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ACC Opening Weekend Betting Preview

I know Ty, I know. You all put up 100 and cleared the over

NCAA Basketball: Marshall at Virginia Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

So now the fun begins. Enough with out of conference mismatches. The ACC season is here. And with it we get seven games each weekend from now until March. Giddy up, let’s go.

Saturday

Syracuse @ Notre Dame
KP: Notre Dame +1, O/U 135
Vegas: Notre Dame +2, O/U 136

These are two teams I’ve not been high through the season and my betting has reflected that. But what to do when they play each other? While I don’t like Syracuse, they’re still on a tier above the Irish. Especially without Rex Pflueger, Notre Dame just isn’t very good this season. With only two points to cover, the Orange come away with the win.

Pick: Syracuse -2

Boston College @ Virginia Tech
KP: Virginia Tech -16, O/U 142
Vegas: Virginia Tech -16, O/U 143

Virginia Tech is very good this season. The inefficient, up and down nature of their game from years past is gone. The Hokies are intentional on offense and most importantly actually playing defense (and pretty good at it). But 16 points in the ACC against a team with Ky Bowman is a very tall order. While they have let me down to this point in the season, I still like the Eagles and expect them to finish closer to the middle of the ACC than the bottom. This one won’t be in doubt late, but BC will do enough at the end to cover.

Pick: Boston College +16

North Carolina @ Pittsburgh
KP: Pittsburgh +9, O/U 153
Vegas: Pittsburgh +8.5, O/U 155

I’m really struggling with this game. The line makes me worry. Winning on the road in the ACC is tough, but I think UNC is significantly better than Pitt. I would think the line would be higher, which makes me inclined to take the Tar Heels. But there is something that gives me pause. Something tells me that Jeff Capel can help his team keep it close against his old rival. That being said, 8.5 points isn’t enough for me to take the Panthers. Therefore, I think the total is where to attack. Both teams like to run on offense, but can lock it down and slow it down on defense. I think if Capel wants to keep this one close, he slows it down on offense as well. 155 is a big number, 82-73 implied. UNC might hit 82, and get the cover, but this one goes under because of Pitt.

Pick: Under 155

Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech
KP: Georgia Tech -8, O/U 136
Vegas: Georgia Tech -7.5, O/U 136

Can we just skip this game? No? Bummer. I’ll keep it simple as 7.5 points is a lot for a bad ACC team to cover. Georgia Tech is a bad ACC team.

Pick: Wake Forest +7.5

Florida State @ Virginia
KP: Virginia -9, O/U 131
Vegas: Virginia -8.5, O/U 130

On to the Hoos and the headline game of the ACC weekend. Unfortunately the under train derailed Monday in Virginia’s 100-64 thumping of Marshall. But that was due more to Virginia playing out of their minds on the offensive end and Marshall getting to play the last half of the second half with Virginia’s starters primarily on the bench. I think the analysis still held. I was hoping for a market reaction and the line to open above KenPom’s projection of 131, but alas it’s still right there around 130/131 (depending on when/where you look). In their last seven matchups going back to Virginia’s emergence on the national scene, these two teams have combined for more than 118 points only once. While each team is in the top 25 of offensive efficiency, these games tend to be physical, slower, and low scoring. Get back on the train and take the under.

Pick: Under 131

Clemson @ Duke
KP: Duke -16, O/U 152
Vegas: Duke -15.5, O/U 152

Last week we were on the over in Clemson’s win over Lipscomb based on the fact that they’ve gone away from their slower pace from recent years. I expect that to continue and they won’t be able to slow down the Blue Devils in Durham. This is the type of game at home where Duke rolls and I don’t expect Clemson to be able to keep up.

Pick: Duke -15.5

Sunday

Miami @ Louisville
KP: Louisville -5, O/U 141

I still haven’t been able to figure out Miami this season. They came into the season with lots of talent and obviously they’re very well coached. But I haven’t seen it. Perhaps Dewan Hernandez’s eligibility issues were a distraction up until this point and with those resolved (albeit the ruling going against the Hurricanes), Miami can get back to playing like we thought they would coming into the season. I’ll wait a couple games until they show me something. Give me Louisville at home

Pick: Louisville -5

Last Week: 2-2
Season Total: ATS (10-8), O/U (9-6), Total (19-14)