After being anointed the top seed in the South Region, the Duke Blue Devils will make their 20th straight March Madness appearance sitting at strong 9-1 odds to win the NCAA Tournament at the online sportsbooks.
The Blue Devils lead all ACC teams on the March Madness odds despite their second-place regular season finish in the ACC standings and early exit from their conference tournament this past weekend.
Duke’s disappointing 74-64 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the ACC Tournament semifinals — while pegged as heavy 8.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com — ended their 12-game straight-up and four-game against-the-spread win streaks.
The No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers, who claimed the ACC regular season title with a 16-2 record, closely trail Duke with 10-1 odds to win the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers see their first tournament action in the South Region on Friday afternoon when they face the Belmont Bruins as early 16.5-point favorites.
The Cavs struggled down the stretch, losing two of their last three outright, including a 71-67 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament semifinals, and are just 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 games.
The ACC Tournament champion Fighting Irish follow at 25-1 on the March Madness odds. No. 3 Notre Dame opens the NCAA Tournament as 12.5-point favorites in their Round of 64 Midwest Region matchup with the No. 14 Northeastern Huskies.
The Irish enter the tourney as one of the nation’s hottest teams, going 8-1 SU in their last nine games, 7-2 ATS, including three outright wins as betting underdogs.
The No. 4 Tar Heels begin March Madness action at 40-1 odds, well back of the 12-1 odds they sported at the start of the season. UNC is a middling 7-7 SU in their last 14, 8-6 ATS, but enjoyed a strong ACC Tournament despite dropping a 90-82 decision to Notre Dame in the title game.
The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals enter March Madness with distant 66-1 odds after posting SU losses in two of their last three games. The Cards are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight, but open as 8.5-point favorites in their Round of 64 matchup with No. 13 UC Irvine.
The No. 8 North Carolina State Wolfpack return to March Madness trailing at 200-1 at the online sportsbooks to win the Big Dance, but will take the court on Thursday night as two-point favorites in their Round of 64 meeting with No. 9 LSU.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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