What’s getting lost in the mix during the heart of football season and Thanksgiving week? The start of college hoops! I’ll have you covered with best bets articles throughout the season, but it’s also good to have something from the preseason as reference for early in the season to get a grasp for different teams and conferences. So I’m breaking down each of the Power-Six Conferences with some useful betting info.
ACC College Basketball Odds
It could be somewhat of a down year in the ACC when it comes to star power. Duke doesn’t have any incoming talents like Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett, but when you look at the National Title odds, the Blue Devils and Cavaliers are still right there near the top. It’s a close call as to who the favorite really is in the conference, but I begrudgingly give the edge to Duke.
Virginia’s style and coaching will keep it competitive, but I just don’t think the talent is there. Last year, prior to the shutdown, there was a clear step back from the National Title team, and now even more talent departs from UVA.
What Duke did do is add a very deep, talented freshman class, headlined by Jalen Johnson. Duke might not be the best bet early in the season, as it has young pieces that need to adjust, which will be as difficult this year as ever. But in the end, I’ll take the talent to win out. Duke ranks third in KenPom, while UVA is down at 16th.
UVA is going to grind out games, but the offensive end is going to be like watching paint dry at times. If we were saying that back in the days of De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy, it’s going to be a whole lot worse this year. The Cavaliers finished last season just 42nd in KenPom, an indication of the lack of talent. Adding Sam Hauser from Marquette will help space the floor with a veteran shooter, rounding out an experienced starting five.
Given the state of college hoops this year, experience is going to be key early. If Virginia and Duke played today, I’d make UVA the favorite. But I expect that to change by March. UVA is worth backing early, but I’m expecting a letdown in the tournament.
FSU is coming off a tremendous season, winning the ACC in the regular season — which speaks to the down years for Duke and UVA. But we saw the Seminoles lose two lottery picks to the NBA, to only replace them with one prospect. Now, Scottie Barnes is one of the best recruits FSU has gotten in recent years, but he’ll take time to develop. Most people have FSU as the default third-best team in the ACC, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they finished anywhere 1-5.
UNC had its worst season in nearly 20 years last year, so it wasn’t very concerned with the season that was lost to COVID. I expect the perception here to be that the Tar Heels are coming off an awful season, and they just lost their best scorer in Cole Anthony to the NBA. But the down year really allowed Roy Williams to bring in one of his best classes yet, with five top-100 recruits. These kids may take time to come along, but once they find their groove alongside upperclassmen like Garrison Brooks and Leaky Black, expect a very strong showing.
I think the perception is that the Hurricanes are pretty far removed from the class of the ACC, with a KenPom down at 41st. I’m not so sure that’ll be the case, particularly in the early going. This is an extremely veteran team, led by a gritty senior point guard Chris Lykes. With a couple of decent recruits in Earl Timberlake and Matt Cross mixing in and hardly anybody being lost from last year’s roster, I’m expecting significant improvements. This is the type of team that can get going early.
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