NCAA Basketball Picks – Duke at Wake Forest Betting January 8

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

An early season loss hasn’t posed a problem for the Duke Blue Devils, whose only blemish was a 2-point neutral-site setback to Gonzaga in late November.


That ended a lot of talk about the Dookies going undefeated this season, but given the talent Coach K has on his roster that might be the only game they lose. The No. 1 team in the country isn’t expected to get much pushback from the rebuilding Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who slogged through their non-conference slate and dropped their ACC opener to Georgia Tech over the weekend.

Duke Blue Devils at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Date and Time: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 7 p.m. ET

Location: Lawrence Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC

Opening CBB Odds: Duke -21, O/U 158.5

Duke at Wake Forest TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Ahh, it’s good to be the King. Duke has played 13 games so far this season, winning all but one, and Tuesday’s matchup will be the Blue Devils’ first true road game. It could be troubling for most teams with a lineup stocked with first-year players to visit a hostile environment for its first conference road game. But Duke is no ordinary team.

The Devils opened as a 21-point road favorite for their quick trip to Wake, the sixth time the Dookies have been favored by at least that many points this season. They are 4-2 in those games with the spread losses coming as a 38.5-point favorite against Army and 38-point chalk to Hartford. It’s almost unfair what Duke has on the court as they outscore their opponents by an average of over 27 points per game.

Wake was picked to finish near the bottom of the ACC standings in a preseason poll, and so far they haven’t disappointed. The Deacons had a chance to get in the win column prior to this matchup, but they stumbled against another projected bottom-feeder in Georgia Tech. That follows a less than impressive non-conference slate that included losses to Gardner-Webb, Houston Baptist and Richmond.


Enjoy it while you can because the Duke freshman class isn’t going to be around after this season. Zion Williamson was the headliner of the group and he’s lived up to the hype, propelling the Dookies to the No. 1 ranking. The man-child had 25 points on 9 of 11 shooting along with 10 rebounds in the win over Clemson. For the season, Williamson is averaging 20.2 points and 9.5 boards per contest, along with a couple highlight reel dunks every game.

Could the grind of a difficult early season schedule be catching up with leading scorer RJ Barrett? Probably not, but it is worth noting that his scoring output has declined over the last few games. He got off to such a solid start with at least 20 points in his first four games and had at least that many in 10 of the team’s first 11 outings. Barrett scored 16 against Texas Tech and followed that with 13 against Clemson in his last outing.

Even with Barrett going cold from the outside, the Dookies have one of the top offensive teams in the country. They average 91.2 points per game with Williamson and Barrett each over 20 per game. Only one other player, Cam Reddish, is in double-figures at 12.8.

Wake Forest

Duke can get careless on defense with their youthful exuberance taking over and the youngsters wanting to make SportsCenter’s Top-10, and that could lead to some chances for the Demons to possibly stay within striking distance. The only problem is that Wake doesn’t have the talent or depth to do that. Brandon Childress is the closest player Danny Manning has on his roster to counter Duke’s top players. And Childress would be a handful if he had some complementary players. But I guess that’s why the Deacs are where they are.

Childress dropped 28 and seven triples on GT over the weekend and he leads the team with an average of 17.3 points while shooting 46.7 percent from deep. Freshman Jaylen Hoard is a piece Manning is counting on to get the team out of the basement. He shoots nearly 50 percent from the floor and is second behind Childress with 15.5 points per game.

Bet North Duke at Wake Forest at

This is Duke’s first true road game and it is somewhat of a rivalry based on the location of the schools, but that’s about all the Deacs have going for them. They are clearly overmatched and the only hope to even cover the spread is that Coach K yanks his starters after halftime. That presents a great opportunity to pull down some coin with the Dookies on the first half betting line at

CBB ATS Betting Pick: Duke -21 at

CBB Score Prediction: Duke 88, Wake Forest 64

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