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Duke Opens as ACC Regular-Season Favorite at +250; UNC Third at +450

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Sep 10, 2019 · 8:22 PM PDT

Duke Blue Devils Cameron Crazies
Duke hasn't won an ACC regular-season title since 2010 but are the early chalk for the 2020 crown. Photo by adamglanzman (Flickr).
  • Duke is the early favorite to win the ACC this season, followed by Virginia and UNC
  • The Blue Devils haven’t won a regular-season title since 2010 and have to replace three top-10 NBA picks
  • Who’s the best bet to win the ACC crown in 2020?

Expectations are always high for the Duke Blue Devils and this season is no exception. Duke is the early favorite to win the ACC with +275 odds, narrowly ahead of the reigning national champs from Virginia  (+275) and well in front of arch-rival UNC (+450).

Odds to Win Regular-Season ACC Title in 2020

Team Odds
Duke Blue Devils +250
Virginia Cavaliers +275
North Carolina Tar Heels +450
Louisville Cardinals +600
Florida State Seminoles +1200
Syracuse Orange +1600
NC State Wolfpack +2000
Virginia Tech Hokies +2500
Clemson Tigers +2500
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +5000
Boston College Eagles +5000
Miami Hurricanes +5000
Wake Forest Demon Deacons +10000
Pittsburgh Panthers +10000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +10000

*Odds taken on 09/10/19.

The Blue Devils’ 2020 National Championship odds are the second-shortest on the board. They are one of four ACC teams listed inside the top-10. After a down season in 2018-19, all signs point to the ACC being the best conference in college basketball once again, but is Duke a worthy favorite?

Big Shoes to Fill

Mike Krzyzewski’s squad is looking to bounce back from a disappointing Elite Eight exit but will need to do so with another inexperienced roster. Aside from sophomore Tre Jones, the Blue Devils will likely start four freshmen and those new faces will have some pretty big shoes to fill.

Gone are three top-10 NBA picks, including generational talent Zion Williamson. ESPN Bracketology still predicts Duke as a number-one tournament seed, but outside shooting will once again be a problem.

Jones is a career 26% shooter from three, which will force the Blue Devils to rely heavily on their newcomers. Perhaps freshmen like Matthew Hurt will make a smooth transition at the next level, but the lack of experience on this roster is concerning. Duke hasn’t won a conference title since 2010, and it would make sense to find a deeper team with longer odds to put money on.

The Other Contenders

The Blue Devils aren’t the only inexperienced ACC program with short conference championship odds. Both Virginia and UNC are much younger this season than in years past, which presents a lot of uncertainty. The Cavaliers lost Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter to the NBA, while the Tar Heels said goodbye to six core players, four of which were upperclassman.

North Carolina does boast a dynamite freshmen class, and you can bet Virginia will be a contender no matter who’s on the roster thanks to head coach Tony Bennett. You could make a case for either school to win the ACC, but if you’re looking for value, the next team down the board looks too good to pass up.

Louisville Is Championship Calibre

Louisville is a top-5 preseason team that will be bolstered by a top-12 recruiting class. Forwards Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch opted to return to college instead of turning pro, and the Cardinals solved their point guard conundrum by adding transfer Lamarr Kimble.

They have a solid mix of young and experienced talent, and with Chris Mack calling the shots, this team looks like a force to be reckoned with.

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