is for real and if you have any doubts all you need to do is check out their 6-1 record with their only loss being a 51-45 double overtime thriller they lost to powerhouse Clemson. And while that’s great news for fans of the Demon Deacons, you should also know that they have been a veritable ATM at the betting windows, covering 6 of 7 this season.

Last week they took down Boston College, 43-15, the first time that’s happened at home in 10 years and Sam Hartman had quite a bit to do with Wake’s impressive performance. When the dust settled, the junior redshirt had struck for 5 touchdown passes and one rushing TD, connecting on 25-of-40, and ending with 313 passing yards.

"Sam has set that standard higher," said wide receiver Taylor Morin. "We go out there and try to help him. Sam is what makes us go."

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said after the game, "There's not another quarterback in the country I'd rather have."

Louisville Looking for Third Straight Win

Louisville has now cobbled together 2 consecutive wins and is gunning for an upset over Wake Forest on Saturday to make it 3 straight. Last week the Cardinals defeated Pittsburgh, 24-10, and forced 4 turnovers that made the difference.

After trailing 10-7 at the half, the Cardinals offense woke up and quarterback Malik Cunningham engineered a five-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a nine-yard pass to Josh Lifson that gave the Redbirds a lead they would never relinquish.

Louisville closed with just 190 passing yards and 122 yards on the ground indicating their offense was serviceable but far from spectacular.

The credit for the victory was more about the Louisville defense than the offense as they held Pittsburgh to just 158 yards through the air and had 2 interceptions while also returning a 59-yard fumble to the house with barely 3 minutes remaining to put a bow on the 14-point victory over an ACC rival.

Team Trends

  • Wake Forest is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
  • Wake Forest is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
  • Wake Forest is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
  • Wake Forest is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on field turf.
  • Wake Forest is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Louisville is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • Louisville is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
  • Louisville is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.

What Should We Expect?

I saw this line and thought something was out of whack. Wake Forest has scored at least 31 points in every game this season and while Louisville owns one of those bend-but-don’t-break defenses, allowing 20.6 points per game (26th), they are purely pedestrian when it comes to passing and rushing yards allowed, ranked 51st and 61st respectively in those categories.

Here’s another interesting tidbit. Louisville has covered in every game they have won and failed to cover in every game they have lost this season. If we follow that logic then they would have to defeat the Deacons outright for their backers to be rewarded.

Now before I get too carried away with my infatuation for Wake Forest in this spot, we should note their defense is not the stuff of legend. The Demon Deacons allow 24 points per game (54th) and rank 57th against the run and 83rd against the pass. And while that is a bit concerning what doesn’t concern me is the Louisville offense.

Pick and Prediction

Let’s assume the Cardinals ring up 24 points, the average allowed by the Wake Forest defense, how will they contain a white-hot Sam Hartman from torching their secondary and the offense from continuing their streak of scoring at least 31 points per game?

If it ends 31-24 then we have a Wake Forest win and cover while Louisville will maintain their streak of failing to cover every time they lose a game.

Following the best sportsbooks, I will happily lay the 3.5 with the road chalk here and you should too.

Score Prediction: Wake Forest 34 - Louisville 23

NCAAF Pick: Wake Forest -3.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Wake Forest -3.5 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.