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Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Predictions: Duke Blue Devils vs. Wake Forest Betting Preview

Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Predictions: Duke Blue Devils vs. Wake Forest Betting Preview article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero.

  • Coming off a shocking home loss to Miami, Duke is favored Wednesday against Wake Forest.
  • The Demon Deacons are yet to truly be tested, and the Blue Devils will be looking to bounce back.
  • Kody Malstrom takes a deep look at this showdown below and makes his betting selection.

Duke vs. Wake Forest Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 12
7 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Duke Odds
-110o / -110u
Wake Forest Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Save us Duke, you’re our only hope.

Awesome Star Wars reference aside, the ACC is in danger of being embarrassingly under represented come March.

In a league that is cannibalizing itself with each passing day, the ACC is in serious need of someone not named Duke to step up, and even the Blue Devils are showing chinks in the armor after dropping their last game to Miami.

North Carolina has been nipping at the heels, pun intended, while Louisville is also lingering per market reaction. Virginia Tech has the metrics, but it has struggled to put it together.

Can Wake Forest potentially join the “upper” echelon and rival conference leader Duke?

Let’s find out.

Duke Blue Devils

Don’t let Duke’s stunning loss to Miami fool you: This is still the clearcut number one team in the ACC and one of the best in the nation.

While my inner North Carolina fan boy loved every second of it, I also had to sit and ponder what on earth is going on with one of the most prestigious conferences in basketball.

Duke is rock solid in almost all aspects in comparison to its ACC peers, sitting on top of the rankings in nearly every metric. The Blue Devils are also top-25 in both Adjusted Offense and Defense.

While near top of the board in nearly every metric, Duke has a glaring weakness, it is when its offense is slowed to a halt. Even against a Miami defense ranked 200th in Adjusted Defense gave the Blue Devils fits when slowed down.

They also uncharacteristically gave up the ball at nearly twice their per game average, committing 17 turnovers against the Hurricanes. That’s a metric I don’t see Mike Krzyzewski letting happen again after a locker room meltdown.

While I’m not putting too much stock into Duke’s loss, I will be expecting a strong bounce back. The Blue Devils will look to Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore Jr. to once again lead them in a more polished offensive game.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

With teams scrambling to separate themselves as a clear number two and a rival to Duke, Wake Forest has been a team that has been silently sitting in the mix.

With a record of 13-3, Wake Forest has a shot to really establish itself if it can hand Duke a second loss in a row. This will definitely be the Demon Deacons’ toughest test yet, as they rank 232 in Adjusted Efficiency Margin Strength of Schedule.

Still, you play who is on the schedule and so far Wake Forest has been taking care of business other than a few slip ups against the likes of LSU, Louisville and — you guessed it — Miami.

Wake Forest is balanced on both ends, something I always look for in a team to be able to make a run and keep up against the elites. While the numbers are not eye popping, they are at least above average with an Adjusted Offense rank of 53rd and Adjusted Defense rank of 65th.

The Deacs are a scoring machine who spreads it around, ranking top three in both points and assists per game in the ACC. They’re led by star guard Alondes Williams, who averages 20.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists.

Wake plays tight to the vest with only eight players getting meaningful minutes and four averaging double-digit points. Duke will have its hands full trying to contain the Demon Deacons, who operate efficiently and at a high rate.

If Wake Forest wants to get the upset, it will need to slow Duke to a halt on defense and force the Blue Devils into half court possessions. It’s easier said than done, but it has been proven effective before.

Duke vs. Wake Forest Betting Pick

This has all the makings of an offensive firework display.

The problem for Wake Forest, though, is it’s going to get an angered version of Duke. While it’s never easy to win on the road, the Blue Devils are going to come in to avenge their loss to Miami and are far superior in every aspect of the game.

I just don’t believe in this Wake Forest team until it can show me it’s capable of beating a respectable opponent. So far, the Deacons’ best wins are against Florida State in a beat down and a narrow one against Syracuse in their last time out. Neither moved the needle for me to think they can actually contend against a team like Duke.

With an urgent focus on taking care of the ball, we will see a much more polished offense led by Banchero and be reminded why Duke was considered one of the best teams in the country earlier this season.

Pick: Duke -4

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