Better Offense Makes Road Dog Pittsburgh Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Clemson

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 3:55 PM GMT

The Pitt Panthers visit the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC to face the Clemson Tigers. Join me as I break down the odds and find the best NCAA basketball pick for you.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Pitt Panthers +105
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

 

Pittsburgh vs. Clemson (-3) 7:00 ET
The Pitt Panthers visit the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC to face the Clemson Tigers. This home/neutral site (some 40 miles from Clemson) is where the Tigers are playing their home games this season, while Littlejohn Coliseum is being renovated. The Tigers’ “home away from home” has treated them quite well. The previous 3 years at Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson was 35-16 SU. This year, Clemson is 9-2 SU, including 4-0 SU ATS as home underdog in ACC Play. When these teams met last year, Clemson visited the Petersen Events Center at Pittsburgh and emerged with a (71-62) victory as 7 point underdog.

To say Pitt is on high-alert for the Tigers (based on the previous paragraph) would be an understatement. But, the Panthers have plenty of “feel good” moments in their own bounce back season. Last year, the Panthers were injury-plagued from the beginning. Yet, they still battled to a 19-10 SU record with hopes of their usual NCAA berth. But, Pitt closed the season with 5 consecutive losses to fall to an NIT Invitation. With depth being created due to those injuries and a trio of experienced players stepping up, Pitt enters tonight’s contest with a record of 16-3 SU, including 5-2 SU ATS in ACC play. There is a solid trio of veteran leadership in PG Robinson, wing man Artis and interior force Young. As usual, however, it is the Pittsburgh defense and their strong attention to fundamentals that has the Panthers contending for the ACC crown this season.

A review of our Monday Article on the 2016 SUPER RATS of College Basketball finds these Pitt Panthers among the highest ranked. They have an 8.6 rebound margin, a 6.9 assist/TO ratio and a combined rating of 15.8. Unlike other Pitt teams, this has been one of the more explosive offenses for veteran HC Dixon. Pitt scores 81 PPG on 48% shooting, 38% from the arc and adds 77% from the foul stripe (the latter being one of the best numbers in the NCAA). This attention to fundamentals has made Pitt a standout in tonight’s role, where under Dixon, they are 55-34 ATS as dog to (-1). This includes outright victories at Notre Dame and Florida St. in this season’s ACC play.

 

Betting Analysis
In the beginning of the season, there was conjecture that shortened shot clock would prohibit Clemson from being competitive with the more athletic teams in the league. Much like Pitt, Clemson, under 6th year HC Brownell, has solid fundamentals with positives in rebound margin, assist/TO margin and TO margin. But, the real difference comes on the offensive end, when we compare the Clemson numbers to those of Pitt in the preceding paragraph. For, the Tigers are averaging just 69 PPG on 44% shooting.

Every Monday, I make a list (by conference) of teams who are outperforming expectations to this point of the season, based on where I believe they will finish the year. Clemson, who is tied with Pitt for 3rd place in the ACC, is the ONLY ACC team that I have marked as outperforming expectations. Remember, this team was bad enough in November and December to lose to UMass, Minnesota and Alabama. But, the 7-0 ATS start in which they beat the line by 64 points, has them overpriced at this point of the season. The Panthers are the better fundamental team, the better offensive team and outstanding in this role under HC Dixon.

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on the Pitt Panthers.

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