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ACC Odds, State of Conference Betting Report: Virginia, Duke Sit Atop 4 League Tiers

ACC Odds, State of Conference Betting Report: Virginia, Duke Sit Atop 4 League Tiers article feature image
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Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrese Proctor (Duke)

From the beginning of January to the end of March, college basketball offers as good of a three-month stretch as it gets in sports.

Teams begin by battling it out in conference play, with every game going a long way in determining seeding for both the conference and NCAA tournaments, as well as the opportunity to fight for a regular season title.

The pieces of the puzzle slowly come together, and it all leads up to March.

One conference in particular that I will have my eye on the rest of the way is the ACC. Arguably the most historic conference in the history of college basketball, the ACC has taken on a good deal of scrutiny in recent years.

The league is stronger than it was a year ago, but there have still been some disappointments to begin the season.

In this first ACC State of the Conference, I’ve sorted the league into four distinct tiers and will touch on where things currently stand for all 15 schools.

As the year goes on, I will continue to focus on the conference race, as well as marquee matchups, dangerous tournament teams, players to watch and other injury news.

Buckle up for a fun ride ahead.



Tier 1:  Regular Season Title Contenders

Virginia Cavaliers (+200)

Tony Bennett is back doing what he does best: winning at a high level. After a sluggish 2021-22 campaign, the Cavaliers have gotten off to a fast start and cracked the top five of the AP Poll earlier in the month.

UVA notched wins over Baylor and Illinois in Vegas and also won a true road game at Michigan. The Hoos have lost their last two in tight fashion to Houston and Miami (FL), but this team is still as good as any in the conference.

I took Virginia at +700 to win the regular reason title in the preseason, and the Cavs remain my pick heading into 2023.


Duke Blue Devils (+260)

All things considered, the Jon Scheyer era in Durham has gotten off to a pretty smooth start.

The Blue Devils notched victories over Xavier, Ohio State and Iowa in non-conference play, all of which should hold up as quality wins come March.

The youth of this roster showed in early losses to Kansas and Purdue, but this team should continue to get better as the season goes on.

Freshman Kyle Filipowski has been outstanding on the offensive end of the floor, and Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II are finally starting to get healthy.

Duke will take its fair share of punches on the road in league play — as it did in Winston Salem — but this team has the potential to be very dangerous in March.


North Carolina Tar Heels (+350)

The Tar Heels entered the season as the consensus preseason No. 1 team. That was probably a bit of an overreaction to last year’s postseason run to the title game, but the Heels have shown in recent wins over Ohio State and Michigan that there’s still plenty of talent on this roster.

North Carolina is missing the offensive firepower that Brady Manek brought to last year’s group, and it also has some issues on the defensive end right now.

Just like last year, I expect Hubert Davis to figure things out as the season goes on. North Carolina should finish in the top four or five of the ACC, but there’s too many unknowns right now to expect UNC to be dominant in conference play.


Miami (FL) Hurricanes (+500)

Miami would be my pick for surprise team of the year in the ACC up to this point. The Hurricanes have already played three conference games, and won all of them, including last week’s upset over Virginia.

The only loss for Jim Larranaga’s team came against Maryland, and the Canes took care of Providence and Rutgers, as well as some solid mid-majors.

Isaiah Wong is playing as well as just about any guard in the country and Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack has meshed very well with him in the backcourt.

The concern for this Miami team down the road will be its lack of size, but the small-ball lineup worked last season for Larranaga, and it appears to have the Canes positioned to contend in the ACC once again.


Virginia Tech Hokies (+1200)

The Hokies suffered a bad loss at Boston College in their most recent outing, but this is still my pick to be the biggest challenger to Virginia for the regular season title.

Mike Young, once again, has shooters galore on this roster, headlined by Hunter Cattoor and Sean Pedulla.

Wright State transfer Grant Basile has given Virginia Tech a big lift inside, and Justyn Mutts remains one of the elite bigs in the conference.

After a productive non-conference campaign, look for the Hokies to finish in the top four of the ACC and secure a double-bye in Greensboro.



Tier 2: Tournament Hopefuls

Clemson Tigers (+2500)

Clemson is quietly off to a 2-0 start to conference play, and this is a tough and experienced team that could be in the mix for a top-five finish.

The non-conference campaign wasn’t perfect, with losses to South Carolina, Iowa and Loyola Chicago. That said, Brad Brownell’s team did beat Penn State and Richmond, and there were no bad losses.

PJ Hall is now fully healthy after surgery in the offseason and Hunter Tyson gives the Tigers another veteran body inside.

I believe the Tigers will be able to do enough to get themselves into the NCAA tournament.


Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+6000)

Wake Forest is a really hard team to figure out thus far. The Deacs have a road win at Wisconsin and beat Duke at home last week. Both of those victories will have mileage all the way to Selection Sunday.

There have also been close losses to Loyola Marymount and LSU, the latter of which Wake squandered a massive lead.

Additionally, Wake lost by 20-plus to both Rutgers and Clemson earlier this month.

Steve Forbes, once again, used the transfer portal to build an intriguing roster, but I have my doubts about whether or not this team can hold up over the grind of a full ACC season.


NC State Wolfpack (+8000)

It’s a do-or-die year for Kevin Keatts in Raleigh, and the results have been mixed thus far.

The good news is the only loss out of conference came in a competitive game to Kansas in the Bahamas. The Wolfpack also beat Dayton, Butler and Vanderbilt in their non-conference games.

The bad news is NC State has dropped two early ACC games to Miami and Pittsburgh.

Terquavion Smith is as talented as any guard in the conference, and I expect him, Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell to help will the Pack back into the Big Dance.

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Tier 3: Trying to Figure it Out

Syracuse Orange (+6000)

As historic as Jim Boeheim’s run at Syracuse has been, it might be time for a change. The Orange have already lost five times, including home losses to both Colgate and Bryant.

Freshman Judah Mintz has been terrific to begin the year and Joe Girard III can still really shoot it, but this roster leaves a lot to be desired.

Boeheim doesn’t have his typical long wings to force turnovers out of the zone, and Cuse has also struggled on the backboards early in the year.

I’ll never count out a Syracuse team, but things do not look great right now.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+10000)

The most disappointing team in the conference to this point is not North Carolina or Louisville, it’s Notre Dame. Mike Brey’s team has five graduate seniors on a roster that has won a lot of games, but the results have not translated this year.

Other than a win over Michigan State, Notre Dame has lost every notable game on its schedule, including two one-point losses to start ACC play against Syracuse and Florida State.

The Irish did get off to a slow start last year before catching fire and finishing 15-5 in the ACC.

This year’s team can’t guard anybody and struggles on the glass, so while some positive regression is to be expected, it’s hard to envision another massive turnaround.

Notre Dame better get going before it’s too late.


Pittsburgh Panthers (+10000)

The Panthers started the season 1-3 and many were beginning to wonder if it just wasn’t gonna work out for Jeff Capel.

Since that point however, Pitt has won eight of its last nine, including road wins in Raleigh and Syracuse to get the Panthers off to a 2-0 start in league play.

If John Hugley IV can get fully healthy, Pitt has the talent to get to double-digit wins in the ACC and have a successful season.

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Tier 4: Dumpster Fires

Florida State Seminoles (+6000)

Will the Noles be as bad as their early record shows as this team gets healthier? No. But sorry, when you open the year 1-9, you get placed in the “Dumpster Fire” tier.

Leonard Hamilton’s team was decimated by injuries early on, which resulted in losses to the likes of Stetson, UCF and Troy.

FSU has quietly won three of its past four and actually sits above .500 in the ACC right now at 2-1.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Noles finish the year in the middle of the pack in the conference, but there’s no real postseason upside for this group given how big of a hole they dug in November.


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+50000)

There’s no real bad losses anywhere on Georgia Tech‘s resume up to this point. Josh Pastner just doesn’t have that talented of a roster right now.

The Jackets were blown out by North Carolina and Clemson in their first two league games, and the only notable win in November and December came against Georgia.

GT will be outmanned in most games within ACC play and will likely remain in the basement of the league all season.


Boston College Eagles (+50000)

After a surge late last year, Boston College was a trendy pick to be one of the much improved teams in the ACC this season.

You just can’t lose home games to Maine and New Hampshire, and then drop one on a neutral floor to Tarleton State.

Similar to Florida State, the Eagles are now healthier and will be a better basketball team in conference play. The problem is: it’s really hard to overcome those types of losses in the non-conference.

Earl Grant’s team upset Virginia Tech last week, and I anticipate the Eagles picking off a few other top teams in Chestnut Hill in conference play.

That said, it’s hard to get too excited about BC’s prospects.


Louisville Cardinals (+50000)

Truthfully, there probably needs to be a fifth tier reserved just for the Cardinals. That would properly sum up just how bad things are right now at Louisville.

Kenny Payne inherited a depleted roster in his first season, but nobody expected things to go like this.

Louisville currently sits at 2-11, with its only wins coming against Western Kentucky and Florida A&M.

I don’t see this team eclipsing more than five wins for the entire year, and any ACC team that falls to the Cards will have a glaring eyesore on its resume.

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