For the very first time, the Atlantic Coast Conference will host its conference tournament in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center starting Tuesday with three first-round matchups.
Then the real fun begins Wednesday, with five of the top nine seeds taking the court, including the Duke Blue Devils, who are the +450 fourth choice (bet $100 to win $450) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark to earn the ACC’s automatic bid by winning the conference tournament on Saturday.
The Blue Devils (23-8, 11-7 ACC) earned the fifth seed in the tournament, which is quite disappointing considering they were the top-ranked team nationally in the preseason. Still, there looks to be a lot of betting value on head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team if you believe in them.
The Blue Devils would likely need to get past the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals (24-7, 12-6) and then likely the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (26-6, 14-4) just to reach the championship game.
The Tar Heels avoided getting swept by Duke with a 90-83 win in the regular-season finale on Saturday, pushing as a seven-point home favorite on the college basketball odds at online betting sites. North Carolina is the +190 favorite to win the ACC tournament for the second year in a row after edging the second-seeded Virginia Cavaliers 61-57 last year.
The Cavaliers (21-9, 11-7) are the No. 6 seed this season and seem to have an easier road to the finals than the Blue Devils despite being the lower seed.
Virginia is listed at +400 to win the ACC tournament along with Louisville and would face the third-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-8, 12-6) in the quarterfinals on Thursday with a second-round win against the 11th-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (17-14, 8-10) or 14th-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers (15-16, 4-14).
The second-seeded Florida State Seminoles (24-7, 12-6) then potentially lurk in the semifinals, and they are +650 to win the tournament.
The Fighting Irish are +1200 and could be a nice sleeper pick since they also won it two years ago as a No. 3 seed. Another long shot to consider is the eighth-seeded Syracuse Orange (18-13, 10-8), who probably need at least one more victory to solidify their status as an at-large team in the 2017 NCAA tournament field.
The Orange are listed at +2500 and have a lot of fans in the New York City area, as they enjoyed a ton of past success at Madison Square Garden when they were members of the original Big East.