Duke was the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and the solid NCAA basketball betting favorite to win another national title. However, one thing after another has gone wrong for the Blue Devils, who remain without Coach Mike Krzyzewski as they visit Wake Forest on Saturday in ACC action. A loss could knock Duke from the Top 25. Let’s take a look at the college baskeball odds for the game.
Duke at Wake Forest Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
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Why Bet On Duke?
At times, the Blue Devils have been without their best player, Grayson Allen (suspended for tripping an opponent); several promising freshmen from their top-ranked recruiting class (injuries); and their Hall of Fame coach Krzyzewski (lost to a back operation this month, and still out).
Even with all their problems, the Blue Devils are still much more talented than Wake Forest is. Duke comes off a shocking 84-82 home loss to NC State on Monday. The Wolfpack were down 12 at one point. Luke Kennard finished with 20 points to lead Duke (15-5, 3-4 ACC), which shot just 38 percent after halftime. Duke scored 70+ points against NC State for the 38th straight meeting between the two teams, dating back to Feb. 8, 1998. Duke is 31-7 over the 38-game stretch.
Kennard connected on 5-of- 9 (.556) attempts from the floor, including 2-of- 5 (.400) from beyond the arc, his 23rd consecutive game with at least one three-pointer (dating back to last season). Kennard’s active streak of 23 games leads the ACC. Kennard is shooting 30-of- 60 (.500) from three-point range over the team’s last 12 games. The 6-foot- 6 sophomore guard leads the Blue Devils in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game, up from 11.8 points as a freshman. Injuries forced Duke to play with a four-guard lineup, which helped Kennard become instrumental early in the season. But Kennard’s consistency is what has made him a mainstay, even as teammates got healthy.
Duke used the starting lineup of Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, Matt Jones, Frank Jackson and Amile Jefferson for the first time this season. Duke started three freshmen for the first time this season.
Duke’s bench netted 41 points, marking the first time this season the Blue Devil bench scored at least 30 points in back-to- back games. The 41 bench points are also a season high, besting the previous high of 35, which came against Marist in the season-opener. The Blue Devils scored 40 points in the paint against NC State, bringing their season total to 684 points scored in the lane. Forty-one percent of Duke’s points have come in the paint this season.
Why Bet On Wake Forest?
Despite a double-double from John Collins, Wake Forest (12-8, 3-5 ACC) fell to Syracuse 81-76 at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. The game consisted of 12 ties and 14 lead changes. Collins recorded his third-consecutive 20-point game with 23 points. He also pulled down an ACC career high 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Bryant Crawford added 13 points while Brandon Childress scored 10 for the Deacs to round out double-digit scoring.
The Deacs built their way up to a 55-47 lead with just over 10 minutes to go but Syracuse took the lead with just under six minutes to go and held on until a Mitchell Wilbekin triple gave the Deacs a 68-67 lead with 2:33 remaining and forced the Orange to take a time out. After the break, Syracuse once again gained the lead and did not look back. The Deacs managed to bring the score within one with nine seconds remaining but the Orange sealed the game in their favor at the free throw line.
Collins was named ACC Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Deacs to wins over Miami and NC State last week. Collins averaged 24.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the wins, shooting 77.3 (17-22) from the floor and 93.3 (14-15) from the line. It was the first honor of Collins’ career and the first for a Deac since Travis McKie in 2013-14.
Wake is in the top 15 in KenPom offensive efficiency for the first time since leading the nation in 2004- 05. Wake Forest has six 90-point games this season, its most since eight in 2008-09
Duke at Wake Forest Expert Pick:
Wake Forest is looking for its first win over a ranked opponent this season (0-5). That won’t happen but take the NCAAB points.