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ACC tournament betting breakdown: Five teams to fade or follow


Here’s a look at the betting favorites and live underdogs for this week’s ACC tournament

ACC tournament betting breakdown: Five teams to fade or follow | News Article by

For most, March Madness betting doesn’t begin until the opening Thursday of the NCAA tournament. For sports bettors, however, the Madness kicks off with the conference tournaments. While some of the mid-major leagues have already concluded their postseasons, the power conference get their respective tournaments underway this week, including the always-popular ACC.

Here’s a look at the betting favorites and live underdogs for this week’s ACC tournament, being held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 


Virginia Cavaliers +320
The Cavaliers are the top seed in the ACC postseason but aren’t the most attractive bet when it comes to the general public. Virginia runs a methodical pace on offense – ranked slowest in terms of possessions per game – and relies on a smothering defense to edge opponents, rather than the flashy offensive firepower you find in their ACC counterparts. That's why Virginia has gone 7-19 Over/Under on the season.

The Cavs beat North Carolina at home and went into Cameron Indoor Stadium and took one from the Duke Blue Devils, so they're a deserving top seed. However, Tony Bennett’s team can find themselves in trouble when opponents start making from outside. In losses to rivals West Virginia and Virginia Tech, Virginia gave up 11 and 10 3-point buckets respectively, after allowing an average of less than six treys against on the season.

Duke Blue Devils +200
Some of this price is prowess and some of it is brand power. Duke is perhaps the biggest public darling in all of college hoops, so this is why you see the Blue Devils set ahead of the Cavaliers – despite their tournament seeding. That’s not to say the Dukies don’t have the chops to run the table in the postseason. 

The Blue Devils are among the top offensive teams in the country, putting up 85.5 points per game, and have really tightened the bolts on the other end of the floor in recent games. The Blue Devils are giving up an average of 69.6 points against on the season, but only about 55 points in their last five games heading into the season finale with North Carolina. They’ve also returned super frosh Marvin Bagley III from injury, giving him time to heal up before the tournament.

North Carolina Tar Heels +500
The defending national champs have had mixed results in the ACC tournament, winning the conference postseason crown just once in the past nine years. It’s no secret that head coach Roy Williams doesn’t care too much for conference crown and would much rather have his team rested and ready for the Big Dance than killing themselves in the ACC tournament.

This year’s Tar Heels are scoring just under 84 points an outing but have some concerns on the defensive side of the ball. North Carolina can really find itself in hot water against solid shooting teams, having watched foes bury more than 10 3-pointers per game – sixth most in the country. An off night from the offense can be tough to overcome when you’re allowing those kinds of numbers.

Live underdogs

Virginia Tech Hokies +800
The Hokies were giant killers in the ACC this season, posting victories over Virginia, Duke and North Carolina. That will be enough for them to crack the NCAA tournament, regardless of what happens in the ACC tournament. Virginia Tech struggled against fellow mid-tier ACC teams and has watched its offense sputter in the back half of its conference schedule. The Hokies also don’t have much of a bench, so the pace of the postseason could be challenging.

Clemson Tigers +700
Clemson is getting very little love in the futures odds, despite holding its own in the ACC and boast a spot in the nation polls for a good part for the season. The Tigers are strong defensively, allowing only 65.7 points per game, but haven’t played well away from home. Clemson is just 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS on the road heading into the season finale at Syracuse and will be a long way from South Carolina when the ACC tournament tips off in Brooklyn.

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