The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are 4-1 straight up and 5-0 against the spread in their last five times out against the Big 12, and they are hoping for more of the same when they tangle with the Kansas State Wildcats in the second of Tuesday night's First Four matchups in Dayton, Ohio.
Point spread: The Wildcats opened as one-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
Why Wake Forest can cover the spread
Coach Danny Manning's crew won its last three games to finish at 9-9 in the ACC and split two games in the ACC tournament, beating Boston College but falling against Virginia Tech. Nonetheless, the Deacons are dancing for the first time since 2010.
Wake Forest led that game last Wednesday by seven points at the half but saw the Hokies throw just about everything in the hole in the second half.
On the season the Deacons are only 3-11 SU against teams that made the tournament, but 7-6 ATS. Also, three of their losses came by a total of 13 points against ACC regular-season champion North Carolina and ACC tournament champion Duke.
Why Kansas State can cover the spread
Coach Bruce Weber's troops won their last two games to finish 8-10 in a Big 12 conference that sent six of its 10 members to the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats then split two games in the Big 12 tournament, upsetting Baylor before losing by one point to West Virginia, but did enough to earn their first invitation to the Big Dance in three seasons.
Kansas State led the Mountaineers last Friday by 12 points early in the second half but let it slip away. Still, the Wildcats have held their last three opponents to an average of just 54 points.
K-State owns a combined four wins over NCAA tournament qualifiers Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Also, five of its losses came against Maryland, Big 12 champion Kansas, Iowa State and the Mountaineers by a combined 11 points. On the whole Wildcats are 6-6-1 ATS this season against teams that made the tournament.
Smart betting pick
Kansas State gets the checkmark on defense, holding foes to under 43 percent shooting on the season, but Wake Forest shoots the ball better (including 77 percent from the free-throw line) and does a better job on the boards. The smart money here goes with the Deacons.
March Madness betting trends
The total has gone under in five of Kansas State's last seven games.
Wake Forest is 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in its last five games against the Big 12.
Wake Forest is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after an ATS loss.
All college basketball lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.