Wake Forest vs. Duke kicks off this Thursday (11/02/23) at 7:30 p.m. EST in Durham as a home game for the Blue Devils. Get Wake Forest vs. Duke predictions and best bets below as our best bet is that both defenses are in a good position to help cash the under.
Wake Forest Vs. Duke Prediction
While not all hope is lost for the Blue Devils, their ACC Championship hopes have taken a major hit with their most recent loss to the Louisville Cardinals. That gives the Cardinals a much-needed tiebreaker while falling another game behind in the standings. As for Wake Forest, they still cling on to the hope of making a bowl while sitting at 4-4 with four games left on their schedule to get two more wins for the middling program.
Even with motivation to keep moving forward, don’t expect it to be pretty by any means. It was made very apparent that the Duke offense is reeling since the injury to star quarterback Riley Leonard. That drastically halted their offensive production, dipping their ranks down to league average in pass metrics and allowing opposing defenses to stack the box against their ground game.
After flashing a next-level throwing ability, Riley Leonard has looked like a shell of his former self since coming back from injury. He still serves as an upgrade over his backup. Still, this Duke offense has slipped down the board due to its inability to generate pass production. The Blue Devils currently rank 51st in Pass Success Rate, 69th in Pass PPA and 123rd in Pass Explosiveness.
That gives the Wake Forest defense some relief as defending the pass has been a struggle. The Demon Deacons rank a lowly 108th in Def Pass PPA, 73rd in Def Pass Success Rate and 93rd in Def Pass Explosiveness. With an inability to throw over the top of them from Leonard, the Wake Forest secondary can creep up in an attempt to help out their Success Rate metric and negate the Duke midfield production.
To the benefit of our under ticket, the Wake Forest offense is as bad as it gets. As a whole, Wake Forest currently ranks 93rd in Success Rate, 122nd in Explosiveness, 123rd in Points per Opportunity and 133rd in Havoc Allowed. While Duke’s offense has faltered, they have still maintained elite defensive metrics. Their Success Rate could be better, but Duke excels at limiting points on the board by ranking 26th in Def Points per Opportunity.
Wake Forest Vs. Duke Prediction: Under 44.5
Wake Forest Vs. Duke Best Odds
Even with the offense regressing, oddsmakers still believe this is the Blue Devils game to lose as they opened Duke as a -12.5 favorite. This is a sharp difference from the lookahead line, originally opening at -7 in Duke’s favor. Even with the offense expected to continue to struggle, Duke’s defense will be more than capable of keeping Wake Forest off the board for a majority of the contest.
Speaking of points on the board, oddsmakers believe points will come at a moderate pace as they opened the total at 44.5. Bettors believe that number opened a tad too high, backing the under down to 43.5 in some shops as of writing. Expect plenty of offensive struggles and two defenses capable of limiting each other’s down field progression as previously noted.
Wake Forest Vs. Duke Key Matchups
Can Wake Forest limit the Blue Devil rushing production?
Duke Rush Production Vs. Wake Forest Front Seven
With the pass game practically being non-existent since the return of Riley Leonard, the Blue Devils have had to turn toward their ground game in order to get the offense going. A troublesome thought at mid field as the Blue Devils rank a lowly 80th in Rush Success Rate.
— Sweet Xyience (@SweetXyience) September 5, 2023
This also plays right into the Demon Deacons hands as they field an above average run stopping unit. Wake Forest currently ranks 35th in Def Rush Success Rate, 18th in Def Rush PPA and 30th in Def Rush Explosiveness. Should Leonard continue to struggle under center, expect the Wake Forest defense to do their part towards our under ticket as they can negate the run as well.