The Clemson men’s basketball team suffered a setback earlier this week with a 62-54 road loss to Boston College on Tuesday. The Tigers were a 4.5-point favorite in that game but ultimately lost outright for the second time in the Atlantic Coast Conference season.
Clemson is now 18-5 and 10-2 in league play. If the season ended today, Clemson would win the ACC since Virginia is in second place with a 9-2 league record.
But obviously, the season doesn’t end today. In fact, we still have a month and eight games to determine a conference champion in this wide-open league.
FanDuel Sportsbook believes Virginia will ultimately win the ACC, as the Cavaliers are priced as a -220 favorite as of Thursday. This means one would have to wager $220 to profit $100 on Tony Bennett’s team to win the league crown.
Clemson appears to be Virginia’s biggest challenger, per the same betting market. The Tigers are priced at +320 to win the conference, which means a $100 wager would net a $320 payout. Every other team is listed at 11/1 or longer to win the ACC.
Because seven teams have at least seven league victories through a dozen games, this certainly feels more competitive than a two-team race. Ken Pomeroy’s latest projections have Virginia finishing 16-4 in ACC play, with Clemson ending up with a 14-6 clip to tie with Pittsburgh for second place.
Per KenPom, the Tigers are the 68th-best team in the country and are projected to lose three of their final eight games. Those defeats are expected to be at the hands of North Carolina (Feb. 11), N.C. State (Feb. 25), and Virginia (Feb. 28) based on the latest numbers.
When you consider all three of those projected losses are on the road, it starts to make a bit more sense. Clemson has lost two of its last three road games, and all five of its defeats have taken place away from home.
From a betting perspective, Clemson is 3-4 against the spread on the road compared to a 7-5 ATS clip at home. The total is evenly split between a dozen home games, but the Tigers are 4-3 to the over when serving as the visitors.
So what does this mean? Well, there might be an opportunity to buy a bounce-back performance from Clemson on Saturday. Brad Brownell’s squad is welcoming Miami (FL) to town in a game in which KenPom projects the Tigers to earn a 76-75 victory.
Assuming sportsbooks open this game at around a pick 'em, picking Clemson to prevail at home might end up being a savvy move come Saturday.