Duke vs Wake Forest Odds, Picks and Predictions: Kyle Helps Fil It Up

Duke's known for its offensive prowess, but Wake Forest is low-key also a threat — one that our college basketball picks see bringing guns to Saturday's fight.

Feb 24, 2024 • 08:50 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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In a season of college basketball odds chaos, the Duke Blue Devils look like one of the few teams in the country with enough talent to win the NCAA Tournament. But first the Jon Scheyer’s program must prove it can win on the road against the ACC’s best, like the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

The college basketball odds have this surging Wake Forest squad as a 2.5-point home favorite, despite losing all three of its games against Top-25 teams in the ACC this season, thanks to its explosive offense. For Duke to ensure that Demon Deacons losing streak continues, it’ll need to keep up on offense.

Find out where my best bets lie in our college basketball picks and predictions for Duke vs. Wake Forest on Saturday, February 24.

Duke vs Wake Forest best odds

Duke vs Wake Forest picks and predictions

While the Duke Blue Devils are the No. 8 team in the country and coming off five straight ACC wins, this Wake Forest Demon Deacons program won’t be a walk in the park. In his fourth season at the helm, head coach Steve Forbes has Wake pushing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament with its efficient shooting led by a trio of guards.

The Demon Deacons ability to nail threes and lean on multiple double-digit scorers makes this a tough matchup for Duke in what should be a high-scoring affair. With the game total set at 150.5, the Over looks like the play with all the talent taking the court in Winston-Salem.

This season, Forbes’ program is scoring 79.4 points per game, 56th in the country, and ranks 26th in offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and fourth in the ACC in OBPR, per Evan Miyakawa. Behind the prolific shooting of star guard Hunter Sallis, Wake has been able to beat up on ACC teams with its 3-point prowess.

As a team, Wake is 24th in the country in 3-point percentage (37.3%) and has six players hitting at least one three per game, with five of them shooting above 35% and two of them shooting better than 41%. 

While Sallis leads the way with 18.3 points per game, Kevin Miller, Andrew Carr, and Cameron Hildreth are combining for an additional 42.5 points per game and all have been reliable shooters from behind the arc and at the free throw line. (The Deacs are third in the country in free throw percentage at 80.5%.)

Outside of Duke and the North Carolina Tar Heels, Wake is the only team in the conference with five players ranked in the Top 30 of the ACC in individual OBPR. Joining Sallis, Carr, and Miller are Parker Friedrichsen and Efton Reid, proving that the Demon Deacons have plenty of offensive depth.

To exploit this Duke team, Wake will need that offensive talent and will need to take advantage of the Blue Devils so-so defense inside the arc. Scheyer’s squad is allowing teams to shoot 49.1% from two this season, 153rd in the country, and that’s where the Deacs can take find mismatches, with Sallis and Carr are each shooting about 55% from two.

Of course, the Demon Deacons’ biggest issues will come on the defensive end where they’ve been susceptible against top talent this season. While it’s only allowing 69.3 points per game, Duke put up 77 the last time these two played, and No. 3 North Carolina dropped 85 on Wake a few weeks ago.

Teams have been attacking the Deacs inside for much of the season, with Wake seeing 40.2 two-pointers per game, Top 50 in the country. That bodes well for Blue Devils big Kyle Filipowski, who is the key reason Duke is averaging 80.5 points per game this season, 35th.

With Filipowski’s 16.9 points per game, Duke is seventh in adjusted offensive efficiency and first in the ACC in team OBPR, with its shooting pushing opposing defenses all season. The Blue Devils are 25th in the country in field goal percentage (48.1%), 61st in 2-point percentage (54.1%), and 15th in 3-point percentage (38%).

Behind Filipowski, veteran Jeremy Roach provides steadiness at guard with freshman phenom Jared McCain looking like a potential star in recent weeks. Both are shooting over 40% from three and scoring a combined 27.6 points per game.

Beyond that big three, who each rank Top-12 in individual OBPR in the ACC, the Blue Devils have forward Mark Mitchell as a trusty front court option averaging 13 points per game. He and Filipowski created all kinds of issues for Wake the first time these two played, a 77-69 Duke win. 

“Mitchell and Filipowski were unbelievable,” said Forbes. “They both played great.”

With both teams efficient shooting and offensive depth, this should be a fun ACC shootout on Saturday afternoon.

My best bet: Over 150.5 (-110 at bet365)

Duke vs Wake Forest same-game parlay

Over 150.5 

Hunter Sallis Over 1.5 threes made 

Kyle Filipowski Over 15.5 points 

The most important aspect of this Wake Forest Demon Deacons offense is Hunter Sallis and whether or not his shots are dropping. He’s been one of the best shooters in the ACC this season, especially from deep, where he’s connecting on 2.3 threes per game.

He’s been even better in ACC play, where his 3-point percentage has jumped up to 45.6% and he’s hitting 2.4 threes per game with at least two threes in 12 of 15 conference games. Wake’s going to need that against this Duke offense, especially with what Kyle Filipowski is capable of doing inside.

Duke’s 7-foot center has been a problem all year in the ACC with his ability around the rim (shooting 55.6% from two) while being a threat outside (35.6% from three). The last time these two played, Filipowski had 21

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Duke vs Wake Forest spread and Over/Under analysis

With the Wake Forest Demon Deacons playing NCAA Tournament-worthy basketball as of late, it opened as a 1.5 to 2-point home favorite, with most books now favouring the Deacs by 2.5. This season, Wake Forest is 14-11-1 ATS and 6-8-1 in the ACC, while the Duke Blue Devils are 15-10-1 and 6-1 over their last seven.

Between these two offenses putting up a plethora of points per game this season, the game total opened as high as 152.5 with most books coming down to 150.5. Wake has been a solid Over bet this season going 15-11, including 10-5 in the ACC, but the Blue Devils are just 11-15 betting the Over.

Duke vs Wake Forest betting trend to know

Wake Forest has hit the Over in 10 of its last 19 games at home (+1.15 Units / 5% ROI). Find more college basketball betting trends for Duke vs. Wake Forest.

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Duke vs Wake Forest game info

Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024
Tip-off: 2:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

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