Wake Forest vs. NC State Prediction, Odds, Key Players for Tuesday, Jan. 16 (Bet the Wolfpack)

Two of the four teams tied for second place in the ACC will square off in Raleigh on Tuesday. Who comes out on top?

Jan 13, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (5) battles NC State's DJ Burns Jr.
Jan 13, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (5) battles NC State's DJ Burns Jr. / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The four-team logjam for second place in the ACC will be gradually cleared on Tuesday night as Wake Forest and NC State battle it out in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Wake Forest has won 10 of its last 11 games following a 2-3 start as the Demon Deacons try to make the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 2010. Wake Forest had its nine-game winning streak snapped Jan. 9, but bounced back nicely with a convincing 19-point home win over Virginia on Saturday.

NC State is hot, as well, going 8-2 in its last 10 games with both losses against ranked opponents (Tennessee, North Carolina) at home. The Wolfpack are coming off an 89-83 road victory over Louisville.

Here is the betting preview for this ACC showdown on Tuesday. 

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Wake Forest vs. NC State odds, spread and total

Wake Forest vs. NC State betting trends

  • Wake Forest is 9-6-1 ATS this season
  • NC State is 7-9 ATS this season
  • Wake Forest is 1-2 ATS as an underdog this season
  • NC State is 5-6 ATS this season as a favorite
  • The OVER is 9-7 in Wake Forest games this season
  • The OVER is 9-6-1 in NC State games this season

Wake Forest vs. NC State how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16
  • Game time: 7 p.m.
  • Venue: PNC Arena
  • How to watch (TV): ACC Network
  • Wake Forest record: 12-4 (4-1 ACC)
  • NC State record: 12-4 (4-1 ACC)

Wake Forest vs. NC State key players to watch

Wake Forest

Efton Reid III: Wake Forest is 8-1 in its last nine games and Reid is a big reason why. The seven-foot junior has been active in that stretch, missing the first seven games of the season before the NCAA’s eligibility ruling on two-time transfers. The former LSU and Gonzaga big man has been a force inside, averaging 8.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game with a pair of double-doubles. Reid’s best performance was a 13-point, 14-rebound outing in Wake Forest’s only road victory of the season – 84-78 over Boston College Jan. 2. He’ll have a big role on Tuesday defending NC State forward D.J. Burns Jr., who averages 12.6 points per game. 

NC State

DJ Horne: Horne is one of the focal points in a deep, nine-man rotation for NC State and one of four double-digit scorers. The guard is shooting 43.7% from beyond the arc this season and is coming off his best performance, pouring in 27 points and draining six 3-pointers in NC State’s win at Louisville on Saturday. 

Wake Forest vs. NC State prediction and pick

It’s a balanced matchup on paper, which is backed up by the small spread in a key conference game early in the winter. Wake Forest’s offense is No. 28 in efficiency, according to KenPom, and the only area the Demon Deacons struggle in is creating second-chance opportunities, ranking 220th in offensive rebounding.

Wake Forest has been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country (No. 18) and takes advantage at the charity stripe, too, ranking No. 3 in free-throw shooting at 80.1%. 

NC State’s offense draws a matchup against Wake Forest’s 63rd-ranked defense, per KenPom. The Wolfpack had scored at least 70 points in every home game this season before they were stymied by North Carolina (67-54) last week. NC State has been average from distance this season, but one of Wake Forest’s biggest weaknesses on defense is defending the perimeter, ranking No. 233. The other is at the foul line. Wake Forest is No. 287 in free-throw percentage as a defense and NC State knocks down 71.2% of its attempts from the stripe. 

In a toss-up game that will look good on a resume moving forward, ride with the Wolfpack on their home court.

Game odds are updated periodically and are subject to change.