Week Five College Football Betting Picks: Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Louisville Cardinals

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at  Louisville Cardinals
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium – Louisville, Kentucky

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Louisville -21
Current Line: Louisville -22
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 41 1/2
Opening Money Line: Louisville -1425 / Wake Forest +1075
Current Money Line: Louisville -1500 / Wake Forest +975


Louisville is a heavy home favorite against Wake Forest Saturday.
Louisville is a heavy home favorite against Wake Forest Saturday.

The Louisville Cardinals are 2-1 this season and 1-1 in their first year in the ACC. Louisville hosts Wake Forest Saturday. The Demon Deacons are 2-2 and are playing their first conference game of the year. This is only the second meeting between Louisville and Wake Forest. The Cardinals won 24-13 in the 2007 Orange Bowl.

Louisville is coached by Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals have home wins over Miami-(FL) 31-13 and Murray State 66-21 plus a road win last week at Florida International 34-3. The only blemish is a 23-21 loss at Virginia. Louisville is 3-1 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season. The Cardinals were 25.5 point favorites against Florida International and the total was 45.

Wake Forest is coached by Dave Clawson. The Demon Deacons have home wins over Gardner-Webb 23-7 and Army last week 24-21. Wake Forest has road losses at Louisiana-Monroe 17-10 and Utah State 36-24. The Demon Deacons are 2-2 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season. Wake Forest was a 2.5 point underdog against Army and the total was 48.5.


Louisville is outscoring teams 38-15 this season. The Cardinals are #12 in points allowed and #36 in scoring nationally. Louisville is averaging 389 yards per game including 253 passing and 137 rushing yards per game. On defense, the Cardinals are allowing 257 yards per game including 178 passing and 78 rushing yards per game. Louisville is #7 in both total and rushing defense. The Cardinals are +2 in turnovers with 10 takeaways. Louisville is averaging 41 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 54. The Cardinals are 36/76 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 15/64. Louisville has forced 11 sacks and allowed 12 this season. The Cardinals are 19/20 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns and opponents are 9/13 with 5 touchdowns. Louisville has a pick six and a kick return for a touchdown.

Louisville quarterback Will Gardner is out with a knee injury. He has thrown for 798 yards with 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Back-up Reggie Bonnafon is also listed as questionable for personal reasons. He has thrown for 151 yards with a passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns. If Bonnafon can’t go, then Kyle Bolin or Brett Nelson could start. Bolin and Nelson have each completed 4 of 7 passes this season.

Running back Dominique Brown has 64 carries for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns. L.J. Scott and Brandon Radcliff each have two rushing touchdowns. Receiver James Quick has 17 catches for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eli Rogers has 17 catches for 196 yards. Gerald Christian has 14 catches for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver DeVante Parker is out indefinitely with a broken foot.

Wake Forest is scoring 20.2 points a game and also giving up 20.2 points per game. The Demon Deacons average 263 yards per game on offense including 221 passing yards and 42 rushing yards. Wake Forest is #124 in total offense and #127 out of 128 teams in rushing. On defense, the Deacons  are allowing 308 yards per game including 148 passing and 160 rushing yards. Wake is #21 in total defense and #12 in pass defense. The Demon Deacons are -1 in turnovers with 7 takeaways. Wake Forest averages 64 penalty yards per game and opponents average 39 per game. The Demon Deacons are 22/63 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 22/64. Wake has forced 9 sacks and allowed 15 this season. The Deacons are 13/15 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns and opponents are 9/16 with 7 touchdowns. Wake Forest has a punt return for a touchdown plus an interception return and has allowed 3 defensive scores.

Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford has thrown for 883 yards with 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Running back Orville Reynolds has 44 carries for 132 yards, along with 7 catches. Isaiah Robinson has 30 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. E.J. Scott has 17 catches for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cam Serigne, Matt James and Jared Crump all have at least 16 catches.

Wake Forest is 4-9 ATS after a straight up win, 4-10 against teams with winning records, 5-14 against teams with winning home records, 1-6 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, and 0-4 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards.

Louisville is 4-0 ATS on fieldturf, 5-1 after rushing for less than 100 yards, in September and overall, 14-3 in conference games, 9-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 4-9 after a cover, 3-7 after a win, 2-6 after allowing less than 275 total yards, 2-8 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and 1-5 after a straight up win by 20 points or more.

Both of these offenses have struggled but the defenses have been very good. This should be a low scoring game. Louisville is a 22 point favorite but with a back-up quarterback and possibly the third stringer starting, they might not even score 22 points. I think Louisville wins but Wake stays within the spread.

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