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2018 ACC Tournament Betting Lines and Best Futures

North Carolina(18 titles) @ Duke(20 titles)

  • Where: Barclays Center. Brooklyn, NY
  • When: March 6, 2018 12:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Virginia (+250), Duke (+300), North Carolina (+600), Clemson (+800), Virginia Tech (+1200), NC State (+1400), Florida State (+1600), Louisville (+2500), Notre Dame (+2500)

Sports opinion has become more and more polarized in the 21st century. “That quarterback is fantastic,” a fan says about his hometown NFL signal-caller. “No, the quarterback sucks,” replies a friend. Since the starting QBs of The Shield may be ranked 1-32 out of millions of aspiring players, the line between “fantastic” and “sucks” is apparently very thin. Almost no one remembers the word “average” anymore.

That’s fine for guys drinking in bars, but not for bettors. Especially in early March. NCAA conference tournaments are a tradition, and for some schools it’s their one shot to quality for March Madness. Yet while one pundit claims kids are playing their hearts out in the ACC or SEC tournament, another dismisses the entire ritual as a half-speed practice outing…at least for the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world.

Guess what? The truth is in the middle. NCAA tournament favorites won’t ask their athletes to play hurt, play too many minutes or sacrifice life and limb. There’s too much at stake later in March. But that doesn’t mean the big shots aren’t playing hard. A conference title win is not only an extra trophy on the mantle, but it all but assures a #1 NCAA tourney seed and subsequent cake-walk in the first match-up.

Plus, nobody who has ever been to an ACC basketball city would deny that the league’s teams want to tear each other’s guts apart any time there’s a tip-off.

Who’ll be doing the most tearing at Barclays Center? Let’s take a look at futures odds and title chances for a train-load of highly-touted Atlantic Coast Conference cagers going into the ACC tournament.

Cavalier attitude

Virginia is a slight favorite (+250) to win the ACC title over Duke (+300). A glance at certain overall stats would seem to indicate problems for the Cavaliers – for instance the squad is ranked 311th in the country in total rebounding. But UV is actually winning everything in sight. The Cavs have lost only once since dropping a hard-fought 68-61 contest to rival West Virginia in early December.

Sophomore guard Kyle Guy leads the team with almost 15 points per game. But it’s a group defensive effort that has taken Tony Bennett’s team to an impressive 16-1 record in the ACC as of March 1st.

Virginia is capable of winning close games over tough conference foes, beating Louisville by a point in their most recent outing. Other games have seen their opponents absolutely shut down, unable to score 20 points in a half. Players like junior center Jack Salt (6’10” and 250 lbs) are physically punishing on the inside.

Is there a flaw? Apart from a methodical offense that won’t dazzle on the fast break, maybe not. If anything, gamblers are looking at Virginia’s record and thinking that an ACC tournament championship or lack thereof won’t affect the school’s March Madness seed too much. UV’s motivation to win will be all about proving naysayers wrong.

Wager on the Virginia Cavaliers to win the ACC tournament at Barclays Center and get a 50% sign-up bonus from Bet Online.

Carolina cagers

Duke and North Carolina are a combined 46-14 in 2017-18. Coach K’s Blue Devils are at 3/1 futures odds to win the ACC bracket, and UNC could be an even more popular bettor’s pick at (+600). But each program is going through a controversy at the worst possible time.

The Tar Heels’ highly-touted freshman Jalek Felton has withdrawn from UNC after a strange legal battle behind the scenes. There’s no shocking clip of Felton drinking, punching anyone or mouthing off, which could be why the story isn’t making national headlines.

There’s not even a clear media narrative as to the specific alleged misconduct, but Roy Williams doesn’t seem ruffled to see Felton go. How does the dressing room feel about it? Similar to March ’17, the team will have to work through some distractions while feeding Joel Berry II the ball at the top of the key. The senior is healthy (thank goodness) and scoring at over an 18 ppg clip.

Duke University is not losing a player. But their consensus most-talented forward Marvin Bagley III is taking big-time heat for selfish play. Coach K’s squad is its usual disciplined, emotional animal in 2018, but when Bagley and fellow star Grayson Allen are on the court together, the team tends to struggle as if the backup 5 were on the floor.

Bagley won’t pass the basketball, and Allen can’t make magic if he’s not involved. Especially at (+300), Duke is not a tasty wager…at least not for the tournament at hand.

Catholics vs Canes

Virginia’s one-dimensional game and the problems at Chapel Hill and Durham put more value on the underdogs of the tourney, such as Clemson or NC State. No disrespect to the Tigers or the Wolfpack, but we’re liking another pair of teams to surprise in Brooklyn.

Miami’s odds are shrinking shorter at (+1000) after a blazing late-winter campaign. The Hurricanes’ hoops revival hit a peak on February 28th as the Canes beat UNC 91-88 on JaQuan Newton’s running 3-point bomb with time running out.

The triumph has energized fans of The U, but more importantly the Hurricanes have a deep roster that can ball. Miami beat Virginia 59-50 late in the season, out-defending the kings of defense in the process. Freshman guard Chris Lykes was 50% from the field against the Cavaliers, and hit the 50% mark again in the win over UNC.

Notre Dame is also a solid long-shot pick at (+2500). At 18-12 overall, the school is not a lock to participate in the NCAA tournament. They could sorely use a conference title or at least an appearance in the ACC final.

Can the Fighting Irish pull it off?

Not on paper. But postseason tournaments usually come with a surprise showing from a school deep in the pack, and UND has been excellent outside of a brutal 7-game losing streak in mid-season. Bonzie Colson is as steady and versatile as any collegiate cager and is averaging 20+ points per game, but the squad will also look to senior guard Matt Farrell to make clutch treys against the ACC’s top seeds.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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