College Basketball Betting Report on ACC: North Carolina as Potential Contender & Players to Watch
Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images. Pictured: Leaky Black (UNC)
It has not been a good start for the ACC.
Normally one of the powerhouse conferences in college basketball, the ACC has been getting embarrassed and is showing only one real threat to cut down the nets come March. That one squad is Duke, which is in the midst of the Coach K farewell tour.
Coincidence? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
The ACC started the season with four teams in the preseason top 25, only to see one unit remain as of writing — which is currently No. 2 Duke.
Will Duke continue to be the only guiding light for the conference? Or will another team step up and rival the leading conference contender?
The Blue Devils have kept the ACC afloat by dominating the non-conference portion of Coach K’s last season — and the most annoying farewell tour of all-time.
Showing no signs of slowing down after taking care of No. 18 Kentucky, Duke currently sits at 11-1 (1-0 in the ACC). The Blue Devils’ only loss comes against Ohio State, which has a potential Player of the Year in E.J. Liddell and a game plan that exposed Duke’s sluggish half-court offense.
With plenty of the season left to fix its offense, Duke will be one of the favorites to cruise through the ACC and cut down the nets in April.
Like rival Duke, North Carolina also saw a legendary coach announce his retirement. Hubert Davis replaced Roy Williams in the offseason, and has the Heels looking to stay on track to be one of the ACC leaders.
While it’s off to a shaky start, UNC has shown signs that it can potentially contend for the ACC crown. Currently sitting at 9-3, UNC’s three losses have come against top-25 opponents in Purdue, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The Heels will need to find more production outside of their starters if they want to actually contend against top-tier competition. As of now, UNC has five players scoring in double figures with no one else putting up more than five points per game.
It blows my mind that COVID stole March Madness two years ago — a March Madness that I had a beautiful Louisville future ticket that had serious cashing potential.
Flash forward to today and COVID is still around, but that Louisville team has drastically regressed. The Cardinals currently sit at 7-4, with losses to Furman, Michigan State, DePaul and Western Kentucky.
The Cardinals have one trait I look for when discussing teams that can make an NCAA Tournament run: they rely on production as a whole instead of one star. No one averages more than 10 points per game, except for Noah Locke.
Louisville’s biggest strength is its rebounding, as it leads the conference with 41.0 boards per game.
If the Cardinals can turn those caroms into fast breaks and second-chance points to stay on pace with top-scoring units, Louisville can turn into a serious ACC contender.
Some teams may change, but others stay the same. That is the Florida State motto, as it once again fields a squad full of lengthy ball pests who facilitate well.
Nothing is different this season, as Florida State currently ranks third in the ACC in blocks, first in steals and second in assists per game.
While the Seminoles had a rough start to the season, they currently sit at 6-4 and are in 10th place in the ACC. Their four losses have come against Florida, Purdue, Syracuse and South Carolina.
Florida State will need to find more scoring production if it wants to turn into a real threat. Meanwhile, the defense has been one of the better units in basketball ranking 30th in AdjD, per KenPom.
Spoiler alert, I will be adding a Virginia Tech to win the ACC future to my portfolio.
I love this team. While the start of the season has not been ideal, the Hokies went wire-to-wire against a formidable Duke team — until the Blue Devils pulled away late.
Tech currently ranks 32nd in AdjO and 28th in AdjD, per KenPom. The Hokies are one of the slowest teams in basketball, beating you with a suffocating defense and turning it into slow, methodical points on the other end. They are pretty much a poor mans Virginia from two years ago.
When the 3-pointers fall — as they have so far this season — Virginia Tech is capable of beating anyone in the conference.
Take the +1000 now, as Virginia Tech will only become more polished on offense as the season goes along. There is a potential hedge spot against Duke later in the ACC Tournament.
Players to Watch
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) December 27, 2021
CONFIRMED – @mdevoe0 is a 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸𝒾𝒶𝓃 🔮
📺 ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/yMA6UigGKW
— Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball (@GTMBB) December 11, 2021
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) December 12, 2021
Buddy Boeheim said he’s a “bucket” after making a 3 😳 pic.twitter.com/XFZEsMQvuv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 21, 2021