Fading the ACC’s March Madness: Bad Teams and Low Talent

  • The ACC’s +1000 odds are the longest of any option at BetOnline for the conference that will win March Madness.
  • Betting against the ACC is the best bet based on a lack of top-end talent in the league that has caused teams to suffer in the polls.

CHARLOTTE - Many experts are saying that this season has been a down year for College Basketball in the ACC, with BetOnline's March Madness sportsbook backing up those claims. The conference has the longest odds out of all the Power Five conferences plus the AAC to cut down the nets in a month.

National Championship Conference Odds

  • Big 12 +250
  • AAC +350
  • SEC +400
  • Big Ten +450
  • Pac-12 +500
  • Field (Any Other Conference) +550
  • ACC +1000

What Happened to ACC Basketball?

When discerning the odds of the ACC winning the National Championship at the online March Madness sportsbook, it is hard for college basketball fans to not as "What happened to ACC Basketball?"

After all, the Atlantic Coastal Conference has consisted of nine of the last 21 National Champions (including Maryland in 2002).

One common rationale behind the ACC's drop-off and corresponding long odds is the loss of legendary coaches Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and Roy Williams at North Carolina over the past two seasons.

Both are coaching legends, but it is worth noting that in the last season that both were still at UNC and Duke, neither program was at its best.

The last season with both Coach K and Roy Williams in the ACC (2020-21) saw North Carolina finish fifth and Duke finish 10th.

That is to say, losing both legendary coaches surely hurt the conference’s performance some, but maybe not as much as some critics may suggest.

The main reason for the ACC's long odds at online sportsbooks is straightforward: there is a talent deficit in the ACC relative to other conferences that can be seen in recruiting and polls.

ACC Recruiting Struggles

Using 247sports' team recruiting rankings bettors can see how other Power Five conferences simply out-recruited the ACC in 2022.

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Duke featured the top-ranked recruiting class in the country, but in the two through 13 range (the distance between the ACC's top class and second-ranked class at Virginia) other conferences accumulated more of the high-end talent and depth that sportsbooks deem necessary to win a National Championship.

NCAAM Conference Recruiting (Top 13)

  • ACC: Duke (1)
  • Big Ten: Ohio State (8), Indiana (10), Illinois (11), Michigan (12)
  • Big 12: Kansas (4), Texas (6)
  • Pac-12: USC (7), UCLA (13)
  • SEC: Arkansas (2), Alabama (3), Kentucky (5), Tennessee (9)

Comparing Top Teams In Each Conference

Recruiting classes do not guarantee results, but players that are looking to bet on March Madness will see that the recruiting advantages of other conferences have led to bettors getting more high-quality teams than they would if they bet on the ACC.

Grouping teams in the seven categories that BetOnline has for their March Madness special, players can see why the ACC has long odds to win the National Championship and should likely be faded based on the current AP poll.

NCAAM Conferences Rankings (Top 25)

  • Big 12 (+250): Kansas (3), Baylor (7), Texas (9), Kansas State (11), TCU (22)
  • AAC (+350): Houston (1)
  • SEC (+400): Alabama (2), Tennessee (12), Kentucky (23), Texas A&M (24)
  • Big Ten (+450): Purdue (5), Indiana (15), Maryland (21)
  • Pac-12 (+550): UCLA (4), Arizona (8)
  • Field - Any Other Conference (+550): Marquette (6), Gonzaga (10), UConn (14), Saint Mary's (17), San Diego State (18), Xavier (19), Providence (20)
  • ACC (+1000): Virginia (13), Miami (16), Pittsburgh (25)

Both Miami and Pittsburgh lost to unranked teams since the polls were last updated, so the rankings of the ACC teams will get worse and the odds will likely get longer in the future.