The ACC has been very competitive this season, with some good and bad surprises for many teams. Preseason ACC Odds had North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia as the top three favorites to win the ACC. No online sportsbooks had teams like Clemson or Pittsburgh in the top five, but here we are with both teams sitting in those positions.
Louisville and Florida State are two of the biggest disappointments. Some odds makers had both teams in the top five of the preseason odds. Louisville is winless (0-9) in the ACC and is an awful 2-18 overall. While Florida State had a rough start to the season and has a 7-14 overall record, it has a 5-5 record in the ACC.
ACC Championship Odds
The favorites from the beginning of the season are all still in contention. Of those teams, Virginia is in the best position of the preseason top three. Clemson sits in the top spot with a one-game lead over Virginia. Yet even with the lead, Clemson does not have as good of odds (+260 to +300) as Virginia to win the ACC.
It is not as if Clemson has had an easy start to its ACC schedule, with wins over Duke, Pittsburgh, and NC State already. Yet the second half of the Tigers’ ACC schedule is even tougher with games at UNC, NC State, and Virginia. Virginia is in sole possession of second place in the ACC but is the favorite to win the ACC regular season title, with their best value odds being -130 at BetMGM Sportsbook.
Team Conference Record Odds to win ACC title
Clemson Tigers 9-1 DraftKings: +260
Virginia Cavaliers 7-2 DraftKings: -140
Pittsburgh Panthers 7-3 DraftKings: +2500
Miami Hurricanes 7-3 DraftKings: +850
UNC Tar Heels 7-3 DraftKings: +850
NC State Wolfpack 6-4 DraftKings: +6000
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 6-4 DraftKings: +6000
Syracuse Orange 6-4 DraftKings: +5000
Duke Blue Devils 5-4 DraftKings: +3000
Florida State Seminoles 5-5 DraftKings: +25000
Boston College Eagles 4-6 DraftKings: +100000
Virginia Tech Hokies 2-7 DraftKings: +100000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1-9 DraftKings: +100000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 1-9 DraftKings: +100000
Louisville Cardinals 0-9 DraftKings: +100000
North Carolina, NC State, and Duke: ACC Title Odds
Duke Blue Devils
A trio of North Carolina colleges is still in the hunt for the ACC crown starting with Duke, which is 5-4 in the ACC. The Blue Devils are still very much within reach of an ACC title. The best value bet for Duke is at +3000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Blue Devils are uber-talented but also very young, as four of Duke’s top five scorers are freshmen.
When a team is so young, ups and downs during the grind that is the ACC schedule are expected. Duke has shown glimpses of elite-level play in wins over Miami and Pittsburgh. In contrast, Duke has sometimes shown its youth, like in their loss to Virginia Tech. Duke’s one veteran who sees starter minutes is Jeremy Roach, and his presence at the point guard spot at times is great.
Roach is averaging a career-high in points, but it has been inefficient as he is shooting his worst percentage from the field (36.9% FG and 30.4% 3P) in his three-year career at Duke. The Blue Devils could benefit from Roach trying to be more of a playmaker and less of a scorer. Duke is undefeated in games this season in which Roach has four or more assists. That includes big wins over Ohio State, Xavier, and Miami.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have been really good all season, with the exception of a rough four-game losing streak in late November. One of those losses came at the start of ACC play to Virginia Tech. If Carolina loses the ACC title by one game, that will be the one the Tar Heels will regret. The Tar Heels’ 7-3 ACC record has them tied for third. Carolina’s other two ACC losses were not bad ones, a loss to Virginia with star forward Pete Nance missing due to injury and a two-point loss to Pittsburgh.
The Tar Heels have a challenging remaining schedule but one that gives them a chance to knock off the teams above them and make up ground in ACC play. A Feb. 11 game against Clemson and a Feb. 25 game against Virginia will go a long way to deciding where the Tar Heels will finish in the ACC title race.
If the Tar Heels can stay healthy, they could be a good bet to win the ACC, because they are two games back with 10 games left to play. The best value for UNC to win the ACC is +900 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
NC State Wolfpack
The Wolfpack are quietly sitting behind the regular media-filled attention of North Carolina and Duke. Don’t miss just how good this Wolfpack team is, though, and especially how dangerous it could be come March. Sitting in sixth place in the ACC, the Wolfpack are three games back of first at 6-4. Even with a better record than Duke, the Wolfpack odds are longer to win the ACC at +6000 at multiple sportsbooks.
NC State is led by sophomore and senior guards Terquavion Smith (18.6 ppg) and Jarkel Joiner (16.8 ppg). The two stars are experienced and have shined bright in big moments this season. The Wolfpack are undefeated this season in games in which both players score more than 20 points.
With 10 ACC games left, NC State has to face a top-five team in the current standings three times. The favorable schedule and star guards could give the Wolfpack a chance to compete for an ACC title.
Key Upcoming Games
There are seven games on the schedule for Saturday, Jan. 28. Among them, NC State will take on Wake Forest, Duke will face Georgia Tech, and Miami will square off against Pitt.
Although North Carolina is idle this weekend, the Tar Heels have a big week coming up. They’ll play host to Pitt on Feb. 1 and then hit the road to take on archrival Duke on Feb. 4.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip