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No. 2 Virginia Pegged As Fave To Win the ACC Tournament

ACC Tournament Betting Odds March 11, 2019

Arguably the strongest conference in college basketball, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s annual tournament will get underway this week and the Virginia Cavaliers are the front-runner to take the ACC title.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has Virginia (+125) followed by Duke (+150), North Carolina (+350), Virginia Tech (+1200), Florida State (+1600), Louisville (+3300), Clemson and Syracuse (+5000), NC State (+6600) and Miami (+20000) to round out the top 10.

Let’s take a look at why Virginia is the favorite, who can challenge the Cavaliers and a long-shot pick to win the ACC tournament:

Virginia’s Shooting and Defense Is On Another Level

Virginia’s only weakness is Duke. The Cavaliers have run the table against every other ACC team this season as they own the best scoring defense in the nation at 54.6 points per game while ranking third in three-point shooting proficiency at 41.5 percent. I think they have a great shot to win this tourney and the national championship but the issue may be location.

Virginia owns the best scoring defense in the NCAA.

The tournament is being played in Charlotte, which makes travel easy for Duke and North Carolina fans and takes away the neutral-court angle for the Cavaliers. Virginia hasn’t had much difficulty playing on the road but it should be in consideration before placing a bet on the Cavaliers at +125. 

I think North Carolina offers the best value at +350 because in the Tar Heels’ lone game vs Virginia this year, they were close to pulling off the upset before Cam Johnson got hurt. UNC is the third-highest scoring team in the NCAA and is the best rebounding team at 43.9 per game. Sweeping Duke without Zion Williamson may not carry the weight that it should but they didn’t break his shoe, just Duke’s spirit.

As for the Blue Devils, I just don’t like their value at +150 because we don’t know what Zion we’re going to get. He may be rusty after missing the few weeks of conference play and the glaring issue for Duke is three-point shooting. Outside of that away game vs Virginia, Duke has been very poor shooting the ball and that was an issue even when Zion was at peak conditioning. But I won’t blame bettors for wanting to back Duke because when they’re rolling, they’re untouchable.

Are there Any Long shots To Bank On?

Maybe Florida State (+1600) or Syracuse (+5000) but those might be tough to bank on because if either of those teams makes it to the semifinals, they’ll likely have the same odds to win the tournament that they opened at. Florida State can play strong defense and has played each of these teams tough throughout conference play but I think its offense won’t be able to carry over when facing a team like Duke or Virginia that can lock down the perimeter.

Syracuse is an interesting case because the Orange have a lot of upperclassmen who can be physical and are battle-tested. They did beat Duke on its home floor this year so it’s not insane to think they can pull off an upset but I think you’d have just as good value to bet on game by game because they’ll likely be double-digit underdogs against the likes of Virginia, Duke or UNC. Save yourself the headache and stick with the top three teams to win the tourney and bet underdogs once you see who they match up with.

My Pick to Win the ACC Tournament

Virginia +125

It’s a chalk pick but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. The Cavaliers, in my opinion, are the best team in the country and they may not have to face Duke until the semis or the final, if at all. I think they should easily roll to the tourney championship and if bettors don’t feel comfortable laying money on Virginia at this stage, the Cavaliers moneyline will likely have similar value if they face Duke in the tournament.

That being said, you’re taking a risk with that approach because there’s a possibility that Duke doesn’t make it that far but based on this year’s results and potential matchups, Virginia is far and away the best option.

2018-19 College basketball: ACC Tournament odds
TeamOdds
Virginia Cavaliers+125
Duke Blue Devils+150
North Carolina Tar Heels+350
Virginia Tech Hokies+1200
Florida State Seminoles+1600
Louisville Cardinals+3300
Clemson Tigers+5000
Syracuse Orange+5000
NC State Wolfpack+6600
Miami Hurricanes+20000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+20000
Georgia Tech Bulldogs+25000
Boston College Eagles+30000
Pittsburgh Panthers+30000
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+30000

Odds as of March 11 at BetOnline

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The Duke Blue Devils are ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation and with conference tournaments about two months away, it’s no surprise to see them as a -160 favorite to win the ACC tournament in early March. However, they have only won one conference title since 2011 so is a bet on them the best value for your money?

Bovada has Duke as a -160 favorite followed by North Carolina at +375, Virginia at +450, Virginia Tech at +1100 and NC State at +1400 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard to win the ACC championship.

Blue Devils led by a fantastic freshman class

Duke has found a good balance between a high-flying offense and a stifling defense in the early going of the season that has catapulted it to the top of the AP poll. The Blue Devils are led by a three-headed monster in R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, all expected to be lottery picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, with Barrett and Williamson potentially being the first two picks.

Barrett, a forward from Canada, is leading the team with 22.9 points per game and is an all-around playmaker. Williamson, a forward from South Carolina, is a force around the net with his thunderous dunks as he averages 20.2 points per game and leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per game. Reddish, a forward from Pennsylvania, is a sharpshooter, hitting 34.1 percent of his three-point attempts and leading the team with 31 triples. As mentioned above, though, the Blue Devils won the 2017 ACC tournament and prior to that their most recent win had come in 2011 so there’s not much value at -160 but if there’s a team to do it, it would be this one.

Could the Cavaliers win back-to-back ACC tournaments?

Last season, Virginia captured its first ACC title since 2014 and its third all-time and now it is seeking its first-ever back-to-back championships. Then-sophomore guard Kyle Guy was the ACC tournament MVP in 2018 and he is the leading scorer for the Cavaliers with 15.8 points per game this year while shooting 48.2 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, they have a projected first-round pick in DeAndre Hunter, who is scoring 13.8 ppg and averages 5.1 rebounds, the second-best mark on the team.

But the offense isn’t the key to victory for them. It is the defense that is paving the way as they surrender the fewest points per game in the nation at 51.5, a figure that drops to 48.6 at home. Obviously, the biggest hurdle for the Cavs will be the Blue Devils, but Duke played Texas Tech (second-ranked defense) in December and was trailing with just over six minutes remaining and if Virginia can find a way to shut down the three-headed monster, the Cavs at +450 is the bet to make.

Here’s a look at the odds to win the ACC tournament:

2018-19 College basketball: ACC Tournament odds
TeamOdds
Duke Blue Devils-160
North Carolina Tar Heels+375
Virginia Cavaliers+450
Virginia Tech Hokies+1100
NC State Wolfpack+1400
Florida State Seminoles+1800
Syracuse Orange+1800
Clemson Tigers+3500
Louisville Cardinals+3500
Miami Hurricanes+5000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish+5000
Pittsburgh Panthers+6600
Boston College Eagles+6600
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+7500
Wake Forest Demon Deacons+15000

Odds as of January 8 at Bovada

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