College Basketball Odds, Picks for Duke vs Wake Forest

College Basketball Odds, Picks for Duke vs Wake Forest article feature image

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Duke Blue Devils

  • Duke and Wake Forest square off in an ACC duel on Tuesday evening.
  • The Blue Devils will be without two key freshmen.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and offers up his pick.

Duke vs Wake Forest Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 20
6:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Duke Odds
-110o / -110u
Wake Forest Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Editor's Note: Duke's Dereck Lively II and Dariq Whitehead set to miss tonight’s game at Wake Forest due to non-COVID illnesses.

Conference play is officially underway, and getting us started is a big matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

The Blue Devils have gotten off to a solid start. Their early non-conference schedule had some serious tests for this young squad, and they passed most of them. But it remains to be seen if the experience they gained will carry over to the ACC gauntlet.

As for the Demon Deacons, they have yet to make a statement, as their schedule has been relatively light compared to Duke's. They've had more notable losses than victories thus far, though.

That could all change on Tuesday. Do the Demon Deacons have what it takes to pull off an upset? Let's take a closer look to find out.

Duke Blue Devils

Duke is a blue blood program, and it's built based around that legacy this season. The Blue Devils boast the top freshman class in the country, and their young guns have already begun to produce.

7-foot center Kyle Filipowski leads the team in scoring and rebounding. He has become a matchup nightmare, as he can score on the low block but also stretch the opposing defense with his outside shooting.

Mark Mitchell has become his partner in crime. Mitchell is a much more physical inside presence and has proven to be tough to stop around the rim. He's converted 70% of his 2-points attempts thus far.

However, the lack of outside shooting is the one thing holding the Blue Devils back. They're 258th in 3-point percentage, but it's also not part of their style, as they're also 247th in 3s attempted per field goals attempted.

While Duke has been able to outmuscle teams in the paint, the Demon Deacons have the size to battle with the Blue Devils down low. Andrew Carr, Davion Bradford and Bobi Klintman will be the three that attempt to contain the Duke bigs.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Despite their handful of losses to quality opponents, the Demon Deacons have been solid on the offensive end of the court. They're a stark contrast to the Blue Devils, as their leading scorers are a trio of guards.

Leading that trio of guards is Florida transfer Tyree Appleby. He's flourished in his new uniform, averaging 18 points and five assists.

The key will be for Appleby and the rest of the backcourt to stretch this Duke defense and make outside shots. While they have the size to contend inside, it will be tough for their guards to convert against the Blue Devils' length.

Also, the 3 ball may be the Deacons' avenue to victory, but making them consistently against Duke is much easier said than done. Duke is 15th in the nation in 3-point percentage allowed.

So, while the Demon Deacons have potential on the offensive end of the floor, their success is much more likely to be limited — like we've seen in past matchups against quality competition.

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Duke vs. Wake Forest Betting Pick

This is Duke's game to lose, as it's the more talented and skilled team on both ends of the floor. However, the Blue Devils will be on the road here against a team that has the size to disrupt their young big men.

On the other end, Duke's size will cause a ton of problems for the Demon Deacons. It will be tough for their backcourt to get high-percentage looks as the paint will be shut down. Also, the Blue Devils will contest on the perimeter.

The last thing to factor into this matchup is the tempo. Duke is a team that has worked slowly when in possession of the ball — it's 261st in tempo. However, the Blue Devils' size has also stifled their opposition into much longer possessions, as well.

The slow tempo — combined with the tough offensive matchups — makes this game prime to go under the total.

Pick: Under 141 (Play to 138.5)

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