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ACC Tournament Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in College Basketball

Updated Mar 8, 2021 · 1:23 PM PST

2021 ACC bracket
The 2021 ACC Tournament bracket
  • The first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament tips off Tuesday, March 9, with games at 2:00 pm ET, 4:30 pm ET, and 7:00 pm ET
  • The tournament’s winner, crowned on Saturday, March 13, receives an auto bid to March Madness; but several ACC teams will get there regardless
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

The ACC is one of college basketball’s powerhouse conferences. Even in an off year like this one, in which only three schools currently sit in AP’s top 25 (and none of those schools are Duke), the conference still has several teams that can make a deep run through March Madness.

But first, of course, they have to butt heads with each other. Here’s how the current ACC tournament odds look.

2021 ACC Tournament Odds

(Seed) Team Odds
(2) Florida State +230
(1) Virginia +310
(6) North Carolina +450
(7) Louisville +650
(3) Virginia Tech +650
(4) Georgia Tech +1000
(5) Clemson +2000
(10) Duke +2000
(8) Syracuse +4000
(11) Notre Dame +5000
(12) Pittsburgh +5500
(9) NC State +10000
(13) Miami (FL) +15000
(14) Wake Forest +20000
(15) Boston College +20000

Odds as of March 7th at FanDuel.

The Frontrunner

It might look a little odd to see that the ACC tournament’s 1-seed is not also the frontrunner for the odds, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. Conference records are not the be-all, end-all, and in this particular season, several teams played an abridged version of their conference schedule due to COVID-19 complications (for example, Florida State went 11-4 in the ACC, while Virginia went 13-4).

As it stands, the Seminoles are the favorites. They’re also #11 in the AP poll, which is higher than any other ACC school (Virginia is next at #21, followed by #22 Virginia Tech).

The Seminoles did not end their regular season how they wanted, dropping a surprise 83-73 decision to Notre Dame on the road as seven-point favorites. But they also boast fairly strong non-conference wins against Florida and Indiana.

In conference play, the Seminoles boasted the best effective field goal percentage for and against. They also allowed the lowest two-point percentage, while allowing the highest free throw rate. Against fellow top-six ACC teams (i.e. the teams seeded 2-6), Florida State was a rather pedestrian 4-3 this year.

The Challengers

Virginia, the 1-seed in the tournament, is the obvious challenger. After all, they’re the last school to be crowned as national champions (back in 2019), and the winning recipe is still present in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers might have lost to Florida State in their lone 2020-21 meeting β€” a crushing 21-point loss on Feb. 15 β€” but overall they are 4-2 against fellow top-six ACC schools. Virginia lacks impressive non-conference wins, but they did at least face the powerhouse #1 Gonzaga (don’t ask how that went).

North Carolina played some similarly tough non-conference opponents (#5 Iowa, #15 Texas) without finding success. The Tar Heels tend to run deep in this tournament, as they’ve reached the final six of the past nine times.

But this year’s team was the most turnover-prone in the conference (15th in turnover rate). They know how to defend (22nd in NCAA Division I in adjusted defensive efficiency), but other problems persist. Against top-six ACC schools, North Carolina went 1-4 … but that one win did come against Florida State just two weeks ago.

Dark Horse/Value Pick

No, sorry, it’s not Duke at +2000 here. Yes, it’s fun to imagine the Blue Devils running the table, given that it’s now their only path to the NCAA tournament, but that’s not happening. Dream on, Duke fans.

Instead, we’re here to discuss Georgia Tech (+1000), a team that wrapped up its season on a six-game heater. Only one of those wins came against a top-six ACC team, but hey, they can’t control that.

The Yellow Jackets check some boxes importance boxes to fit into this dark horse category: entering the tourney hot, have a win over the top team and playing with oodles of experience.

Georgia Tech is fourth in all of D-I in average experience (2.55 years/player). In addition to their win over Florida State, they played Virginia very close in two games (losing both by a combined 10 points). Watch out for this team.

Who to Ride?

Virginia is consistently one of the most polished teams in D-I, and they are our pick to win the ACC tournament.

Virginia’s path to the ACC title game includes facing either Syracuse or NC State, likely followed by Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers are 4-1 against those teams this season.

From there, perhaps a rematch with Florida State. Is Virginia’s loss to Florida State from earlier this season a bit concerning? Yes, but it’s just one game β€” and if anyone can make adjustments to help a team learn from that, it’s Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett.

For their value, their place in the conference, and their tournament experience as a school, we like the Cavaliers.

Pick: Virginia +310

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