2013-14 College Basketball Betting Preview: Atlantic Coast Conference

ACC Betting Odds Preview

The college basketball season starts on Nov. 8 and it’s time to take a brief look at each major conference and some of the changes that took place in the offseason. We’ll take a betting odds look at each major basketball team, with their strengths and weaknesses. College basketball offers great betting opportunities for sports fans. Below, we’ll look at theAtlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which includes one school playing in their last season before moving to the Big 10 next season (Maryland). Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the conference this season and next year, Louisville moves to the ACC to make this the best basketball conference in the country. Next season, Louisville heads to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers is off to the Big 10. Here is a preview of the AAC

Atlantic Coast Conference
1)Duke Blue Devils (29-7 SU, 15-3 ACC, 21-11-1 ATS, 13-17-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 12-1
Strengths:
Duke is loaded as usual, with another great recruit in Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound freshman who is expected to be the next great Duke small forward, who will probably be gone next season. Junior Quinn Cook (11.7 points, 5.3 assists) does a nice job at the point, while sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon (6-4, 190), might be two-and-done if he can improve on his 11.6 points per game. 

Weaknesses:
The Blue Devils lost Mason Plumlee (17.1 points, 10 rebounds), Seth Curry (17.5 points) and Ryan Kelly (12.9 points). That’s a lot of points and experience. Sophomore Marshall Plumlee is the third brothter to play and the biggest, but has to prove himself after scoring just two points as a redshirt freshman. Josh Hairston (6-8, 235) will have to.step up in the post. This is a very talented team with terrific guards as usual but some questions in the post.

Outlook: The additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh will make this a tougher league in more ways than one. Duke will have to toughen up.

2)Syracuse Orange (30-10 SU, 11-7 Big East, 20-16 ATS, 15-19 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 33-1
Strengths:
The Orange move to the ACC from the Big East. Jim Boeheim brings in talent every year and has three starters returning but loses his top player in point guard Michael-Carter Williams (11.9 points, 7.3 assists). The Orange can always score the basketball (70.4 points) and that matchup zone defense (58.7 points allowed) is tough because of their length. Senior forward C.J. Fair (14.5 points, 7 rebounds) leads the way. 

Weaknesses:
Freshman Tyler Ennis has to replace Carter-Williams. He’s an excellent playmaker and is a quality floor leader. Trevor Coney (6-4, 185) will get more time to replace guard Brando Triche (13.6 points). Wing Michael Gbinije (6-7, 200) is a Duke transfer who fits this zone perfectly and is a very good athlete.

Outlook: The league is up for grabs and with players like Fair and this tough zone, Syracuse will be very tough to beat this season.

3)North Carolina Tar Heels (25-11 SU, 12-6 ACC, 21-13 ATS, 16-18 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds:  18-1
Strengths:
The  Tar Heels were a team that could score on anybody last season but they didn’t always defend (69.2 points allowed). They do return forward James Michael McAdoo (14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds), a rare senior with talent, who returned to school. At the point, Marcus Paige (8.2 points, 4.6 assists) returns and he steadied the position as a freshman. 

Weaknesses:
Wing P.J. Hairston (14.6 points) might be North Carolina’s best player but is also its most troubled. Nobody is sure when he’ll return to the court after he had traffic incidents last June. The loss of Reggie Bullock (13.9 points) will hurt their outside shooting. 

Outlook:
The Tar Heels are usually in the mix and will go pretty far depending on Hairston’s situation. 

4)Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-10 SU, 11-7 Big East, 16-16 ATS, 15-14 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 100-1
Strengths:
The Fighting Irish move from the Big East to the ACC. Mike Brey’s club is steady as usual, led by point guard Eric Atkins (11.2 points, 5.5 assists), who rarely sits down. Notre Dame turns it over just 11.2 times per game so they are about controlling the tempo. Freshman V.J. Beachem (6-8, 185) should be able to contribute right away. Guard Jerian Grant (13.3 points) along with Atkins gives the Irish one of the best backcourts in the league.

Weaknesses:
Notre Dame loses big man Jack Cooley (13.1 points, 10.1 rebounds), who was a beast in the middle. Senior Garrick Sherman (6-10, 240) and sophomore Zach Auguste (6-10, 230) will have to step up. Tom Knight (6-10, 248) started 15 games last year and is ready to emerge. 

Outlook:
Notre Dame is often overlooked but the backcourt is smart and this team is well-coached. They won’t be a walk-over in their first year.

5)Virginia Cavaliers (23-12 SU, 11-7 ACC, 18-13-1 ATS, 13-11-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 75-1
Strengths:  
Tony Bennett’s squad took a leap last season and with some talent back, including senior forward Joe Harris (16.3 points), this is a team that could surprise. They also add sophomore forward Anthony Gill (6-8, 231), who started 26 games for South Carolina as a freshman (7.4 points). Sophomore Mike Tobey (6-11, 245) battled mono and a broken nose and still was productive at times. The bcakcourt is led by sophomore wing Justin Anderson (7.6 points), who averaged 19 points in three NIT games.Senior Akil Mitchell (6-8, 233) was the most improved player last year, averaging 13.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. 

Weaknesses:
The Cavs have to replace point guard Jontel Evans (4.2 points, 4.8 assists), but not a lot else. They averaged just 64.2 points per game but turned it over only 11.2 per game.New point guard Malcolm Brogdon is in the mix along with lefty Devon Hall. 

Outlook:
Virginia needs to take the next step up and make the NCAA Tournament. Finding a steady point guard to run this offense will be the key.

6)Pittsburgh Panthers (24-9 SU, 12-6 Big East, 12-14 ATS, 14-8 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 100-1
Strengths: 
Pittsburgh moves to the ACC and Jamie Dixon’s club took care of the basketball last year, turning it over just 11 times per game. They do return sophomore guard James Robinson (6.1 points, 3.5 assists) and big man Talib Zannz (6-9, 230), who averaged 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds last year. 

Weaknesses:
They need to find some scoring. Last year, they averaged 69.2 points per game. This year, they need to find some players to put the ball in the basket as they lost guard Tray Woodall (11.5 points) and forward J.J. Moore (8 points) per game). Rutgers big man Derrick Randall (6-8, 240) adds toughness, but not a lot of points. They also need to find a point guard to replace Woodall. Robinson and freshman Josh Newkirk (6-1, 175) are the leading candidates. 

Outlook:
The Panthers will be physically tough to play and they did shoot 47.2 percent from the field last year. But they won’t outscore a lot of teams.

7)Maryland Terrapins. (25-13 SU, 8-10 ACC, 17-13-1 ATS, 14-15-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 200-1
Strengths:
Maryland returns three starters including Dez Wells (13.1 points), who will have to move to point guard early in the season as Seth Allen (7.8 points) recovers from a broken foot. Maryland has some good young talent led by sophomore Jake Layman (5.5 points), a 6-foot-9 sharpshooter and sophomore Charles Mitchell (5.5 points, 5.4 rebounds). They also have a talented transfer in 6-foot-9 shooting forward Evan Smotrycz, who averaged 7.7 points at Michigan two years ago. 

Weaknesses:
The loss of Allen and early departure of center Alex Len (2 blocks per game) could really damage their NCAA Tournament hopes. Freshman Roddy Peters will need to play a lot of minutes at the point and they need sophomore Shaquille Cleare (6-9, 260) and freshman Damonte Dodd (6-9, 240) to step up for Len.

Outlook:
The Terps are a borderline NCAA tournament team, who have not made the big dance yet under Mark Turgeon, who is in his third season. If they can find some stability in the backcourt, they have a chance to do some damage because Wells and Nick Faust are very athletic.

8)Boston College Eagles (16-17 SU, 7-11 ACC, 15-12-2 ATS, 14-9-2 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 500-1
Strengths: 
The Eagles return five starters from a mediocre team coached by Steve Donahue. Junior Ryan Anderson (6-9, 216) is a player to build around. He averaged 14.9 points and 8.0 rebounds last year. The perimeter is really deep led by sophomore Olivier Hanlan (15.4 points, 39.4 percent 3-point). Up front, they also get some help from 6-foot-8 Alex Dragicevich (6.6 points, 34 percent 3-point).

Weaknesses:
This is still a young team that lacks an identity. Freshman Darryl Hicks, a 6-foot-4 guard is a player that can get to the rim, but is a streaky shooter. They have a promising player in 7-foot-1 Dennis Clifford, who averaged 8.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in his freshman season but then his averages dipped to 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds due to chronically bad knees. 

Outlook:
The Eagles have two very good players in Hanlan and Anderson, but the rest of the team has to step up in order for them to make the next step.

9)Florida State Seminoles (18-16 SU, 9-9 ACC, 13-18-1 ATS, 17-12-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 75-1
Strengths:
The Seminoles return 6-3 senior Ian Miller, one of the best ballhandlers on the team and a strong shooter, who has been hampered by injuries. His scoring average dropped from 10.3 points to 5.3 last season. Up front, senior Okaro White (6-8, 204) is  a versatile player who averaged 12.4 points last season. He can play in the post or on the perimeter. Freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes (6-3, 180) adds a sharpshooter to the backcourt. Another freshman, Brandon Allen (6-6), is a 22-year old who was a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants’ organization.

Weaknesses:
All-ACC player Michael Snaer is gone. They need good health from Miller and sophomore Devon Bookert (6.3 points), who was limited by a knee injury last season as a freshman point guard. A

Outlook:
The healthy Miller and Bookert could help push this team towards the middle of the ACC. 

10)Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (16-16 SU, 6-12 ACC, 14-15 ATS, 15-11 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 250-1
Strengths:
Georgia Tech returns four starters for a team that hopes to turn the corner this year under third-year coach Brian Gregory. Sophomore Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.9 points), a 6-foot-5 swingman had a solid freshman season and should only get better. He loves to get to the rim and also made the All-ACC Academic team. Sophomore Chris Bolden (6-3, 7.9 points) is another quality guard who the team can build around. Freshman Quinton Stephen is a 6-9 forwad with great length who should become a solid rebounder right away. 

Weaknesses:
The Yellow Jackets have a talented group, but they are in a tough league and they need to learn how to win consistently. They lack experienced depth and that’s a concern. Up front, Daniel Miller (7-0, 8.4 points) and 6-9 Kammeon Holsey (8.8 points) are solid players, but just pieces of the puzzle.

Outlook:
This will be an improved team but they are a year away from really competing in the ACC. 

11)North Carolina State Wolfpack (24-11 SU, 12-6 ACC, 21-13 ATS, 16-18 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 66-1
Strengths:
NC State lose a lot but they did have a strong recruiting class. Point guard Anthony Barber is a McDonald’s All-American. He’s a dynamic player who should fit Mark Gottfried’s up-temp offense. They also add LSU transfer Ralston Turner and junior college talent Desmond Lee, who averaged 20.3 points per game at New Mexico JC. Turner is an athletic 6-7 wing who averaged 9.1 points per game at LSU in 2011-12. Sophomore T.J. Warren (6-8, 12.1 points) will have to lead the team up front. 

Weaknesses:
The Wolfpack lose four starters from a 24-win team. This is going to be an inexperienced team that needs to develop chemistry.  

Outlook:
This is a tough league to learn on the fly. That’s what Barber has to do and the rest of the youngsters on this squad. 

12)Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-18 SU, 6-12 ACC, 16-12-1 ATS, 12-10-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 250-1
Strengths:
Wake Forest is led by Travis McKie, who at 6-7, 220, has the size to go inside or out. Greg McClinton is a four-star small forward, with great length and the ability to score in transition. McKie averaged 13.5 points and 7 rebounds last year. Devin Thomas (6-9, 245) averaged 9.1 points and 7.4 rebounds and showed that as a freshman that he’s more than just the younger brother of All-American sister Alyssa (at Maryland). 

Weaknesses:
The Demon Deacons lose C.J. Harris and he was their best player. This is not a very dynamic team and head coach Jeff Bzdelik is on the hot seat. They were 0-9 on the road in the ACC last year. They have to learn how to win on the road.

Outlook:
Wake Forest has been down for awhile. Unless McClinton becomes a star overnight, they’ll remain near the bottom of the ACC. .

13)Miami-Florida Hurricanes (29-7 SU, 15-3 ACC) 21-11-1 ATS, 13-17-1 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds:100-1
Strengths:
Jim Larranaga is one of the best coaches in the nation. He’ll have his work cut out for him as he lost his top six scorers including sophomore Shane Larkin to the NBA. Larkin could have lifted this team to a possible NCAA Tournament bid. But he’s gone and three-point specialist Rion Brown is one of the few experienced players back. Next year could be special when he adds Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, two double-digit scoring transfers, who have to sit out. This year, freshman point guard Emmanuel Lecomte (5-9) and 6-6 Davon Reed will have to play a lot of minutes.

Weaknesses:
This team lacks experience, depth and just about everything else. Tonye Jekiri is a 7-footer who played very little last season playing behind Reggie Johnson, Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji. He’ll have to play more minutes along with fifth-year senior Donnavan Kirk (6-9, 220), who played at Miami in 2010, transferred to Depaul for two seasons, graduated and then came back to Miami under the grad student transfer rule. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 boards last year and will have to play a big role here.

Outlook:
Larranaga will have to work miracles with this team. Don’t be surprised if they are very competitive but come up short in the end.

14)Virginia Tech Hokies (13-19 SU, 10-7 ACC 12-15-2 ATS, 14-9-2 O/U)
NCAA Championship Betting Odds: 250-1
Strengths:
Virginia Tech is led by senior Jarell Eddie, who averaged 12.3 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. Freshman Ben Emelogu is a 6-5 win who comes from Texas and can score from inside or out.

Weaknesses:
The Hokies have some talent up front led by Cadarian Raines (6.6 points, 6.4 rebounds) and 6-8 junior C.J. Barksdale (5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds). Raines has been hampered by foot injuries and Barksdale has been in and out of coach James Johnson’s doghouse. Barksdale was suspended for the first three games of the season. They have to replace national scoring leader Erick Green, who graduated.

Outlook:
The Hokies don’t have the talent level to compete with the top teams in the league and now the loss of Green will hurt them even more.

 

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