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Prop bets vs. Wake Forest: Look for another close, low-scoring game

Wendell Moore Jr. looks to carry over his hot shooting into the next game to help the Blue Devils add to their win streak.
Wendell Moore Jr. looks to carry over his hot shooting into the next game to help the Blue Devils add to their win streak.

The Blue Zone is back with our prop bets and we've got you covered with our picks for Duke's matchup with Boston College:

Duke (-12.5) vs. Wake Forest

Even though Duke is 3rd in the ACC and Wake Forest is 12th, this is still somehow a generous spread. Just this week, Duke barely eked out a one-point win against Boston College who was and remains last in the ACC. The narrative that Duke will automatically blow out any unranked opponent has been dispelled game after game and will be even further against Wake Forest. Make no mistake, it will still be a steep uphill battle for Wake Forest, but the odds of a blowout are low. 

The Blue Devils may have a winning record, but anyone who’s even glanced at one of their games in the TV aisle of a Best Buy could tell you that they’re struggling. There is no firm leadership on the floor or—as of late—on the sideline. The return of head coach Mike Krzyzewski will help, but it won’t be enough to cover.

Like every program in college sports, Duke has been crippled by the pandemic. Boston College was the Blue Devils’ first game in 21 days and played without its head coach and star player Jalen Johnson. And while Wake Forest’s schedule has been equally ravaged, Duke has not successfully overcome enough obstacles to make a bet on a blowout in the absence of Krzyzewski and Johnson.

Pick: Wake Forest

Over/Under 142.5 points

Duke may have passed the 80-point threshold against BC, but I wouldn’t predict so much on Saturday. The Demon Deacons have an underrated defense that held No. 22 Virginia to 70 points in their last outing. And despite its unfavorable position in the ACC standings, Wake Forest is 29th in the NCAA in scoring defense. 

On the other side of the floor, Duke is fully capable of stifling Wake Forest’s dependency on the three pointer. Against Boston College, Duke’s defense was at its worst under the rim, but the Demon Deacons don’t venture down there too much so that shouldn’t be a problem.

In short, hammer the under. 

Pick: Under

Wendell Moore Jr. over/under 12.5 points

The biggest storyline of the last game also asks the biggest question of the next: Is Wendell Moore Jr.’s slump actually over? That question will be answered as we see whether his season-high 25 points was a fluke or a tipping point.

Moore is a very skilled player and his struggles have been hard to explain. For four straight games, his shots just refused to drop and much like Jack White’s infamous three-point drought in 2019, it seemed like it was destined to go on forever. Fortunately, he hit his rhythm once on Wednesday and just maybe he’ll do it again. 

However, I think the more likely outcome is that he’ll drop back to the production level of a Jeremy Roach or a Jordan Goldwire. The ball has been spread evenly this season -- more so in Johnson’s absence -- and it seems unlikely for Moore to have another standout game. But I’d love to be proven wrong.

Pick: Under

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