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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Louisville Cardinals Odds - Prediction

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. Louisville Cardinals (8-1 SU, 5-3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 7PM EST
Where: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
TV: ESPN2
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: WAKE +34.5/LOU -34.5
Over/Under Total: 54.5

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons come to face the Louisville Cardinals in ACC action on Saturday. It’s a big game for both teams, a chance for the Demon Deacons to add a transcendent win to their program. And the high-flying Cardinals need to get past tests like this if they still want to be in the mix for some truly special things, as they are 6th in the CFP rankings. Wake Forest started the season at 5-1 before a two-game losing streak. On Saturday, they beat Virginia, 27-20 to get back on the winning track. Louisville, meanwhile, won their 4th in a row since a narrow loss to Clemson, beating Boston College, 52-7, in a rout.

After covering the spread just once in the previous five weeks, the Cardinals needed the blowout of Boston College on Saturday. They resumed their high-flying offensive ways in a big statement, with QB Lamar Jackson throwing for four touchdowns, while also running for 185 yards and 3 more touchdowns. His numbers on the season are off-the-charts. He has 2753 yards passing and 26 touchdowns through the air. He has also run for 1183 yards and an immense 19 touchdowns. There are entire teams without that much production. Jackson obviously gets a lot of help.

Adding to the Louisville offensive juggernaut is a slew of capable playmakers that have contributed in making them the top offensive team in the country, as the Cardinals have averaged over 50 points of scoring per game. On the ground, Brandon Ratcliff is at over 600 yards, while Jeremy Smith has added seven touchdowns. Jackson spreads the ball around to ball-catching talent like Cole Hikutini, Jamari Staples, James Quick, and Jaylen Smith, among others. There is room on this offense for a lot of different players to thrive.

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For the purposes of this matchup, it helps to see what Louisville has done against other conference teams. They beat Syracuse by 34, FSU by 43, North Carolina State by 41, and BC by 45 points. Giving hope to the resourceful Demon Deacons is Louisville’s wins over Duke and Virginia. Louisville beat Duke by only ten and Virginia by 7. Since Wake beat both of those teams, one can make a decent case for a closer game than what many are forecasting.

Giving Louisville even more upside is their highly-rated defense. They enter this week as the nation’s 8th-ranked defense. Like the offense, there is a lot of balance on this side of the ball, as they rank 15th against the pass and 7th against the run. Only the nation’s second-ranked team Clemson was able to really get untracked in a substantial way against this “D.” They average just over 21 points allowed per game and when they average over 50, it’s not hard to see how that’s a winning equation. Not that the offense really even needs it, but this side of the ball makes its presence felt, as well. They make plays, really get after it, and have been adept at getting turnovers.

Wake Forest fell into a little lull after the 5-1 start to the campaign. They beat Duke, Indiana, Syracuse, and Virginia this season, among others. After a 4-0 start, they lost to NC State, before losing to FSU a few weeks later, but covering the spread. Their 8-point home loss to Army a few weeks ago was puzzling, but they looked decent enough last week in a win over Virginia. They rely a lot on defense, but that side of the ball will be tested in a big way this week. That defense may be able to compete with the middling teams of the ACC and they did do well against the Seminoles, but it’s possible that they’re out of their depth here.

Wake’s defense will need to be at full-power on Saturday. They can do some things that can help teams cover spreads. They’re actually pretty effective against the run. And they’re 14th in the nation in allowing an average of just 18.4 points per game. They get after it pretty well and have registered 20 turnovers on the season. DB Jessie Bates has five picks, two of which he has returned for scores. They can also rush the passer well, with Duke Ejiofor leading the way with eight sacks.

The other side of the ball for Wake Forest presents a less-rosy scenario. They put up a tick over 21 points a game, with their offense ranked 119th out of 128 teams. The aerial attack is negligible, which would suggest they rely on the run. But alas, even that part of their game is not terribly robust most of the time. At quarterback is John Wolford, who has a 5 TD/7 INT stat-line. He is the team’s second-leading rusher and has more touchdowns on the ground than in the air with six. Matt Colburn and Cade Carney carry the rest of the load, but again, it’s an uninspiring bunch.

Sometimes, the contrast of two teams can be so stark that it exaggerates the scenario. On one hand is the high-flying Louisville Cardinals, a team that seemingly scores at will. On the other hand is the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, a gritty team and a winning one, but one that has to grind exhaustively for what points they can manage. And on top of it, they’re facing a good Louisville “D” at home this week. Louisville should win, but after seeing them labor against Wake victims Virginia and Duke, a position on the Demon Deacons with all those points can be justified this week.

Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons plus 34.5 points.

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

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College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

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