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Wake Forest vs Virginia Odds, Predictions & Picks: ACC Rivals Battle

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published February 17, 2024
10 min read

Saturday brings us a busy schedule in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including the matinee between the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the no. 21 Virginia Cavaliers. While both teams are coming off a loss, both Wake and Virginia are currently in the top four of the ACC standings.

The difference is that Virginia looks to be solidly in the NCAA Tournament right now, whereas the Demon Deacons are very much a bubble team. That makes this game particularly important for Wake Forest, which is hoping to complete the sweep of the Cavaliers after dominating Virginia in a 66-47 win earlier this season.

Despite that lopsided matchup earlier this season, the Cavaliers are home favorites on Saturday. However, Virginia only opened as a 3.5-point favorite, which should mean a close and competitive game.

Let’s dig a little deeper into Saturday’s ACC showdown between Wake Forest and Virginia.

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Wake Forest vs Virginia Betting Odds for Saturday, February 17

Even though the Demon Deacons outplayed Virginia in their previous meeting, oddsmakers respect how good the Cavaliers have been this season. They also acknowledge the home-court advantage that Virginia has had for several years.

Wake Forest still has to prove that it can knock off a quality team on the road. Thus, the Demon Deacons are underdogs in this game. Here are the current odds for this game on FanDuel.

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Wake Forest Demon Deacons +3.5 (-115) +132 Over 128.5 (-110)
Virginia Cavaliers -3.5 (-105) -160 Under 128.5 (-110)

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While some may be surprised to see Wake Forest sitting fourth in the ACC setting, the Demon Deacons have quietly become one of the hottest teams in the conference over the past couple of weeks. They recently put together a three-game winning streak, including blowout victories over Syracuse and Georgia Tech. That winning streak came to an end Monday night against Duke. However, Wake Forest narrowly missed beating the spread in that game and was competitive with the Blue Devils from start to finish.

The concern for Wake on Saturday is the team’s profound struggles on the road. In true road games this season, the Demon Deacons are just 2-6. Those two wins came against Boston College and Georgia Tech, two teams near the bottom of the ACC standings. Wake hasn’t even beaten the spread in any of those road losses, which speaks volumes.

Of course, the Demon Deacons played one of their best road games of the season on Monday against Duke. They also have an X-factor in the form of senior guard Damari Monsanto, who only recently returned from injury and adds depth to Wake’s backcourt. Keep in mind that the backcourt already has three players who average at least 14 points per game, including Hunter Sallis, who averages 18.7 points per game to lead the way for Wake Forest. Sallis has been at his best lately, scoring at least 22 points in four of his last five games. If that continues, the Demon Deacons will be well-positioned for a big road win.

While Wake is chasing a resume-building win on Saturday, the Cavs will be hoping to bounce back from one of their worst performances. As 6.5-point home favorites, Virginia lost 74-63 to Pitt on Tuesday. It was Virginia’s first home loss of the season and snapped an eight-game winning streak for Tony Bennett’s team.

Typically, John Paul Jones Arena is a fortress for the Cavs. However, Virginia is just 1-2-1 against the spread in its last four home games. That could indicate that the Cavaliers are a little more vulnerable than you might think for a team that recently won eight in a row.

Defensively, Virginia is as good as ever this season. The Cavs recently held Miami to a paltry 38 points. During that eight-game winning streak, only two teams scored more than 65 points against Virginia. However, the Cavaliers have just two players who average double figures and only four players who score more than five points per game. In other words, they don’t do well in shootouts and can’t win if their defense doesn’t show up.

Wake Forest vs Virginia Prediction and Betting Pick

With Virginia coming off a rare loss and Wake Forest playing some of its best basketball of the season, the Demon Deacons have a chance to pull off a win on Saturday. 

During the first meeting between these teams, Sallis had a great performance, scoring 21 points thanks to five three-pointers. But the Demon Deacons also dominated in the paint. Even if Wake’s guards are bothered by Virginia’s defense, the Cavaliers won’t have an easy time scoring either. That should ensure a close game, especially since Wake Forest has better scorers and could potentially force the Cavs into a high-scoring game, which is out of their comfort zone.

Another Wake Forest win isn’t out of the question considering how well the Demon Deacons have played lately. We’ll take our chances with Wake and the points, even on the road.

Wake Forest vs Virginia Pick: Wake Forest +3.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook

How to Watch Wake Forest vs Virginia

When: Saturday, February 17 at 12:00 PM EST

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Virginia

TV: ESPN2

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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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