Duke hosts Wake Forest for the teams' second battle this season Tuesday night. Before the game, the Blue Zone gives you our can't-miss prop bets:
Duke (-8.5) vs. Wake Forest
When the Blue Devils clashed with the Demon Deacons in December, the team came back to Durham from Winston-Salem, N.C., empty-handed. The 81-70 loss was Duke's second ACC contest of the 2022-23 campaign and its first conference road game. Tuesday night, the Blue Devils host the Demon Deacons at home, where the magic of Cameron Indoor Stadium has been on their side all season. Duke has gone 10-0 at home, turning in impressive performances that will undoubtedly give it a confidence boost going into its second game against Wake Forest. Fortunately for Duke, Wake Forest has a subpar away record that may help the Blue Devils’ home-court advantage. With a 3-4 record on the road, the Demon Deacons will likely struggle against Duke this time around, especially with the lively Blue Devil fans praying for their downfall. If Duke can use some of its home-court magic and get its offensive unit going like it did against Georgia Tech Saturday, Wake Forest will have a hard time taking it down.
Pick: Duke -8.5
Over/Under 146.5 points
Both the Demon Deacons and the Blue Devils have had decent offensive production thus far, so a high-scoring contest is certainly possible. Duke currently averages 72.8 points per game, while Wake Forest tallies an average 77.4 points per contest. Each team features elite scoring talents that can dominate in the paint and from beyond the arc, so the net should swoosh plenty of times Tuesday night. On top of that, the Blue Devils had stellar offensive production against the Yellow Jackets Saturday, when they scored at a mark of 55.7% from the field to match their season-high 34 field goals made in a game. Carrying that energy into the matchup against the Demon Deacons is sure to drive up the score. However, this contest could easily come down to defensive grit and determination, so going over 146.5 combined points is no guarantee.
Pick: Over 146.5 points
Jeremy Roach over/under five assists
In Jeremy Roach's three games since returning from a toe injury, Duke has gone 2-1 and looks somewhat revitalized with its captain back in the mix. Roach's scoring talent can help bolster the Blue Devils, as shown in his four netted 3-pointers in the squad’s recent matchup against Georgia Tech. However, the junior guard’s greatest strengths are his playmaking and leadership. The Leesburg, Va., native’s level head and basketball IQ make him a commander on the court, which will be crucial against Wake Forest. However, Duke cannot rely on a singular talent to earn a victory. Rather, the Blue Devils need to depend on teamwork and elite ball movement. To execute this, Roach will have to be the centerpiece of an offense in which he runs plays and dishes out assists. If the captain has a good playmaking night in which he can score and help teammates notch points, the Blue Devils may be on the way to another tally in the win column.
Pick: Over five assists
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Mackenzie Sheehy is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.