The red hot Tar Heels (15-3) aim for their 9th win in a row on Monday night (7:00 PM ET, ESPN) in the January 22nd Wake Forest at North Carolina matchup. UNC has started off 7-0 in ACC play and have yet to lose a game at the Dean E. Smith Center in 2023/24.
Wake Forest (13-5) is two games back from the Tar Heels in the ACC (5-2) but have started off just 1-2 on the road in the conference. The Demon Deacons had put together a 9 game win streak, but are just 2-2 over their last four yet are still just +7.5 underdogs in this spot which seems manageable.
Why Wake Forest Has Value at +7.5
The Demon Deacons have lost two of their last four, but looked like a different team in Saturday’s 90-65 win over Louisville. If Wake Forest looked like a different team vs. the Cardinals it’s because they were after welcoming Damari Monsanto and Jao Ituka back from offseason knee injuries.
Monsanto is a difference maker, hitting 4 of 6 three pointers on Saturday for 12 points in just 11 minutes. He was leading the ACC in made three-pointers (87) prior to being injured last season and had 16 points in last season’s 92-85 win over North Carolina at home. Ituka did not play vs. the Cardinals, but does add even more depth in the Wake Forest back court.
North Carolina has won 13 of the last 17 in the head to head series, but Wake Forest has held their own lately splitting the last six games.
Why North Carolina Has Value at -7.5
Wake Forest has won three of the last six in this series, but those were all home games. The Tar Heels have beaten the Demon Deacons eight straight times at home and are 25-5 vs. WF over the last 30 meetings at the Dean E. Smith Center. Something else to note about Wake’s impressive win over Louisville over the weekend was that they were -16 point favorites against a Cardinals team that is just 6-12 this season and 1-6 in the ACC.
UNC has yet to lose a conference game this season (7-0) and since January 1st they’ve beaten six straight conference opponents by double digits. Four of those wins were on the road, and North Carolina’s two home games over that span were a 36 point win over Syracuse and a 16 point victory against Louisville.
It’s true Wake Forest is a more dangerous team with Monsanto back in the lineup, but his minutes may be limited in just his second game of the season. North Carolina also has a nice counter in RJ Davis who averages 20 ppg as well as the walking double-double Armando Bacot who puts up 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds.
Free January 22nd Wake Forest at North Carolina Betting Pick
UNC has been absolutely dominant at home this year, and especially lately where they are beating conference foes by double digits regularly. North Carolina has won eight straight over Wake Forest at the Dean Dome, and there’s no reason to think that doesn’t continue on Monday night.
Free Pick: North Carolina -7.5