- 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
|Duke Blue Devils||+250|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+450|
|Florida State Seminoles||+1200|
|NC State Wolfpack||+2000|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||+2500|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||+5000|
|Boston College Eagles||+5000|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||+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.
Hang banners. Win titles. Always the goal.
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) September 5, 2019
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.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) August 12, 2019
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.
Louisville has landed St. Joe’s grad transfer Lamarr Kimble. Huge pickup for Chris Mack and the Cardinals. Averaged 15.6 points and 2.8 assists per game this season.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 11, 2019
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.