Wake Forest (+6) (-110) over Duke
Duke is coming off one of its biggest wins in school history after dominating Miami Florida in a convincing 48-30 win. Based on that win, the Blue Devils have been installed as conference road favorites for the first time since 1999 against a rested Wake Forest squad coming off a bye and playing with legitimate revenge after dropping last year’s game 34-27. The Demon Deacons are more than capable of pulling the upset as they have already defeated both North Carolina State (28-13; 8-point underdogs) and Maryland (34-10; 4.5-point underdogs) in consecutive weeks this season. The fact that Wake Forest is both rested and playing with revenge is significant in that the Demon Deacons are a profitable 8-1 ATS following a bye, while head coach Jim Grobe is 17-6-2 ATS as a home underdog of ten or less points when seeking revenge. Let’s also note that Wake Forest is 12-1 SU in the last thirteen meetings in this series.
Duke is 0.4 yards per rush play, 0.2 yards per pass attempt and 0.3 yards per play better than average offensively in 2013. Meanwhile, Wake Forest is 0.9 yards per rush play, 1.1 yards per pass play and 0.8 yards per play better than average defensively this season. Moreover, the Demon Deacons are limiting opponents to a mere 22 points per game at 3.1 yards per rush play, 5.3 yards per pass play and 4.4 yards per play at home. Overall, Wake Forest possesses a shocking 0.5 yards per rush play, 0.9 yards per pass attempt and 0.5 yards per play advantage defensively over the Blue Devils’ overrated attack.
Based on the foregoing analysis, it’s hard to see how Duke will have success moving the ball this afternoon against a very good (and underrated) Wake Forest stop unit. The problem with Wake Forest has been an offense that 1.0 yards per play worse than average this season, which gives Duke a 0.9 yards per play advantage defensively in this game. The loss of leading wide receiver Michael Campanaro has certainly hurt Wake’s offense, but the Deacons’ defense should ultimately keep this game close in what I project to be a low-scoring affair (over/under 49.5).
The last time Duke was installed as a road favorite (-3 at North Carolina in 1999), the Blue Devils lost 38-0. While I certainly do not expect similar results, my math model calls this game a lot closer than the point spread indicates. The situation sets up perfectly for Wake Forest – playing with legitimate revenge, coming off a bye and facing a Duke team coming off one of its biggest wins in school history. Grab the inflated number and invest with confidence.