The ACC has had a rough go this season, as only three teams will finish in the AP top 25 — No. 15 Florida State, No. 16 Virginia, and No. 22 Virginia Tech.
Duke and North Carolina, the conference’s traditional blue bloods, have had their fair share of struggles this season. Particularly on the road, where they have combined for a 6-13 record away from home.
While UNC will find themselves with a middling seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, Duke will likely need to play their way into the field of 68 this week in Greensboro and will need wins over Boston College, Louisville, and perhaps even Florida State if they hope to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
With neither team winning more than four games in a row all season, it’s hard to justify backing either blue blood in this spot.
New Names at the Top
Meanwhile, the class of the ACC currently resides in Charlottesville and Tallahassee, respectively.
The Cavaliers clinched their fifth regular-season conference title under head coach Tony Bennett on Saturday when they topped Louisville 68-58, clinching the No. 1 overall seed in this week’s conference tournament.
However, the value just isn’t there for the Wahoo’s. +225 for a team that not only struggles to score the basketball but has stumbled down the stretch — losing three of their last five.
They also find themselves with a very difficult draw, as they’ll have to go through a stingy Syracuse or NC State team before playing a red-hot Georgia Tech.
If you’re going chalk, I’d much rather go with Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles, as their size and versatility have proven to frustrate teams on both sides of the basketball.
+270 is a friendlier number as well, and they get to avoid some of the hotter teams in the conference like Georgia Tech, NC State, and Clemson until the final on Saturday.
The Value Play
The hottest team in the conference, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are a team to monitor as we head deeper into March.
Winners of six straight, the Jackets are buzzing at the right time. They have proven they can go toe to toe with the league’s best, knocking off FSU, UNC, Clemson, and Virginia Tech in the process, and have the star power to boot.
The duo of Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright is as good as any in the conference, as they both received All-ACC honors this past weekend. Wright was even named the ACC player of the year, averaging an impressive 18 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Getting the right number will be important for buyers, as the Jackets are anywhere from +1000 to +2500 to take home the ACC crown.
But regardless, this Georgia Tech team has all the makings of a second-weekend team, and that should come to the limelight this week in Greensboro.
Up with the White and Gold.