North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview and Pick

North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-10) +12 at No. 13 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (20-5) -12 Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Thursday, 8:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of

The North Carolina State Wolfpack upset the Wake Forest Demon Deacons just two weeks ago in Raleigh 82-76. Wake Forest will get their chance at revenge when they host the Wolfpack in Winston-Salem this Thursday night. The no. 13 ranked Demon Deacons got off to a 16-0 start reaching the number 1 ranking in America earlier this season. However, they have had some problems through conference play and are only 4-5 in their last 9 games against ACC opponents. North Carolina State that ranks towards the bottom of the ACC, but they have already proven once this year that they are plenty capable of taking down the Demon Deacons.

North Carolina State has been solid on the offensive side of the ball this season averaging 74 point per game. However, on the defensive side of the ball their numbers are a bit disappointing. The Wolfpack allow 69 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 41% from the field which both rank in the bottom half on the nation. North Carolina State leading scorer Brandon Costner had a solid performance in these two teams earlier meeting this season when he barely missed out on a double-double with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Sophomore Tracy Smith had a step up night in that game as well earning a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Wolfpack performed very well against the glass in that game that led to one of the very few times this year that Wake Forest has been out rebounded resulting ultimately in a win.

Wake Forest is coming off a high scoring loss from the Duke Blue Devils last Sunday by the score of 101-91. Demon Deacons star players Jeff Teague and James Johnson both had really big nights. Teague posted 28 points to add to his 20.3 point average that leads the team. Johnson on the other hand had a solid night scoring and on the glass. Johnson recorded his 8th double-double on the season after a 26 point, 11 rebound performance. Wake Forest has absolutely been outstanding on the offensive side of the ball ranking in the top 8 in 3 major offensive categories. The Demon Deacons are the nations number 5 scoring offense with 82.6 points per game and also rank 8th in rebounds with 40.7 boards per contest. The Demon Deacons will attempt to put up a strong offensive showing on Thursday something that they did not do in their meeting in Raleigh.

Bookies have the betting line favoring the no. 13 Wake Forest Demon Deacons by 12 points over the Wolfpack. The total for the game has yet to be released as it will come out more closer to game time.

North Carolina State is led by the player of Brandon Costner who was previously mentioned. Costner is averaging 14.3 points and 6 rebounds as he leads 3 other North Carolina State players who are posting at least 10 points every game. Ben McCauley and Courtney Fells are both posting 12-13 points per contest, and the Wolfpack will definitely need McCauley to contribute against the boards. The Wolfpack have been playing pretty descent as of late winning 4 of their last 6 with losses to Virginia and North Carolina. North Carolina State must establish their presence on the glass like they did in the last meeting to be able to match the Demon Deacons potent offense.

Wake Forest is one of the most dangerous scoring teams in America and likely the most dangerous in the ACC behind North Carolina. The Demon Deacons amazingly shot 50% from the field in their loss to North Carolina State a few weeks ago. However, Wake Forest turned the ball over a total of 17 times and allowed the Wolfpack to grab more rebounds. Wake Forest will go for another solid shooting night, but perhaps put together a complete performance in other aspects of the game. One thing that did cost Wake Forest in the last meeting was the 3 point shooting. The Demon Deacons were a dismal 5-18 (27%) from behind the arc and that lead to many unsuccessful possessions. Wake Forest will be glad to get back home where they have been stellar this season at a 12-1 record as they attempt to extract some vengeance on the North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Betting Trends
Wake Forest is 8-3 ATS at home this season while also going 8-3 in the over versus under category. North Carolina State is 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games on the road, and they have also won the last 4 out of 5 straight up against the Demon Deacons.

Jays Pick: Bout time for a big night from the Demon Deacons, and they are tough at home. Wake Forest -12.