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Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions for Week 1
Clark Lea has big dreams for what he wants to do with the Commodores, but that's a long road to hoe (and perhaps an impossible dream, all things considered). Vanderbilt is 2-0 to start the 2022 season, though with games against Hawaii and Elon making up those victories. Facing a Wake Forest team currently ranked 23rd by the AP Poll and getting starting quarterback Sam Hartman back is going to be the Commodores' first real challenge, even if the game is in Tennessee with a 12 p.m. ET kickoff.
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Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest Odds for Week 1
Spread: Vanderbilt +13.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 65.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Vanderbilt +375, Wake Forest -500
Well, clearly handling Hawaii and Elon has not earned Vanderbilt a ton of faith, which is fair. Wake Forest has not faced a challenge yet, having taken on VMI in its first game (and winning 44-10, by the way). Being nearly a two-touchdown underdog at home is not a vote of confidence. A high-scoring game is expected, at least. That's a hefty total for the over/under. The line movement has been significant since the announcement of Hartman's return; the line was Wake Forest -7.0 on Sunday morning before ballooning to -13.5.
Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest Betting Picks This Week
Each and every college football season is defined by change. Players come and go. As such, we can't look too much at last season. That being said, when the 2021 season ended, the Demon Deacons were 11-3 and ranked 15th by the AP. The Commodores, meanwhile, were 2-0, with a three-point win over Colorado State and a two-point win over UConn. Oh, and both of those teams fired their head coaches.
Fans of exciting college football got good news this week, as Sam Hartman was medically cleared and is expected to start this game. The Wake Forest quarterback was dealing with what was revealed to be a blood-clot issue, but fortunately, it proved to only be a speed bump in his career. Hartman was the trigger man in the Deacons' exhilarating passing game in 2021. He threw the ball over 500 times in 14 games, throwing for 4,222 yards and 39 touchdowns, while adding 11 touchdowns with his feet. Last week, Vanderbilt let Elon score 31 on them as Lea lamented his squad letting its foot off the gas. Mike Wright is as exciting a player as I can remember for the Commodores in a while, but it's time for a reality check.
Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest Best Bet: Wake Forest (-12.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook
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Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest prediction
Bill Connelly's SP+ got some flak from Deacons believers, and indeed that ranking system only has the Deacs at 37th, decidedly below their 23rd-place ranking in the AP Poll. That being said, Vanderbilt ranks 91st, including 84th defensively. Last season the Commodores were 117th in passing yards allowed per game, and 103rd in passing yards allowed per attempt.
I expect Hartman and A.T. Perry to have a field day against Vanderbilt, even on the road. Now, Vandy has averaged over 50 points per game on offense, but we're talking about an FCS opponent and a Hawaii squad that looks like one of the worst teams at the FBS level. Wake Forest is not known for its defensive stoutness necessarily, and like I said I think Wright is a legitimate talent. Now, 65.5 points is a low, so it's hard to feel too confident taking the over. I do fully expect Wake's offense to be too much for Vandy's defense, though. The Commodores won't be trucked in ignominious fashion, but if when the final seconds tick off the clock they are within 20 points I will be a bit surprised.
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