- Duke (8-8, 6-6 ACC) battles Wake Forest (6-9, 3-9 ACC) on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 8:30pm ET
- The Blue Devils have struggled against the spread all year, and on Monday one of their top scorers opted out of the season
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
Well bettors, what do you make of this one? On Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8:30pm ET, Duke and Wake Forest face each other in an unranked battle loaded with storylines.
On one side you have the Blue Devils, whose reputation is far more impressive than their output this season — and who just lost their top scorer. On the other side your have Wake Forest, who has a solid record against the spread — but a dreadful record overall.
Duke vs Wake Forest Odds
|Duke||-6 (-110)||N/A||Over 145.5 (-110)|
|Wake Forest||+6 (-110)||N/A||Under 145.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb. 16th, 2020 at FanDuel
How They’ve Fared Recently
How Duke has fared recently matters a bit less than how they figure to fare moving forward, now that freshman standout Jalen Johnson has opted out for the remainder of the season. Johnson, a forward who averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds in 13 games, has dealt with a foot injury at times this season and plans to rehab while preparing for the NBA draft.
Jalen Johnson is OPTING OUT the remainder of the season and has DECLARED for the draft 🚨
— Overtime (@overtime) February 16, 2021
While it’s fair for Johnson to look out for his best interests, it puts Duke in a tricky position. Johnson was far from Duke’s most active player (he played in 43.4% of their minutes), but he had by far their highest usage rate when he was on the floor (28.5%). Duke’s offense is its strength, ranking 17th in NCAA Division I in adjusted efficiency.
On the plus side, the Blue Devils are coming off a 16-point win over N.C. State on Saturday. Johnson played only eight minutes in that game and scored three points.
For Wake Forest, the past handful of games have been the definition of up and down. They are 3-3 since Jan. 23, alternating wins and losses in that span. On Saturday, they took No. 16 Florida State to overtime — before falling, 92-85.
— Wake Basketball (@WakeMBB) February 14, 2021
The Demon Deacons do not look quite like the ACC doormat they were earlier this season, when they began conference play with an 0-6 record (including a loss to Duke, which we we touch on). They live and die by the 3-pointer, with threes accounting for 45.2% of their field goal attempts (28th in D-I). They shoot threes at a good clip though (36.7%, 55th in D-I), so maybe that’s not the worst strategy.
Duke is 4-12 against the spread, including 2-4 ATS on the road. The Blue Devils covered in their most recent game, as three-point favorites, but they’d dropped three in a row before that. The over has hit in six of their past 10 games.
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 13, 2021
Wake Forest has a 10-4 ATS record overall, which includes a 4-2 mark at home. The Demon Deacons are on quite an ATS tear, covering in seven of their past eight games — including five of their past six.
Earlier this season, the Blue Devils beat the Demon Deacons at home, 79-68, but Wake Forest earned the ATS win as 13.5-point favorites. Wake Forest has been a double-digit underdog in nine of the past 10 meetings between these teams, dating back to March of 2016.
The Jalen Johnson departure is important — Duke will have to rejig its offense without him. And the ATS trends that exist with these teams — both against each other and overall this season — point to the Demon Deacons being an interesting underdog play ATS.
Pick: Wake Forest +6 (-110)