College Football Pick
This may actually be Louisville’s toughest test for the rest of the season, which isn’t great for their College Football Playoff prospects. Wake Forest isn’t a bad team, but most are assuming the Cardinals are going to pOur on the points in their remaining Games to impress the committee. They were -34.5 point home favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook with most of the money still coming in on them.
Louisville has had a couple slip ups this season, failing to come out and play against Duke and Virginia. But other than those two contests, the Cardinals have either blown out teams or lost at Clemson. They are coming off a beat down against a Boston College team that is similar to Wake Forest in a lot of ways, which is bad news for the Demon Deacons.
Wake has won via defense this year en route to six wins, allowing 18.4 points per Game. The issue is that they are only scoring 21.3 points per contest. The defense has been no doubt impressive, holding Florida State to 17 points highlights that, but they’ve also been beat by teams like Indiana for 28 points and even gave up 21 to Army in a loss.
It’s hard to see this Game going the way it did last year when it finished 20-19 for the Cardinals. LAmar Jackson was fine, throwing for a couple touchdowns, but was held to just two yards on the ground. In that Game, Wake quarterbacks threw Four interceptions and they only ran for 40 yards as a team. If the Demon Deacons want a chance at covering, they’ll need to do better this time around.
And that’s not a certainty against this Louisville defense that just held BC to seven points. Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford will likely be forced to pass, which is a bad thing as he has five touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season. He was forced to pass 43 times against Army and couldn’t do much, throwing three picks. If they can’t get anything on the ground early, it could be a similar fate for them as BC last weekend. The Demon Deacons just don’t have the offense to keep up in a Game like this, especially if LAmar Jackson gets going.
Jackson battled through cramps last Game, but he still finished with seven touchdowns against a solid defense. There’s always the chance Jackson and company put in a dud like in previous Games against Duke and Virginia, but that’ll be hard to bet on. No one wants to bet against a quarterback that has 45 total touchdowns already and averages 7.3 yards per carry.
The one area Wake could have success is stopping the run Game, as Brandon Radcliff has failed to surpass Four yards per carry in the last three Games. If he struggles again, everything will be on Jackson to cover this, which isn’t all that terrible of a thing.
The Demon Deacons are 5-1 ATS in their last six road Games and 4-1 ATS in their last five ACC Games. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last five home Games and 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Our Pick – Using yards per point to rank, Wake Forest has the 7th best defense in the nation. That has to mean something here, getting a whopping 35 points. Wake Forest +35