NCAA Basketball Picks: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Duke Blue Devils
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Duke Blue Devils
Saturday, 1/5/12, 12:00 PM EST, TV: ESPNU
Opening Point Spread: Duke -24.5
Current Betting Line: Duke -24.5
Opening Total: 144
Current Total: 144
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Wake Forest has won three games in a row, including a 66-59 victory over the Xavier Musketeers as 1.5-point home underdogs Thursday night, while going UNDER the posted total of 134. “We’re getting better,” commented Demon Deacons coach Jeff Bzdelik. “We’re in a really good place right now.” The Demon Deacons have been led by forward Travis McKie offensively over the last four games, averaging 17.5 points in that span. The program is 5-24 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the country, with three coming against Saturday’s opponent. Wake Forest is 5-2 ATS as an underdog this year, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks.
The Demon Deacons have shot 40 percent of better in all but one of their games this season, while hitting 43.5 percent from beyond the arc over their last five contests. Wake Forest also hasn’t trailed by double digits in each of its past six games, which is important to handicap when looking over the college basketball odds page. C.J. Harris is the player to watch on the perimeter, knocking down 14-of-22 3-point shots over the past four games.
Duke is looking to open a season with 14 straight wins for the sixth time under coach Mike Krzyzewski, as the team earned a 67-50 win over the Davidson Wildcats as 12-point neutral-site favorites last time out. “For our guys to go 13-0 with out non-conference schedule is just magnificent,” stated Krzyzewski this week. The Blue Devils are 25-7 in ACC openers under Coach K, including five consecutive victories in that situation. Duke is 5-1 ATS as a home favorite of 24.5 to 30 points the last two-plus years, with the UNDER going 5-1 in that situation.
The Blue Devils have been really shooting it from the perimeter, knocking down 52.3 percent of their shots from the 3-point area in the last five games, while shooting 41.7 percent for the entire season. Duke has won the last five meetings in this series, with four of the five victories coming by 10 or more points. The starting unit averages an NCAA-best 69.7 points per game, which accounts for 87 percent of the team’s total scoring.
Sports bettors will likely back the Blue Devils due to their 11-1 ATS mark at home in this series, while the Demon Deacons are 13-19 ATS versus conference opponents since 2010.
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