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Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh Prediction: Demon Deacons Looking to Stay Perfect at Home

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published February 20, 2024
10 min read

The stretch run of the college basketball regular season is here. That means Tuesday’s schedule is filled with important games, including the ACC showdown between the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Both the Demon Deacons and the Panthers are among the three ACC teams currently 8-6 in conference play and tied for fourth place. The fourth spot in the standings will earn a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, making it a coveted place to sit. More importantly, both Wake Forest and Pitt are in need of wins to help improve their NCAA Tournament resume. 

Earlier this season, Wake Forest lost to Pittsburgh 77-72. The spread for Tuesday’s game indicates another close game that could go either way. With that in mind, let’s take a deep dive into this critical ACC matchup.

Wake Forest guard Cameron Hildreth moves the ball up the court

Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh Betting Odds for Tuesday, February 20

Oddsmakers have put a lot of stock in Wake’s excellent home record this season. They are unbeaten at home, which explains why they have opened as 6.5-point favorites. Somewhat surprisingly, oddsmakers aren’t giving the Panthers much credit for being one of the hottest teams in the ACC right now.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total 
Pittsburgh Panthers +6.5 (-115) +210 Over 144.5 (-115)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons -6.5 (-105) -260 Under 144.5 (-105)

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A month ago, the Panthers weren’t anywhere near the NCAA Tournament conversation after starting the ACC season 1-5. However, they’ve turned their season around in a big way. Pitt has won five in a row and seven of its last eight games. That stretch has included road wins over Duke and Virginia, as well as a 77-72 home win over Wake Forest. 

Today, the Panthers are 8-6 in conference play and 17-8 overall. With a few quality wins and a world of momentum, the Panthers are making a compelling case for getting into the NCAA Tournament. A road win over Wake Forest, another bubble team, would do wonders for Pitt’s postseason hopes.

Not only are the Panthers 7-1 in their last eight games, but they are also 7-1 against the spread during that stretch. They are also 6-2 in true road games this season, including wins over Duke, NC State, and Virginia. After toppling some of the best teams in the ACC away from home, Pitt won’t be intimidated by any road environment they face.

That could be bad news for the Demon Deacons, who have frequently relied on their home-court advantage this season. Wake Forest is a perfect 13-0 at home this season, including wins over the likes of Miami, Virginia, Syracuse, and NC State. In all but one of Wake’s six ACC home games, the Demon Deacons have scored at least 80, so they’ve clicked offensively in front of the home fans. They are also 4-2 against the spread in home conference games.

While all of that bodes well for the Demon Deacons in Tuesday’s home game, there have been some concerns lately. Wake Forest is coming off back-to-back losses against Duke and Virginia in the last week. The Demon Deacons were also held to a season-low 47 points in Saturday’s loss against Virginia. It’s also worth noting that in their loss to Pitt earlier this season, Wake turned it over 15 times and made just six of 22 three-point attempts. 

Even with 22 points from leading scorer Hunter Sallis in the first meeting against the Panthers, Wake Forest fell a little short. Cameron Hildreth, a key player who averages 13.6 points per game, scored just four points in that loss to Pitt. Hildreth has also been held to just 10 total points in his last two games, contributing to Wake’s recent woes.

Likewise, Kevin Miller, who averages over 15 points per game, has scored 12 total points over the past two games. Andrew Carr is also coming off a four-point performance against Virginia over the weekend, despite averaging 13.6 points per game on the season. Those offensive struggles from key players have created some doubt about whether or not the Demon Deacons can quickly get back on track offensively and reach the same level they’ve performed in previous 

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Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh Prediction and Betting Pick

While Wake Forest has been at its best in front of the home crowd this season, Tuesday’s game could end up being one of the toughest the Demon Deacons have had. The Panthers have already had a few impressive road wins this season. They’ve also won three of their last four games by double digits.

Of course, the Demon Deacons should get a boost from playing at home. They should be able to get back on track offensively. But Pitt has plenty of offensive firepower too, not to mention confidence and momentum. Even if Wake Forest can stay perfect at home, the spread is too big for comfort. The Panthers and the points are the best bets, while the over on total points aren’t bad either.

How to Watch Wake Forest vs. Pittsburgh

When: Tuesday, February 20, at 9:00 PM EST

Where: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

TV: ACC Network

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

174 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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