Duke Will Dominate Wake Forest

Wake Forest vs. Duke, 7:00 ET

Wake Forest vs. Duke, 7:00 ET

We only went 1-1 on the weekend for college hoops which makes for a slight loss, but overall last week was a good one and the majority of them have been positive. Now we start another week, and we are that much closer to the Madness that awaits us in March. As usual, conference play is continuing, and that provides us with plenty of opportunities for us to see how these teams will stack up now and in the conference tournaments. Tonight, we get an ACC showdown game between Wake Forest and Duke.

Wake Forest comes into this game with a solid 16-7 record this season, but they haven't been shown much respect by the ranking committees. In their conference, they have struggled a bit with just an 8-4 record. Their four conference losses have all come on the road which is no surprise. They lost at Florida State by five points, then fell by seven points at North Carolina State, then dropped a game by 21 points in Chapel Hill, and most recently lost by five points at Pittsburgh. In case you didn't catch the theme there, all of those losses came on the road. Obviously, the game against North Carolina stands out because Wake Forest struggled the most in that one. It also is just the one time they have faced a ranked opponent this season. I'm impressed with the way that the back court plays for Wake Forrest. They have three guards who average over 14 points per game and another forward who is also averaging 14 points per contest. There aren't too many college teams that have four guys averaging over 14 points per game. Duke has a decent enough defense that they can make the Wake guards struggle with their shot or at least create some turnovers, but I don't think they will fully hold them down. 

Duke comes into this one with an 18-5 record and is ranked as the ninth-best team in the country at the moment. They've lost only three games in the conference this season, two on the road and one at home. Two of the losses were kind of confusing. They dropped a game to Pittsburgh in Cameron Indoor which had to be a lack of focus or something. Pittsburgh only shot slightly better than Duke in that game - they only made one more three, but 11 fewer free throws. The loss to Georgia Tech was slightly more understandable because it was on the road, but Duke was still the better team at the start of the game. The Blue Devils lost by four, but I'd contend they actually played pretty well in the game. Duke averages the same amount of points per game as Wake Forest, but they have five guys averaging double figures this season and a little more balanced scoring. Lately, Mark Mitchell has taken the lead in scoring for the Blue Devils. In fact, their best scorer, Kyle Filipowski hasn't led the team in the past seven games. They are 5-2 in those games, which reflects the success of the team. 

What I really like about Duke is that they have been at home for their past two games, and they won both of them by 18 and 15 points, respectively. Now they are playing their third straight home game. This helps players get more accustomed to the sight lines, the shooting, and so much more. They can be in normal routines. While Wake Forest has a lot of losses on the road, they also are competitive - for the most part. In this game though I can only look one way. I need to take Duke -7 in this game. They've let me down quite a bit this season when I've played them, but they should be ready here and in a more optimal spot. I'll take them to cover the spread. 

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