The Duke Blue Devils enter the ACC tournament as +200 favorites – pacing everyone in the conference despite only claiming the No. 2 seed. Duke is the hottest team coming into the tourney with Coach K’s team winning six of its last seven, including victories over UNC and Clemson.
The recent surge by Duke came as a reaction to an injury sustained by Marvin Bagley, as Mike Krzyzewski decided to allow Grayson Allen to run the offense. This has brought out the best in the senior, with Allen averaging 22.4 points and 4.7 assists in the past seven. You should expect this to remain the same even with Bagley back in the lineup, as Allen’s shooting should clear out added room for his teammates to find looks.
Oddly enough, Virginia owns the second-best odds (+250) despite owning the No. 1 seed and going 17-1 in conference play – keep in mind its one loss came by a single point in overtime to an in-state rival. This is likely due to Duke’s recent play and the injury to Kyle Guy. Virginia’s leading scorer has been dealing with a knee injury over the last several games that has seen him score a combined 21 points in the past four outings – a concern for a team that has few offensive options.
Keep an eye on NC State (+1400), a team that is silently stalking behind the top tier of programs. The Wolfpack have won five of their last six games and own a high-tempo offense that ranks fourth in the ACC in points per game. You can easily conceive NC State making it to the semifinals – though a potential date with Clemson in the semis is a tough contest – but then the Wolfpack will likely need to prove they can score enough points against Virginia’s No. 1 ranked defense in the country.