Prop bets for No. 8 Duke men's basketball vs. Wake Forest

Mark Mitchell scored 15 points in Duke's win against Miami.
Mark Mitchell scored 15 points in Duke's win against Miami.

No. 8 Duke men's basketball faces a tough task with a road trip to Wake Forest as underdogs. The Blue Zone is here with some can't miss prop bets:

Duke (+2.5) vs. Wake Forest

The Blue Devils are on the rise. After a promising No. 2 preseason ranking, Duke played through an underwhelming November and December, losing an early home matchup versus Arizona in addition to its visiting losses against Arkansas and Georgia Tech.

And apart from heartbreaking losses to Pittsburgh and North Carolina, head coach Jon Scheyer’s team is starting to play with the dominance that many expected it to obtain from the get-go. The Blue Devils have won 16 of their last 18 games and are coming off a commanding victory against the Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables, Fla. 

Included in the winning stretch is Duke’s 77-69 Cameron Indoor victory against Wake Forest where the Blue Devils just barely covered the 7.5-point spread. The Demon Deacons are led by junior guard Hunter Sallis who is currently shooting a scorching 50.1% from the field. Duke will travel to Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum with the upper hand, but the team won’t simply be handed the win.

It’s important to note that Duke basketball has shown spurts of unpredictability as of late and can exceed expectations once more. Take freshman guard Jared McCain’s 35 points against Florida State where he had 25 in the first half alone. And while the Hurricanes were playing shorthanded from injuries, beating them by nearly 30 points in the Watsco Center is no straightforward task. The Blue Devils will need to stay disciplined to continue their recent form, but Duke rolls into Winston-Salem, N.C., with momentum too robust for Wake Forest to stop.

Pick: Duke +2.5

Over/Under 151.5 total points

The Demons Deacons and the Blue Devils sit at second and third in the ACC in scoring, with the former at 79.4 points per game and the latter at 80.5. While this may seem to be a high-scoring conference clash in the makings, it also means that both Duke and Wake Forest will place emphasis on the defensive end of the court. 

During the team’s Cameron Indoor matchup a couple weeks ago, the Demon Deacons stuck with the Blue Devils throughout the entire game, and despite getting in major foul trouble, Wake Forest only ended up losing to its hosts by eight points. Center Efton Reid III only played for 15 minutes before fouling out, in addition to Andrew Carr’s five fouls. 

In the rematch at its home stadium, Wake Forest will certainly be more conscious about its defense. Scoring won’t be easy for Duke, which means that the Blue Devils will also need to keep focus on their defense end. Expect a back-and-forth battle of ACC basketball.

Pick: Under 151.5 total points

Mark Mitchell over/under 13.5 points

Mark Mitchell is, in many ways, the binding of Scheyer’s squad that keeps the team from falling apart. When the sophomore forward gets hot, there is little Duke’s opponent can do to slow his progress. While his scoring efforts can be overshadowed by other superstars on the Blue Devil starting lineup, Mitchell’s presence — or lack thereof — is always felt. Mitchell watched from the sidelines as Duke lost to an unranked Pittsburgh at home, and it was him who sat out against Tennessee in last season’s early exit from the NCAA tournament. In critical games, like a visiting bout against a respectable Wake Forest squad, the Kansas City, Kan., native simply gets it done. If Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach struggle to get buckets, Mitchell will help to carry the load.

Pick: Over 13.5 points


Share and discuss “Prop bets for No. 8 Duke men's basketball vs. Wake Forest” on social media.