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College Basketball Betting: ACC Tournament Preview


The opening round of the ACC Tournament gets underway on Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C. with two play-in games. Fourteen teams will participate (Georgia Tech was banned from the postseason) with the top four seeds (Florida State, Duke, Virginia, and Louisville) earning byes through the quarterfinals. Over the last three years, only once has the no. 1 or no. 2 seed advanced to the finals.

Favorite – Florida State quietly won the ACC’s regular season and thus earned the top seed though should they advance to the semifinals, have a tough draw with fourth seed Duke. The Blue Devils, Louisville, and Virginia all finished 15-5 and were seeded via tiebreaker. The most intriguing contender is UVA who won 11 of its last 12 including five straight wins that came down to the last minute of play. All the while playing with essentially a six-man rotation. The Cavaliers are comfortably in the NCAA Tournament and appear ripe for an “exhale” at some point. From a power rating standpoint and the slight homecourt advantage, Duke will be favored by no less than -3 (vs. Louisville) in all three games should they advance which is why it’s odd not to see them the priced as the tournament favorite.

Darkhorse – Outside of the top four seeds, and with Georgia Tech suspended, not one remaining team finished conference play with a winning record. And of those .500 or worse teams, only NC State is currently being discussed as a “bubble” team. Syracuse and Notre Dame could join the Wolfpack though the three teams in all likelihood need to reach the finals to have a shot. On paper, the Irish have the best chance of making a run if only because they draw Boston College and then Virginia — two of only a few teams in the ACC that won’t overwhelm them from an athleticism standpoint.

What to Bet – North Carolina is an unimpressive 3-8 SU since the return of Cole Anthony but he no doubt makes the Tar Heels a better team. Of those eight loses, four came by a single bucket. Note that Anthony and Brandon Robinson did not play in UNC’s double overtime loss at Virginia Tech earlier this season. With the Hokies’ lack of size and needing to account for Anthony, that should free up more opportunities for North Carolina to attack the paint and offensive glass. On the flip side, Tech will almost assuredly play some sort of zone to combat the disadvantage but we lean UNC at less than -2.5.

Odds to Win Tournament
Florida State +175
Duke +200
Louisville +275
Virginia +700
North Carolina +2200
Clemson +2500
NC State +3300
Syracuse +3300
Notre Dame +4000
Miami +10000
Pittsburgh +10000
Virginia Tech +10000
Wake Forest +10000
Boston College +15000

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