Wake Forest vs. Appalachian State Odds, Predictions: NIT First Round

Wake Forest takes on an in-state foe at home in the NIT on Wednesday night, as the Demon Deacons and Appalachian State meet at 8 p.m. Eastern in Winston-Salem, NC. Here, we will break down the Wake Forest vs. Appalachian State odds and predictions.


This one profiles as an intriguing matchup with Wake (20-13, 11-9 ACC) on upset alert against an in-state opponent coming off a strong season. App (27-6, 16-2) won the Sun Belt regular season but was denied an NCAA Tournament bid because it did not win the conference tourney. The Mountaineers proved they can play with the best teams in the country with a 69-64 win over No. 7 Auburn in December, and they also swept Sun Belt tourney champ James Madison.

The other reason many believe the Deacons should be on upset alert has to do with this sport’s growing apathy toward the NIT after several teams declined NIT invites this year. While Wake wasn’t one of them, this team appeared to have a spot in the Big Dance clinched in late February, which puts its level of motivation on Wednesday night in question.

Let’s get into the matchup and give our best Wake Forest vs. Appalachian State betting pick.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons Betting Preview

Wake enjoyed another solid season in Year 4 under coach Steve Forbes but once again came up just short of an NCAA Tournament berth. The Deacons were widely considered to be in the Big Dance after a home win over Duke on Feb. 24, but several bad losses down the stretch scuttled those hopes. Since beating the Blue Devils, Wake has gone just 2-4, with losses to Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh (ACC Tournament).

This team’s biggest flaw during the regular season was its inability to win games away from home — the Deacs’ 13 losses on the year included just one at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. It’s hard to imagine a raucous atmosphere on Wednesday night, though, given the disappointment over playing in the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament.

Appalachian State Mountaineers Betting Preview

The Mountaineers flew under the radar this season playing in the Sun Belt, especially with James Madison turning heads with a season-opening win over Michigan State that resonated much more than App’s upset of Auburn a few weeks later. Still, the Mountaineers are a dangerous first-round opponent for Wake Forest after an impressive would-be run to a spot in the NCAA Tournament was derailed by a two-point loss to Arkansas State in the Sun Belt tourney.

App finished the season with a record of 15-2 over its last 17, and it’s worth noting that the line for this game opened at Wake Forest -10, but the spread is now less than 7 points at some sportsbooks.

Wake Forest vs Appalachian State Betting Trends

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

  • Wake Forest is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Wake Forest’s last 10 games.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

  • Appalachian State is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Appalachian State’s last 10 games.

Wake Forest vs Appalachian State Predictions & Betting Pick

The reasons to like App here are solid, especially given this team’s 19-13 ATS record this year. Wake should not only win this game, but cover the spread, if it’s at its best offensively and motivated, but those are two big ifs. It’s also not a given that the atmosphere inside Lawrence Joel will be the same as it was for big regular season games like the matchup against Duke.

As far as the best bet to make in this game, it comes down to whether you like Appalachian State to merely keep this game close or actually pull the upset. Because of not only the uncertainty around Wake’s motivation, but also App’s quality wins — not to mention the fact that the Mountaineers have played much better than Wake in recent weeks — this is the rare situation where a 7-point underdog is worth taking a high-upside swing with at least a half-unit on the moneyline.

Wake Forest vs Appalachian State Betting Picks: App State moneyline (+260 at time of publishing), Over (147 at time of publishing)

Wake Forest vs Appalachian State Injury Report


How to Watch Wake Forest vs Appalachian State

  • Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2024
  • Tip-Off: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Lawrence Joel Coliseum — Winston-Salem, NC
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+


About the Author
Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett has been a sports writer since joining the student newspaper at his alma mater, NC State, back in 2008. He has covered sports, sports betting, and the business of sports for several newspapers and websites, including the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Observer, High Press Soccer, and Sports Business Journal.

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