Vanderbilt vs Wake Forest: Prediction, Best Bet, & Odds (9/9/23)

Week 2 of the college football season is here, and we’re rolling with exciting content across a wide range of content. In this article, you can find odds and predictions for the matchup between Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. In this SEC-ACC crossover game, let’s look for some value on the board.

Vanderbilt Vs. Wake Forest Prediction & Best Bet

Vanderbilt has started the season 2-0, but they haven’t exactly been impressive through those two wins. The Commodores were outgained by nearly 100 total yards by Hawaii at home, and they held just a 12-3 halftime lead over Alabama A&M in a game where they were favored by 35.

Wake Forest, meanwhile, beat Elon last week 37-17. Elon outscored them 17-13 in the second half, but the game was never in doubt for the Demon Deacons. Quarterback Mitch Griffis played admirably, replacing new Notre Dame passer Sam Hartman, as he threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns.

Both of these teams put up big numbers offensively last week, but there were some concerns. Mitch Griffis is still learning the intricacies of the patented Slow Mesh offense, which Hartman had mastered, and he took five sacks against Elon. Now he faces a Vanderbilt defense that ranks 54th in PFF pass rush grades so far this season and will send exotic blitzes at Griffis.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s AJ Swann has completed just 57.6% of his passes so far against subpar opponents. That’s not a surprise after he completed just 57.2% of his passes last year – his accuracy remains an issue for the offense. Brad Lambert is entering his second season as Wake’s defensive coordinator and has solid returning production numbers to work with.

This game isn’t one that I’m terribly confident in with taking a side, but I do see a little value in the under. Wake Forest is still adjusting to life after Hartman while the Swann-led Vanderbilt offense has left some to be desired through their first two games. With the total sitting over the key number of 55, I’ll take the under here.

Vanderbilt Vs. Wake Forest Prediction & Best Bet: Under 56.5

Vanderbilt Vs. Wake Forest Odds

The current odds for this game have Wake Forest favored by 10 points at home. When the spread was first posted, it opened at 13.5 points, but it was quickly bought down to the current number of 10. The under has also taken money, being bought from an open of 62.5 down to the current 56.5-point total. You can use the tile above to compare odds from different sportsbooks and stay up to date on where the line is going.

Vanderbilt Vs. Wake Forest Key Matchups

Mitch Griffis vs Vanderbilt’s pass rush

A four-year Wake Forest player, Mitch Griffis is getting his first chance to be the full-time starter. I was surprised to learn that he took five sacks against Elon, and that doesn’t bode well for his productivity moving forward this season. While offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero remains in place, the offensive line lost three starters from last season and allowed Elon to generate 18 pressures and five sacks.

Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Nick Howell is known for bringing the heat as his defense had a 28% blitz rate last season, and he’ll bring some different looks to confuse and frustrate an inexperienced passer in Griffis. It also doesn’t help that Wake Forest lost A.T. Perry, its leading receiver from last season who had over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Jahmal Banks had six catches for 108 yards and a touchdown against Elon while tight end Cameron Hite chipped in four catches for 91 yards and a score. Those two appear to be the top two targets in the offense for the time being, and they’ll be relied upon again in this game against Vanderbilt.

AJ Swann vs Wake Forest’s defense

Unlike Griffis, Swann is well supported by the return of the team’s top four offensive line starters and its top three receivers. However, he’s still trying to prove he belongs as the team’s starter – their upset wins over Florida and Kentucky towards the end of last season came with Mike Wright under center, not him.

Wright has since transferred to Mississippi State, and Swann has a great opportunity to continue to prove himself on the road against a Power Five defense. Swann seems to be cutting down on the turnovers as his 4.3% turnover-worthy play rate so far is down from 5.4% last season. Swann has some brilliant moments in his bag, to be entirely fair, but the consistency hasn’t quite been there.

Expect the Demon Deacons to use safety Malik Mustapha as a blitzer in this game after he ranked third with nine TFLs last season. His 48% pressure rate was electric last year, and he’s a downhill enforcer who can create issues. Jayden McGowan and Will Sheppard both had six catches last week and are the receivers to watch for Vandy as Swann looks to continue to make plays out of structure in this offense.

Vanderbilt Vs. Wake Forest Sportsbook Promo Codes

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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