RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Break out the alumni tees, the free throw distractions and clear your throat for yelling — college basketball season is back!
Betting odds were released Monday on who is expected to be crowned Atlantic Coast Conference champions and the Duke Blue Devils are the favorite.
With another elite recruiting class, expectations for Duke are high — of course. The Blue Devils opened back in September as +250 odds to win the ACC’s regular-season title, narrowly edging out defending National Champion Virginia’s +275 odds.
Now, as the season is set to begin, oddsmakers have widened the gap between Duke and UVA. Duke maintains their +250 odds, while Virginia and Louisville are tied for second at +400 odds.
One thing to beware of: Duke has not won the ACC’s regular-season crown since the 2009-10 season. They would go on to win the ACC tournament and the National Championship that season.
Defending regular-season champion North Carolina (albeit a tie with UVA) sits fourth in oddsmakers’ minds at +600 odds. North Carolina has won three of the last four regular-season ACC titles.
Mike Krzyzewski’s team will look to bounce back after an Elite Eight loss last season. But as has been the case in recent Duke memory, the Blue Devils will have to do it with another inexperienced roster.
Duke has reclaimed the top spot in many minds for the best recruiting class and most of the highly-touted recruits will start and play major minutes this year.
This team, however, doesn’t maintain the hype of last season’s team with Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish — all of which were top-10 picks in the NBA Draft, but there is no denying their revolving door of talent.
North Carolina also did well on the recruiting trail and coach Roy Williams will likely lean on his big-time freshmen to lead the way this year — something that is notoriously uncharacteristic of a Roy Williams–coached team.
Kevin Keatts’ N.C. State Wolfpack sits in 8th among the odds with +2,000. If you believe the Wolfpack’s motley crew of transfers, freshmen and program mainstays can take the crown, a $100 bet will net you $2,000, plus your money back.
The No. 4 Blue Devils kick-off their regular season with a showdown against No. 3 Kansas on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
North Carolina and N.C. State will look to get head starts as both teams open against ACC opponents.
N.C. State plays Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. while No. 9 North Carolina plays Notre Dame on Wednesday at 7 p.m.