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ACC Games to Bet: Duke, Virginia Closing in on First Place

Notre Dame picked up just its fourth conference win of the season to move out of last place in the ACC standings in one of the two games played on Wednesday. Now the focus turns to the top of the standings with Duke and Virginia putting pressure on a North Carolina team that has lost two of its last three games.

The top four teams in the ACC are a combined 49-4 at home so keep that in mind when it comes to making NCAA basketball picks.

ACC Games to Bet: Duke, Virginia Closing in on First Place
The North Carolina Tar Heels Players - Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP

The Wake Forest-Virginia matchup might be the best of seven ACC games scheduled for Saturday. It is one of five games between teams with winning records.

Although Wake Forest is the only ACC team still undefeated at home, the Demon Deacons are just 2-6 on the road.

North Carolina fell four spots to No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and went from third to fifth in the USA Today coaches poll. Duke remains in the top 10 in both polls while Virginia broke into the top 25 at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 23 in the coaches poll.

North Carolina is 11th and Duke is 15th in the NCAA NET rankings, one of the tools used to select and seed the NCAA Tournament. No. 26 Clemson is the only other ACC team in the top 30.

When looking at the odds of winning March Madness, North Carolina North Carolina is tied for fifth at +1600 and has the best odds of winning the NCAAM championship among ACC teams. Duke is next among ACC squads at +2500.

Here’s a look at three ACC games to watch this weekend.



1. Wake Forest (16-8, 12-11-1 ATS) vs Virginia (19-6 SU, 14-10-1 ATS)

  • Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, noon ET
  • TV & Live Stream: ESPN2


While plenty of the focus, as is usually the case, might be on North Carolina and Duke, Virginia is just a game back in the ACC standings while Wake Forest is just two games back in the loss column.

When the teams met last month, Wake Forest rolled to the 19-point win in the lowest-scoring game between the teams in five years. Wake Forest also won the last road game against Virginia to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Cavaliers.

Hunter Sallis had 21 points and nine rebounds in the most recent win against the Cavaliers. Virginia’s starting five combined to shoot 10-for-38 in that game.

Before that 2022 win, Wake Forest hadn’t won at Virginia since 2010.

After returning to the top 25 in the national polls, Virginia lost at home to unranked Pittsburgh despite shooting 50% from the field.

Wake Forest is coming off an eight-point loss to Duke as the Demon Deacons are 0-2 against ranked teams.

Virginia is 9-4-1 against the college basketball spread at home while Wake Forest has covered in only two of eight road games.


2. Duke (19-5 SU, 13-10-1 ATS) vs Florida State (13-11 SU, 12-11-1 ATS)

  • Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m. ET
  • TV & Live Stream: ESPN


Since losing to rival North Carolina, Duke has won three games in a row, with the first two wins coming by double digits. The Blue Devils could move into first place in the ACC with a win and a loss by North Carolina.

Sophomore forward Mark Mitchell is averaging 17.7 points on 66% shooting during the winning streak for the Blue Devils.

Florida State is just 7-6 at home this season after losing its last three home games. The Seminoles have posted some impressive home wins in recent seasons. It should be noted that leading scorer Jamir Watkins is averaging only 12.6 points on 38% shooting at home.

The last time Duke came to Tallahassee, Florida State came away with the 79-78 win as a 5.5-point favorite. However, Duke has won seven of the last eight matchups with the Seminoles and the last three games landed over the total.

Florida State is 5-3 against the Las Vegas odds on the road. Duke is tied for the ACC lead by covering in nine home games this season.


3. North Carolina State (15-9 SU, 10-13-1 ATS) vs Clemson (17-7 SU, 14-10 ATS)

  • Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, 7:45 p.m.ET
  • TV & Live Stream: CW Network


Clemson goes after its seventh win in a row against North Carolina State as two of the four teams sitting in a tie for fifth in the ACC standings collide on Saturday.

North Carolina State is just 3-4 on the road after losing to Wake Forest earlier this week.

DJ Horne had 31 points in that game and he is averaging 26.5 points over his last four games.

Clemson outscored Miami 24-3 to end the game to pick up a huge home win on Wednesday as Chase Hunter and Joseph Girard combined to hit eight 3-pointers in the 17-point win.


Four of the last five games between Clemson and North Carolina State went under the total.

Seven of Clemson’s home games landed over the total while just three road games played by the Wolfpack went over the total.



Questions Of The Day


Which ACC team has the best record against the spread so far this season?

Pittsburgh is 14-8-2 against the Las Vegas odds this season. In conference play, Florida State leads the way with an 8-5 ATS record followed by Louisville and Virginia at 8-5-1.

Which team has the longest active winning streak in the ACC?

Pittsburgh has won four games in a row to move into a tie for fifth place in the ACC standings.

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