North Carolina vs Wake Forest Odds, Picks and Predictions: Demon Deacons Get Revenge

When these ACC squads faced off a month ago, UNC pulled away in what was an otherwise back-and-forth affair. Now in Wake Forest's gym, our college basketball betting picks expect the Demon Deacons to return the favor.

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2023 10:39 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tyree Appleby Wake Forest Demon Deacons ACC college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels face off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in NCAA hoops action on Tuesday night. The Deacons are in eighth place in the highly-competitive ACC standings while UNC is just half a game ahead of them.

These rivals faced off a month ago in Chapel Hill with the Tar Heels winning 88-79. College basketball odds opened with the Deacons as 1-point home favorites before flipping to favor the Tar Heels at -1.

Check out my best college basketball betting picks for North Carolina vs. Wake Forest below.

North Carolina vs Wake Forest best odds

North Carolina vs Wake Forest picks and predictions

Wake Forest is coming off an impressive road win against Notre Dame and while the Deacons had lost their previous four games, three of those defeats were extremely close contests that were decided by two points. 

The UNC Tar Heels might have pulled away in the final 10 minutes when these teams clashed on January 4 but it was a back-and-forth battle featuring 20 lead changes. The Deacons shot 49.1% from the floor in that contest — including a sizzling 10-21 from deep. 

Now the Tar Heels will be on the road where they've gone just 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS this season. They've struggled to knock down shots consistently on offense and have also struggled to defend on the perimeter which is bad news against a Wake Forest squad that has dangerous guards. 

The Deacons are 23rd in the country in effective field goal percentage (54.7%) and they're second in the ACC at 77.9 points per game in conference play. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels are outside the Top 200 with a 50 EFG% with that number plummeting to just 43.2% in their last three games.  

I'll take the better-shooting Wake Forest team against a Tar Heels squad that hasn't played well on the road.

My best bet: Wake Forest moneyline (+100 at bet365)

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North Carolina vs Wake Forest spread analysis

North Carolina is coming off back-to-back defeats after losing on the road to Duke and getting edged at home by Pittsburgh last week. They are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games and have failed to live up to expectations after coming up just short in the National Championship Game last year.

The Tar Heels' ball-screen defense has been exploited at times this season while their shooting — especially from long range — has been ugly.

Big man Armando Bacot has been a beast with 17.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game but he doesn't always get enough touches in the post. Guard Caleb Love is second on the team with 16.3 ppg but has struggled with his efficiency, shooting just 38.3% overall and 28.6% from deep.

While the Tar Heels shoot the ball poorly, they rank 15th in the country in turnover rate and clean up on the glass which helps them rank 33rd in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom

The Demon Deacons rank 27th in adjusted offensive efficiency thanks to some terrific guard play. Four players on Wake average more than 11 ppg with Tyree Appleby leading the way with 18 ppg and 6 apg on 44/38/84 shooting splits. Damari Monsanto was coming off the bench at the start of the season but has emerged as a force and is averaging 17.8 ppg on 49/45/90 shooting splits over the last 10 games. 

Monsanto dropped 28 points in Saturday's 81-64 victory against the Fighting Irish. That victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Deacons who need to defend better. They rank just 146th in adjusted defensive efficiency, significantly worse than the Tar Heels at 45th.

North Carolina vs Wake Forest Over/Under analysis

We're seeing a relatively high total in this game which makes perfect sense when you consider that the Deacons can fill up the hoop but also give up a ton of points.

They allow opponents to shoot 51.2% from 2-point range, which ranks just 230th in the country, and they surrender 74.8 ppg to conference foes. It'll be interesting to see if UNC can have success from long range tonight since they shoot a pathetic 29.6% from deep in conference play but Wake allows ACC foes to shoot 36.1% from beyond the arc.

The Demon Deacons play at an above-average pace and rank 85th in adjusted tempo. The Tar Heels are 109th in adjusted tempo but actually play at a faster pace on offense. It's on defense where they can get pulled into slower-paced contests against teams that prefer a grinding style, which the Deacons certainly don't.

These teams combined for 167 points when they faced off last month and have now cashed the Over in four straight games in the head-to-head.

North Carolina vs Wake Forest betting trend to know

The Tar Heels are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 road games. Find more college basketball betting trends for North Carolina vs. Wake Forest.

North Carolina vs Wake Forest game info

Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

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