North Carolina vs. Wake Forest College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions: Target the Total in ACC Clash (Saturday, Jan. 22)

North Carolina vs. Wake Forest College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions: Target the Total in ACC Clash (Saturday, Jan. 22) article feature image

Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images. Pictured: Armando Bacot.

  • The Tar Heels are fresh off a brutal beatdown at the hands of Wake Forest, and now they travel to Wake Forest to take on the Demon Deacons
  • The Tar Heels are fresh off a brutal beatdown at the hands of Wake Forest, and now they travel to Wake Forest to take on the Demon Deacons
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

North Carolina vs. Wake Forest Odds

Saturday, Jan. 22
8 p.m. ET
ACC Network
North Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Wake Forest Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In my 26 years of being a North Carolina fan, last Tuesday's loss against Miami was one of the most embarrassing, laughable butt-whooping's I have ever seen. It was over before it even started.

The body language was poor as soon as the Tar Heels went down with little to no hope of ever putting together a run to make it a game. Three players on Miami outscored North Carolina as a whole.

Okay. Vent over. Let's get back to this matchup.

In what is deemed as a necessary bounce-back for North Carolina to remain lurking around the top of the ACC, it travels to Wake Forest in hopes of salvaging its season after looking like it gave up mere minutes into its last one.

Will North Carolina be able to find some leadership and turn it around? Or will Wake Forest look to play spoiler and continue a quiet hot start to ACC play?

Let's find out.

North Carolina Tar Heels

I guess we finally found out what happens when UNC has a cold shooting night. It gets its doors blown right off. The Tar Heels remained persistent, nearly shooting 50% of their shots from three, but they couldn't buy a bucket.

With cold shooting comes serious blow-out potential as UNC has clearly shown it has little to no interest in defense, constantly giving open looks to everyone. When its shooting can't keep it in the game, its defense takes the Heels out of games.

Not only could they not buy a basket, they also uncharacteristically coughed up the ball 14 times. Never ideal for trying to mount a comeback.

One rare bright side that came out of it is that Bacot once again flexed his dominance, showing serious potential of being one of the best players in the ACC. He has already been cleared to play this game after leaving the game against Miami after a nasty fall.

The offense as a whole has been one of the best in the nation, ranking 22nd in AdjO per Kenpom.

The Heels play eight deep, now seven, after the announcement Anthony Harris is done for the season. They rely on the scoring production of their starters with four players averaging double-digit scoring.

The production of the guards will be more important than ever as Wake Forest is a guard-heavy team in its own success. The defense of Caleb Love and RJ Davis will need to be on point to limit Wake's Alondes Williams who will be the best player on the court.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Don't blink now, but Wake Forest is one of the more complete teams in the ACC that is not getting nearly the amount of credit it deserves. The Demon Deacons currently rank 55th in AdjO and 49th in AdjD.

Balanced like Florida State but with better metrics, but not quite up to Duke standards, Wake Forest has cruised to a record of 15-3 win an-inner conference record of 5-3.

Wake Forest is one of the best scoring units in the ACC, ranking third with 78.3 points per game. It is led by Alondes Williams who leads the conference with 20.3 points per game. His production isn't limited to just scoring, as he also hauls in 6.8 rebounds and dishes 5.2 assists per game.

This matchup presents a serious opportunity for Williams to have a statement game.

He doesn't do it alone for the Demon Deacons, as they play nine players meaningful minutes with three others in double-digit scoring. Spreading out scoring has been beneficial, as health has been a concern. Only five players have played every game so far this season.

When healthy, Wake Forest is a complete unit that is efficient on both ends. It is near top five in every metric in the ACC except for three-point shooting. The Demon Deacons do most of their damage down low with cuts and feeding the forwards.

With a wide range of ways to do damage, North Carolina may have its hands full with its defense trying to stop the multiple attacks of Wake Forest, especially if Alondes once again shows out.

North Carolina vs. Wake Forest Betting Pick

North Carolina broke my heart more than any ex-girlfriend did last Tuesday night. The body language resembled defeat mere minutes in. The Tar Heels showed no signs of fight or even wanting to turn it into a game. Do I have the will power to back them in a bounce-back spot?

No. Instead, I will be looking at the total.

North Carolina still had open looks throughout most of the game, it just did not put the ball in the basket. The Tar Heels are still one of the most efficient scoring teams, shooting from deep at a high and successful rate. When they are on, they are on.

Wake Forest on the other hand is sneakily a great offense as well. While it does most of its damage down low, it still scores at a high clip that rivals UNC. With UNC showing no signs of a good defense, I expect Wake Forest to be able to score at will.

I will take the over at 150 and would play this no higher than the current number. If either team starts out slow, I may look to live add either at +6 or better.

Pick: Over 150

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