Can any team dethrone mighty Clemson in the ACC? Based on preseason conference championship odds, it doesn’t look promising.
Clemson’s run in conference play in recent years has been downright historic. The Tigers have won five straight ACC championships, losing only two conference games in the process. That’s an absurd 38-2 record in that span, a record that balloons to 43-2 when you include the ACC title game.
Entering 2020, Clemson returns another loaded roster, highlighted by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and is far and away the favorite to win another title with -625 odds on BetMGM. That means you’d have to wager $625 to win $100.
No team in the nation is more heavily favored to win its conference than Clemson. But if you think 2020 is the year the Tigers get upset, there is some serious monetary value on the board through the rest of the league.
Full ACC conference title odds, via BetMGM
North Carolina: +1400
Florida State: +2500
Virginia Tech: +3000
Wake Forest: +5000
NC State: +8000
Boston College: +15000
Georgia Tech: +25000
Value plays come from the ACC Coastal
If you’re looking to make a value play, you have to look to the ACC Coastal, right? Clemson might face some resistance from Florida State and Louisville in the Atlantic, but the winner of the Coastal will get its chance to square off against Clemson (should it win the division again) in the ACC title game.
While BetMGM views Miami as the Coastal favorite, teams like North Carolina at 14-1 and especially Virginia Tech at 30-1 may be better plays. After a rough start in 2019, Virginia Tech won six of its final seven ACC games to close out the year and looks like a team that will rise back up the ACC pecking order in 2020. North Carolina, in its second season under Mack Brown, is also attracting plenty of preseason hype — especially with burgeoning star Sam Howell entering his sophomore season at QB.
And if you come to the conclusion that betting against Clemson — or betting on Clemson for a meager payout — is a bad investment, BetMGM offers divisional title odds as well.
Florida State: +1000
Boston College: +5000
NC State: +5000
Wake Forest: +8000
North Carolina: +320
Virginia Tech: +400
Georgia Tech: +2500
Miami, in its second year under Manny Diaz and with Houston transfer D’Eriq King set to take over at quarterback, is the favorite to win the Coastal on BetMGM.
But the Coastal is as unpredictable a division as there is in college football. There has been a different winner in seven consecutive seasons. Duke won the division in 2013 before it went to Georgia Tech in 2014, North Carolina in 2015, Virginia Tech in 2016, Miami in 2017, Pittsburgh in 2018 and finally Virginia — the only team that hadn’t won it — in 2019.
The Cavaliers, who lost star quarterback Bryce Perkins to graduation but added Mississippi State transfer Keytaon Thompson at the position, have 9-1 odds to repeat.
Best bet: Virginia Tech to win ACC Coastal (+400)
I really like the direction Louisville is headed under Scott Satterfield and would likely have the Cardinals as the second-best team in the conference if I were to power rank the teams today, but Clemson is too great of a roadblock to overcome in the Atlantic.
In the Coastal, I’m skeptical Miami is going to all of a sudden turn it around after a rough first year with Diaz in the fold, so I’ll look to Virginia Tech to win the division. I considered North Carolina here, but I’m not sure all of the hype around the Tar Heels is quite justified yet. UNC is undoubtedly on a sharp upward trend, but I like the value I’m getting on the Hokies here much better.
The Hokies will play UNC in Chapel Hill, but avoid Clemson and Florida State and get Miami and Virginia at home late in the year.
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