Free NCAAB Picks: Tigers Offer Double Profits As Clemson & Carolina Collide

Darin Zank

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:51 PM GMT

North Carolina absolutely owns the basketball “rivalry” with Clemson, winning 17 of the last 18 matches. Get  our NCAA basketball picks for the ACC football championship game rematch.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Clemson +15½; Under 142½
Best Line Offered: 

 

Tigers-Tar Heels: The Odds
Most of the NCAA basketball odds market opened the betting for Wednesday's matchups and on this game with North Carolina favored by 16 points, the total proffered at right around 142. As of about 20 hours before tip-off, the best line available on the Heels was the -15.5 at JustBet, while Heritage was still giving Clemson 16 points.

 

The Match-Up
Since a 6-2 start to this season Clemson (7-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) has lost three of its last four, after laying an egg in a 71-48 loss at Georgia eight days ago. The Tigers held an early 16-12 lead, but allowed the Bulldogs to end the first half on a 27-8 run. They later fell down by 26 and that was it, as Clemson whiffed totally on the spread as a three-point dog.

On the night, the Tigers shot just 27 percent from the floor, made just seven-of-27 shots from 3-point land and allowed UGA to shoot 52 percent. Usually Clemson is pretty good on defense, holding opponents to just 39 percent shooting on the year. But not that night. Four days before that the Tigers lost at home to still-unbeaten South Carolina 65-59, shooting just 37 percent from the field.

North Carolina (11-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) has won four in a row, after beating NC-Greensboro Monday night 96-63. The Heels only led the Spartans by 11 points midway through the second half, but blew 'em out from there, going on to cover as 27-point favorites. For the night Carolina shot 55 percent from the floor, while outrebounding Greensboro by a lopsided 43-22 margin.

Two Mondays ago the Heels beat Appalachian State 94-70, but couldn't cover at a heavy -32. But just before that they beat UCLA 89-76, covering at -8.

 

Tigers-Heels Recent History
The hell with recent history, let's go back to ancient history; North Carolina has beaten Clemson 57 times in a row in Chapel Hill. In fact, the Tigers have never won on the Heels' home court.

More recently, the Heels have beaten the Tigers 17 of the last 18 meetings, including a 74-50 decision in the teams' only meeting last season.

 

Tigers-Heels Totals Trends
Clemson is 6-2 on the UNDERS this season, as Tigers games have averaged 127 points.

UNC is 9-4 on the OVERS, as Heels games have averaged 157 points.

 

Injury Update
North Carolina F Kennedy Meeks (12 points, seven rebounds per game in nine games this season) is out with a knee injury suffered in the loss at Texas three weeks ago. Since then, though, the Heels are 4-0 SU, 2-0-1 ATS, averaging 94 points per game.

 

Final Analysis
This is another one of those situations where the winner isn't much in doubt; Carolina is very likely to extend that long home victory streak over Clemson. But the Tigers might be just pesky enough to keep this one within the points. They can play a little defense, they do a nice job on the boards and they take decent care of the ball. If they can avoid the long droughts on the other end of the court, we like their chances of cashing in. Also, Clemson will try to work clock and limit the number of possessions, which could keep the scoring down. So, for our free NCAA basketball picks on this game, we like the Tigers plus the points and the UNDER.