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November 28, 2016

There is one college hoops play tonight.

Take Wake Forest +4.5 spread against Northwestern for 3% of the bankroll.

This should be an entertaining ACC / Big Ten challenge as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons take to the road to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. While Northwestern will have a slight advantage playing on their home court, we believe this Demon Deacons team is underrated this season and will likely surprise a few people come tournament time.

Thus far on the season Wake Forest only has one loss and that defeat came at the hands of the defending National Champions, the Villanova Wildcats. John Collins has been nothing short of dominant inside the paint this season and had arguably his best game of the season with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Coastal Carolina. The 6'10 sophomore is averaging 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and has made 40 of his 60 shots from the field. Sophomore Keyshawn Woods is already establishing himself as a force at the Guard position in his first season with the Demon Deacons. Thus far Woods is an impressive is 14 for 21 from three-point range and is second on the team in rebounds and third in assists.

As a team, Wake Forest possesses one of the top offenses in the country, as they are scoring the 26th-most points in the country with an average of 86.3 points per game. They also find themselves into the top-15 in field goal percentage at 51.3% (15th in the country), 43.9% from 3-point range (10th), and 79.4% from the foul line (15th). This is an incredibly balanced offense which makes it a dangerous proposition to spot them any kind of points, even on the road.

Northwestern is a team that is very similar to Wake Forest. Thus far this season, Northwestern is scoring 79.5 points per game on 47.6 % from the floor, 43.7% from beyond the arc (the 13th-best percentage in Div-1) and 78.6% from the foul line, (21st in Div-1). Vic Law leads the team with 17.8 points per game while Dererk Pardon leads the team with 7.3 boards. McIntosh is dishing out a team-high 5 assists per game this season, however his shooting has seemingly gone cold this season. McIntosh was a respectable 36% from long range a season ago and thus far he has struggled with his shot, going just 5 of 24 from long range. His ability to distribute the ball has been an asset for the team, however his cold streak from the floor has been a liability. If his scoring drought continues in this contest, that could be the opening that Wake needs to pull off the victory.

This is the type of matchup that could come down to whichever team holds the ball at the end. Both teams can hit the long-ball so where we believe the Deacons will have the advantage is on the inside with Collins. Not only is Collins great on the boards, but he proven to be a legitimate threat offensively in the post. If their outside shots aren't falling, they can play inside by feeding Collins the ball. This will also set up opportunities on the wing when defenders crash in to stop Collins, finding the open man on the perimeter should open opportunities from long range. At this point in the season, from what we have seen, Wake Forest appears to be the more cohesive unit. Northwestern hasn't showed a strong effort defensively and if this game turns into a track meet, that would surely favor the Demon Deacons. We believe this will be a closely contested matchup, with either team being able to win. Due to that fact, the points have value and will likely come into play in this contest.

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