Clemson Our NCAA Basketball Pick As It Won't Back Down vs. Duke

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 1:55 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 1:55 PM GMT

I believe the Duke Blue Devils are in for a little bit more of a fight than people realize when they travel to take on the Clemson Tigers. Do we smell an upset here? Check our NCAA Basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Clemson +8
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

NCAA basketball odds have Clemson a +6.5 underdog and the total around 143. This is solid value on a good defensive team that has won three games in a row. For one of my selections I like the Tigers to cover this spread and possibly pull the shocker at home, don't sleep on this underrated team.

 

Duke Blue Devils
Duke is averaging 88.1 points per game while shooting 48% from the field, and allowing 69.4 points per game on 42.7% shooting from the field. On the year Duke is 8-6 and 3-0 against the spread overall and in ACC play respectively. However, they are just 2-4 against the spread when they travel and I think because of their name they sometimes get a bit overvalued, like tonight. Offensively they are extremely good and rank second in the country in points per game, they also rank in the upper part of the country in most offensive categories. The issue for them tonight will be on the road where most of those statistics drop like their scoring average that goes from 93.5 at home to 79.2 on the road. Defensively it is somewhat the same story, but for the most part I don't think this is one of Duke's better defensive teams. They do have some nice percentages but they allow opponents to shoot 34.4% from distance, and there is a big disparity between their overall opponent shooting percentage compared to when they travel where they allow over 46% from the field. All this together will be a major hurdle tonight as Duke has only had a couple true road games with one at Boston College, the worst team in the ACC, and the other at Wake Forest who is okay but doesn't play nearly the type of defense that Clemson does.

 

Clemson Tigers
Clemson is averaging 69.6 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the field, and allowing 62.2 points per game on 40.2% shooting from the field. Against the spread they have been good this year going 7-5 overall and a 4-2 at home. Offensively there is still a lot of room for growth on this team as they have been less than stellar both at home and on the road. The good news is they are better than years past and not horrible on offense but closer to subpar. They have a difference maker in Jaron Blossomgame and they do shoot the three decently well averaging 35.8% from distance overall, jumping up to almost 37% at home. Defensively is where I think they get it done tonight, as they are statistically one of the better teams in the country. Clemson ranks 13th in scoring defense and their opponent shooting percentage from the field is in the upper part of the rankings. They do everything right on defense fundamentally and head coach Brad Brownell knows how to beat Duke holding them to just 59 points in a win at home, the last time the blue Devils visited two years ago, winning 72-59.

This is actually a pretty underrated matchup in my opinion and Clemson has more than enough to pull off the upset. This will be Duke's hardest challenge I believe so far this season as far as playing in a hostile environment, and against a really good defensive team. For one of your NCAA basketball picks I recommend backing Clemson plus the points because they won't back down tonight. Consequently, don't be surprised if they pull the shocker.

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