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Wake Forest-Duke Predictions

Wake returns to the Joel Wednesday night to take on second ranked Duke in an intra-state rivalry game. What does the BSD staff believe will happen?

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Demon Deacons gave a valiant effort on Sunday night at home against fifth ranked Louisville but will have no time to recover as another top five team rolls into the LJVM in the Duke Blue Devils. Duke is ranked second in the nation by the AP poll and is ranked third in Ken Pomeroy's metrics, behind only Kentucky and Virginia. While most are likely skeptical of Wake's chances tonight against the unbeaten Blue Devils, junior Devin Thomas can provide the Demon Deacons with a real chance to pull off an upset if he plays like he did on Sunday night when he put up a career high 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds.

Let's see what the writers believe will happen tonight before taking a look at how the picks have gone thus far in the season:

Riley: Duke 82-64

Rob: Duke 80-60

Jake: Duke 85-68

Bart: Duke 77-65

Chris: Duke 80-78

Matt: Duke 85-70

Griffin: Duke 81-68

Shayn: Duke 81-63

BSD Average: Duke 81-66

KenPom: Duke 81-67 (9% chance of Wake winning)

So Wake does not have a very good chance according to the BSD staff nor do they have a good chance according to Vegas where Duke opened as a 15.5 point favorite on game day. Similarly KenPom and the BSD aggregate score are close to this 15.5 pick with 14 and 15 point margins respectively. Let's take a look at how the staff has fared so far through 15 games, roughly the halfway mark of the Wake Forest basketball season:

Staff Leaderboard:

1. Riley 13-2 (270 points)

2. Matt 12-3 (274 points)

3. Griffin 12-3 (281 points)

4. Rob 12-3 (291 points)

5. Jake 12-3 (305 points)

6. Bart 11-4 (304 points)

7. Shayn 10-5 (251 points)

8. Chris 8-7 (271 points)

KenPom 12-3 (248 points)

BSD Average 12-3 (254 points)

Riley has been on fire recently, having correctly picked every game since the Delaware State upset loss. He was the lone staffer to pick Wake over Richmond and had the best prediction against Bucknell in the game prior to the upset over the Spiders. On the flip side, Chris sits at last with an 8-7 record predominantly due to missed upset bids by Bucknell and Princeton. An interesting statistical point is that the two individual pickers with the worst record, Shayn and Chris, have been the best two at picking the correct scores. Shayn's 251 points stand better than even the BSD average and are only three points worse than KenPom's statistical model. Similarly, Riley has out picked KenPom's model by one game over the first fifteen games of the season.

What will the Demon Deacons need to do to prove our writers wrong and pull off the major upset? What are your predictions for tonight? Will Devin replicate his dominant performance from Sunday night? Let us know your thoughts and predictions below and join us tonight at 9 for the Wake-Duke game if you can't make it out to the Joel. As always, go Deacs!