Florida vs Wake Forest Odds, Pick for Wednesday
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Walter Clayton Jr.
Florida vs Wake Forest Odds, Pick
Below, we have Florida vs Wake Forest odds and a pick for Wednesday.
The Florida Gators currently find themselves outside of the AP Top 25, but it might not be too much longer before they crack the poll.
The Gators are 4-2 but the losses were by three points to Virginia and four points to Baylor, both on neutral courts. They also have double-digit wins over rival Florida State and Pittsburgh.
On Wednesday night, Florida will head to Winston Salem to battle Wake Forest in search of another victory.
This game will be part of the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. However, Florida will already be the third SEC opponent Wake Forest has faced this season. It lost by three to Georgia and by six to LSU in overtime. The Demon Deacons enter Wednesday's game at 3-3.
Wake Forest has Rutgers next week, but the Gators and Scarlet Knights are the last two high-major non-conference opponents it will face this season. If it has any designs of dancing in March, this will be an important game to get at home. However, the Gators are a short road favorite.
The offensive-minded Gators have scored 80 points in five of their six games. They have a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging at least 14 points per game. Guard Walter Clayton Jr. leads the way with 15.7 PPG. A Lake Wales native, Clayton Jr. is back in his home state after transferring from Iona.
Florida ranks 16th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency this season. It is making 56% of its two-point field goal attempts, which ranks in the top 50 nationally. UC Riverside transfer Zyon Pullin gives the team another capable playmaker. Pullin and Clayton Jr. are averaging 10 combined assists per game.
The Gators rank third nationally in offensive rebounding, collecting 44.1% of its misses. Tyrese Samuel, Alex Condon and Micah Handlogten are all 6-foot-10 or taller, giving the Gators an imposing frontline.
Samuel leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per game. He was named SEC Player of the Week after averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 steals in wins of Pitt and Baylor. Both Samuel and Condon are averaging more than a block per game.
The Gators are 35th nationally with 5.2 blocks per game and 25th with 42.5 boards per game. They are outrebounding their opponents by nearly nine per game.
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Like Florida, Wake Forest has a potent offensive attack, but it is also more top-heavy. Hunter Salis, Cameron Hildreath, Kevin Miller and Andrew Carr account for 68.4 of the team's 78.3 points per game. Salis leads the way with an efficient 18.3 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the field and 43.6% from three.
Hildreath is shooting 45.5% from three on 4.1 attempts per game and Wake Forest is shooting 36% from deep as a team. The Deacons are even more efficient inside, making 54.5% of their two-point attempts. Wake Forest is 44th in adjusted offensive efficiency.
However, defense and rebounding have both been issues for Wake Forest, which ranks 142nd in adjusted defensive efficiency and 282nd in turnover percentage. Florida averages 13.2 turnovers per game, but Wake Forest might not be capable of taking advantage of it.
The Demon Deacons are also 270th in offensive rebounding percentage and 259th in defensive rebounding percentage. They will be undersized against Florida, particularly when Carr plays his minutes at the five. Coach Steve Forbes could opt to play bigger with Zach Keller and/or Matthew Marsh receiving more minutes against Florida.
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With these offenses, there should be a lot of points scored in this game. Oddmakers are anticipating that with a total of 156.5 points. However, Florida is the team that I expect to get a few more stops.
The Gators will have a size advantage, which should allow them to get a ton of points in the paint and dominate the glass. Wake Forest is a great matchup for Samuel to continue his strong play, and Clayton Jr. and Pullin will be factors as well.
The Gators are road favorites, but they won't need a dominant performance to cover. At -4.5, Florida is the side here and I would play it up to -5.5.
Pick: Florida -4.5 (Play to -5.5)
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