College Basketball Betting Preview for ACC: Coach K’s Farewell Tour Highlights League

College Basketball Betting Preview for ACC: Coach K’s Farewell Tour Highlights League article feature image

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

  • Coach K and Duke are the favorites in the ACC entering the new season.
  • Usual contenders, Virginia and North Carolina, will compete but both programs are undergoing changes, including a new head coach in Chapel Hill.
  • Mike Randle breaks down the conference from top-to-bottom.

The ACC is annually viewed as college basketball royalty. When you have two of the nation's most historic programs in Duke and North Carolina, you are a conference that garners immediate respect.

The 2021-2022 season promises to be one of the most memorable in the 68-year history of the conference.

With legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announcing this is his last season and Tar Heels legend Roy Williams leaving at the end of last year, the two dominant programs enter a rare period of potential vulnerability.

Let’s take a deep college hoops betting dive into the 2021-22 Atlantic Coast Conference.

ACC's Recent History

While Duke and North Carolina have combined for 51 regular-season ACC championships, the most recent dominance has been flexed by Virginia. The Cavaliers have won five regular-season titles since 2014, including three titles in the past four years.

The ACC Conference Tournament champion has been much more varied. Georgia Tech won last year's title, its first since 1990. In fact, we've seen six different tournament champions since 2012. Prior to that season, Duke or UNC had won 14 of the prior 15 tournament titles.

The ACC has 15 teams, making it one of the largest conferences in the country. Pittsburgh and Notre Dame are the most recent additions, having joined in 2013.

Duke Blue Devils

Overall Record 2020-2113-11
League Record 2020-219-9
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+250

Superior freshman Paolo Banchero has guard-like skills at 6-foot-11, 250 pounds and has the ability to lead the Blue Devils to a Final Four in Coach K’s final season. 

Duke needs to shoot better from deep, as it hit only 34.7% from 3 in ACC play. The Blue Devils lost their only two consistent 3-point shooters in Matthew Hurt (44.4%) and DJ Steward (34.1%) to the NBA.

However, Blue Devils fans should be very bullish on a team with the best ACC recruiting class — and one that ranks top-five nationally.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Overall Record 2020-2118-11
League Record 2020-202110-6
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+400

New head coach Hubert Davis has more than enough talent on this roster to contend for an ACC Championship and make a deep NCAA Tournament run. But there is a challenge in blending high-major transfers with a core returning nucleus and a solid freshmen supporting class. 

There is a lot to like about the Tar Heels, and Davis was clearly the best choice to continue historic success at Chapel Hill. However, these odds aren’t enticing enough, given the multiple variables in one of the country’s most competitive conferences.

The must-have app for college basketball bettors

The best NCAAB betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Record 2020-2118-11
League Record 2020-202110-6
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+500

College basketball fans need to start appreciating what 73-year old Leonard Hamilton is accomplishing down in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have produced, in succession, a top-20 recruiting class, a top-four NBA draft selection in Scottie Barnes and now a top-10 recruiting class for the 2021 season.

Florida State has averaged 13.3 ACC wins over the past three years, higher than Duke (12.6), UNC (10.6) and comparable to a conference-best Virginia (14.6).

Freshman Matthew Cleveland and Jalen Warley join with explosive scorer Caleb Mills, who averaged 13.5 points per game at Houston as a freshman.

The Seminoles won the regular-season title in 2019 and have tantalizing odds for the 2021-2022 conference title.

Virginia Cavaliers

Overall Record 2020-2118-7
League Record 2020-202113-4
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+600

Head coach Tony Bennett is currently the King of the ACC, achieving two regular season titles, an ACC tournament title and the 2019 National Championship.

Virginia will rely on a backcourt of senior Kihei Clark and sophomore Reece Beekman, who are sporadic scorers that provide elite defense.

The key to the season will be senior East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner, who will try to establish his dominance against the high-level ACC talent.

Bennett’s teams are always an ACC threat, but their offensive limitations are greater than past seasons.

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Record 2020-2113-7
League Record 2020-20218-5
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+900

Head coach Chris Mack’s reputation at Louisville hits a critical juncture this season. His fourth year leading the Cardinals needs an NCAA Tournament berth to officially bury the lingering drama from the Dino Gaudio saga.

Mack has brought in five talented athletes to provide options on both ends of the floor.

The Cardinals have substantial size in the frontcourt, with 6-foot-11 Malik Williams and 6-foot-7 Samuell Williamson having nightly double-double potential.

The key to the ceiling rests on how top JUCO transfer El Ellis can acclimate to Mack’s pick-and-roll attack.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Overall Record 2020-2115-7
League Record 2020-20219-4
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+1000

Head coach Mike Young earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament in just his second season in Blacksburg. His creative motion offense will be bolstered by a reunion with former Wofford point guard Storm Murphy.

The Hokies ranked first within the ACC in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and bring back one of the most experienced starting units in the country.

If Virginia Tech can again replicate its combination of defensive intensity and offensive efficiency, the Hokies should find much success in the ACC.

Clemson Tigers

Overall Record 2020-2116-8
League Record 2020-202110-6
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+1800

Clemson is a mirror image of Virginia Tech, but with more offensive issues.

Head coach Brad Brownell will rely heavily on transfers David Collins (USF) and Naz Bohannon (Youngstown State) to carry the offensive load.

Brownell has found a way to reach .500 or better in ACC play during three of the past four seasons, but it is hard to see that continuing in 2021-2022.

acc-2021-college basketball-betting-preview
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Syracuse Orange

Overall Record 2020-2119-10
League Record 2020-20219-7
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+1800

It’s hard to doubt Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse team after watching an elite shooting run take them to the Sweet 16. The challenging 2-3 zone was very effective at stifling opponents' 3-point acumen, holding ACC teams to just 31.6% (second-best) from beyond the arc.

With four players on the roster measuring 6-foot-10 or taller, the Orange could again ride their unique style to a surprising late-season run.

The development of freshman Benny Williams is the key to Syracuse's upside.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Overall Record 2020-2111-15
League Record 2020-20217-11
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+2000

With the return of defensive-minded coach Anthony Solomon, Notre Dame hopes to defend at a much higher level.

The Fighting Irish have gone to three Sweet 16, two Elite Eights and won an ACC Tournament with Solomon on the staff. This will be Solomon’s third tour at Notre Dame since 2000.

Athletic point guard Prentiss Hubb (14.6 PPG, 5.8 APG) leads an experienced roster that is greatly bolstered by former Ivy League Player of the Year Paul Atkinson.

At 6-foot-10 with elite athleticism, Atkinson could be the chess piece for a deep late-season tournament run.

The ultimate college basketball betting cheat code

Best bets for every game

Profitable data-driven system picks

Tail the sharpest bettors in the world

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Overall Record 2020-2117-9
League Record 2020-202111-6
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+2500

Head coach Josh Pastner can’t help but wonder “what if,” even after last year’s ACC Tournament title.

The Yellow Jackets were given a brutal draw when they were forced to battle Loyola Chicago in the opening round without ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright (COVID).

Wright and point guard Jose Alvarado are now developing in the NBA’s G-League, but Pastner turns to a core of returning players to build off last year’s success.

Look for Georgia Tech to revert to a slower-paced, defensive-oriented team after surprisingly ranking first in the ACC in 2P percentage (55.5%) and third overall in 3P percentage (36%).

Pastner's teams continue to be a profitable against the spread investment, with an ACC-best 61.4% (54-34) cover rate the past three years.

NC State Wolfpack

Overall Record 2020-2114-11
League Record 2020-20219-8
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+3300

Head coach Kevin Keatts enters his fifth-year needing to reverse a three-year trend of ACC mediocrity.

After ending last season with five consecutive wins, the Wolfpack suffered a 31-point blowout loss to Syracuse in the conference tournament.

Transfers Casey Morsell (Virginia) and Greg Gantt (Providence) provide necessary toughness and depth that needs to cultivate a big second-year leap by sophomore Cam Hayes.

Miami Hurricanes

Overall Record 2020-2110-17
League Record 2020-20214-15
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+6600

Ever since his Final Four trip with George Mason, head coach Jim Larranaga has excelled at bringing together a variety of transfers.

After suffering through an awful slew of injuries last season, Larranaga brings in Charlie Moore (DePaul) and Jordan Miller (George Mason) to supplement a talented scoring duo of Isaiah Wong (17 PPG) and Kameron McGusty (13 PPG).

The high-upside talent simply isn’t there for the Hurricanes, but with experienced players, Larranaga's teams usually have a high floor.

Pitt Panthers

Overall Record 2020-2110-12
League Record 2020-20216-10
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+8000

Pittsburgh enters the fourth season of Jeff Capel’s tenure still searching for an identity.

The departure of Justin Champagnie, Au'Diese Toney and Xaiver Johnson means replacing over 46 points per game.

Capel has tried to continue to build a defensive mindset by adding Daniel Oladapo (Oakland), Jamarius Burton (Texas Tech) and Mouhamadou Gueye (Stony Brook).

I have concerns about a Panthers offense that ranked among the bottom-three ACC teams in effective field goal percentage, 2P% and free throw percentage in 2020-21.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Record 2020-216-16
League Record 2020-20213-15
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+10000

One of the most underrated ACC teams is Wake Forest, which should take a big step forward in head coach Steve Forbes’ second season.

The Demon Deacons enjoyed a fruitful haul from the transfer portal, including Khadim Sy (Mississippi), Jake LaRavia (Indiana State), Alondes Williams (Oklahoma) and 7-footer Dallas Walton (Colorado).

Senior Daivien Williamson (12.9 PPG, 37.2% 3P, 1.3 SPG) is one of the most unheralded players in the conference.

Boston College Eagles

Overall Record 2020-214-16
League Record 2020-20212-11
Current Odds to Win League via BetMGM+20000

The Eagles hope to find consistency with new head coach Earl Grant, formerly of Charleston.

The Chestnut Hill futility has translated to an average of just 4.2 conference wins per year over the past decade.

There is hope that Grant’s defensive emphasis combined with a much slower pace is the right formula for the Eagles. Since joining the conference in 2005, Boston College has failed to match the talent level of the other schools. At the very least, Grant’s style should at least modify the league’s most over-likely team.

ACC Betting Insight

The ACC ranked second in home win percentage, with a 66.1% (80 of 121) win rate, per KenPom.

This naturally extends to a very high cover rate for home underdogs ATS. Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame were the only three ACC teams to fail to cover as a home underdog last season, going a combined 0-6-1.

Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina combined to go 12-5 (71%) in those situations last season.

One of the lurking betting trends is Duke struggling to cover home games — just 4-9 ATS last year. Could the Blue Devils' reliance on impact freshmen work against college basketball’s most frequently backed team?

The elite defense of Clemson and Florida State translated very well to non-conference games, as they went 12-3 to the under against non-ACC opponents last season. The return of Solomon to Notre Dame could make the Fighting Irish a very appealing under bet.

The conference is one of the most polarizing in terms of tempo. Virginia (357th), Clemson (337th), Louisville (300th) and Virginia Tech (298th) all rank in the bottom 50 of adjusted tempo, while North Carolina (43rd), Boston College (58th) and Florida State (90th) are all near the top.

Even with Boston College’s likely style change, the Eagles should simply swap their inclusion in the “fast” group for the slower-paced group.

Deposit $50, Get $100 FREE!

Deposit $50 using code BET100

Get $100 free!

New users only

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.

Sportsbook Promos
See All
Legal Online Sports Betting

FanDuel Promo Code: Pocket $200 in Bonus Bets With Winning $5 First Bet on Any Market Sunday, including MLB & NASCAR

Doug Ziefel
Jun 23, 2024 UTC