Virginia vs Wake Forest Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Cavaliers
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Virginia’s Kihei Clark.
Virginia vs Wake Forest Odds
-110o / -110u
|Wake Forest Odds|
-110o / -110u
We’ve got a battle of two 6-2 teams in the ACC when Virginia and Wake Forest square off Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem.
Wake is picking up where it left off from a year ago, when the Deacs finished inside the top five in the conference. Steve Forbes’ team will look to continue to build off the momentum of a current four-game winning streak and add another quality win over a ranked team to its resume.
Meanwhile, in Charlottesville, Tony Bennett has things humming in the right direction once again. Virginia has also won four in a row, sits at 14-3 for the season and finds itself ranked 11th in the country.
Saturday’s matchup will be an intriguing clash between the high-powered offense of Wake Forest and the disciplined pack-line defense of Virginia.
Let’s discuss who has the edge on Saturday between two teams playing really good basketball right now.
Very few teams are more balanced on both sides of the floor than Virginia. The Cavaliers are inside the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and this is a team that simply does not beat itself.
After having a couple of recent seasons in which Bennett lacked shooters on his roster, there’s certainly no shortage of shot-makers this year.
Freshman Isaac McKneely is deadly from beyond the arc, and Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas has provided Bennett with a veteran big who can score from the inside and out.
Then there’s the tenured core of Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin and Jayden Gardner who have all logged major minutes in prior seasons for Virginia.
As a result, this team has remained sound defensively but has made major upgrades as an offense.
I’ve said since November that I believe Virginia is the best team in the ACC. I also believe it’s good enough to go all the way to Houston with the right draw.
Forbes has done a great job of using the transfer portal to build another quality roster in Winston-Salem. Wake just missed out on the NCAA Tournament a year ago, and the Deacs are back in the conversation again in 2022-23.
Florida transfer Tyree Appleby is the engine behind an offense that ranks inside the top 30 in the country in most metrics.
Andrew Carr gives Wake Forest an experienced big who can score with his back to the basket on the block.
In Tuesday night’s win over Clemson, Carr went for 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds. That was against PJ Hall, one of the best centers in the conference.
The Demon Deacons’ struggles have come on the other side of the floor. Wake ranks outside the top 130 in KenPom‘s defensive efficiency rankings, and opposing offenses are shooting over 50% from the floor against them.
Against a deliberate and methodical offense like Virginia, Wake will need to be much more sound defensively if it wants to keep the Cavaliers in check.
Virginia vs Wake Forest Betting Pick
Defense travels, which is why Bennett’s team has been so consistent on the road throughout his time at Virginia.
Wake Forest enters this one fresh off of an emotional win over Clemson on Tuesday night, and I expect the Hoos to jump the Deacs from the start on Saturday.
The Cavaliers match up well with Wake on both sides of the floor, and I think you’ll see a very focused UVA locker room in an important game in the ACC race.
Wake Forest can score it in bunches, but it may get frustrated playing in a game with a slower, more methodical tempo that Virginia will create.
Give me the veteran team to find a way to win this game on the road, covering the number as a short favorite.
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