College Basketball Betting – ACC Tournament Preview 2020

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

This hasn’t been your typical college basketball season so why should things change once the tournaments get underway? The ACC has been the marquee conference in college basketball for the last...oh I don’t know, 25-30 years. Duke and North Carolina have combined for 39 of the 66 tournament championships with one of those schools competing for the title every year since 1997. It’s likely up to Duke to continue that run since the Tar Heels enter the tourney as the No. 14 seed. If you’re familiar with the ACC that’s as low as it gets. Georgia Tech is banned from postseason play due to NCAA rules violations. The Dookies are favored to win the tournament, but their inconsistent play, especially near the end of the regular season, leaves the door open for someone else to raise the hardware on Saturday night.

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament
Dates and Times: March 10-14, 2020, various
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
Opening College Basketball Odds: Duke +250
ACC Tournament TV Coverage: ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2

Odds Analysis

There’s a reason why lower seeds don’t have a lot of success in the tournament. The No. 10 and lower seeded teams have to win five games in five days to be crowned champion. And in a conference like this it’s just not happening. Even during a down year the top of the conference is loaded and the double-bye to the top four squads puts them in a much better position to emerge victorious. Not to say it can’t or won’t happen, but the odds are stacked against Virginia Tech, Pitt, Wake Forest and North Carolina. Those teams all play in the first round on Tuesday.

The lowest seeded team with the best chance of advancing is probably Boston College. Not because the Eagles are good, but because they benefit the most from Georgia Tech’s absence. Instead of playing in the opening round No. 10 BC gets a pass to the second round where it plays Notre Dame. The teams split the season series with each game decided by a single point.

It’s hard to envision any team other than one of the top four coming out with a victory on Saturday. Florida State earned the top-seed by going 16-4 in league play and the Noles’ 26 overall wins are the most in the ACC entering the tournament. No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Louisville and No. 4 Duke all ended league play at 15-5 and had between 23 and 25 regular season victories. The next closest team in the league standings was Georgia Tech and the Jackets aren’t eligible.

The Contenders

Duke certainly is the most talented team in the ACC, which is why the Blue Devils are favored to add to their record number of tournament titles. They are also the most inconsistent. They could win the whole thing or just as easily be eliminated in their first game. But when it comes tournament time I’d much rather have the talent. Vernon Carey Jr. is a dominant force inside averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. Grizzled veteran Tre Jones is skilled on both ends of the floor and will impart wisdom on his group of one-and-done freshmen.

While Duke is the most talented team Florida State is the most balanced club. The Noles captured their first ever ACC regular season crown by winning six of their last seven games while ranking in the upper half of most statistical categories. Their overall depth will cause opponents problems, especially in the quarterfinal round against either Clemson or Miami who played the night before. And the Noles earned their regular season title by sweeping Louisville, splitting with Virginia and losing a close game at Duke.

It might be time to rethink the Virginia Cavaliers. They are the hottest team in the ACC with eight straight wins entering the tournament. And they are the defending national champions. The Cavs are well-coached, play shutdown defense and they don’t beat themselves, which is why they had so much success. However, some might call them lucky with seven of their eight wins during the current streak by three points or less. They know how to win close games, but can they keep it up in the tournament?

The Longshots

UNC showed some fight at the end of the season winning three in a row before bowing to Duke. They lost a bunch of close games and have their top player Cole Anthony back. He might make a difference in the early rounds, but there are too many holes to fill for a complete run. NC State is a nice longshot pick. The Wolfpack beat Duke by 22 points just a few weeks ago and they are hungry for wins to pad their resume. There’s nothing like a desperate team that has enough talent to make a run.

Bet the ACC Tournament at BookMaker.eu

I can’t see a team outside the top four winning the tournament. When it comes to who’s left it’s always a good idea to go with the most talented squad. That’s Duke in this case. I like FSU and their depth, but the Blue Devils showed what they can do in the final games getting prepped for the ACC Tournament.

College Basketball Prediction: Duke to win ACC Tournament

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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