Friday Picks Include Matinees & One Ranked Team

Jay Pryce

Friday, December 22, 2017 1:52 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 1:52 PM UTC

Two rare Friday afternoon tipoffs and a ranked team nightcap feature in our NCAA basketball picks of the day. Check out our best bets for Temple at Georgia, Louisiana-Lafayette at Clemson, and William & Mary at No. 15 TCU.

Temple at Georgia (-3)

Temple (7-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) heads to Athens to take on Georgia (8-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) in a rare Friday afternoon test (1 p.m. ET), its last before beginning conference play. The Owls are battle-tested. They rank No. 10 in the RPI and have four wins over Power 5 opponents (Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina and Wisconsin), tying for most in program history.

History suggests one more Power 5 victory will be tough to come by here. Head coach Fran Dunphy has led the Owls in 13 true road games vs. Power 5 foes in his 11-year tenure. They are 2-11 SU and 3-10 ATS, losing to a 7.8 average line by 2.7 points per game.

Generating much offense is often a concern. Temple posts 60.0 points per game on a dismal 37.5 percent from the floor in this spot, never recording more than 67 points in any contest. Georgia ranks 72nd in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom and holds non-conference opponents to 38.1 percent shooting at Stegeman Coliseum behind coach Mark Fox all-time. Bulldogs win 75-66 and cover the 3-point spread. Pick accordingly.

Free NCAAB Pick: Georgia -3Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Louisiana-Lafayette at Clemson (-12.5)

Louisiana-Lafayette (10-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) enters Littlejohn Coliseum with 10 wins and the 69th-most efficient offense per KenPom. The issue here is the Cajuns have been Ragin’ over weak competition. Lafayette ranks No. 304 in strength of schedule. In five games it played listed on the college basketball oddsboard, the offense scores 74.8 points per game on 43.4 percent shooting as opposed to 98.4 on 51.0 percent in seven without a betting line. Inflation anyone?

Clemson (10-1 SU, 6-2 ATS), which is emphasizing defense this season to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, owns the 21st-most efficient unit in the country. The Tigers offer the sternest shot-stopping test Lafayette will likely face all season. It will not be pretty. Clemson slows the fast-paced Cajuns for an 82-65 win. Lay the 12.5 points in this afternoon start (3 p.m. ET).

Free NCAAB Pick: Clemson -12.5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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William & Mary at No. 15 TCU (-20.5)

Its not often a Big 12 program hosts a Colonial Athletic opponent on its own hardwood. That’s the case when William & Mary (7-3 SU, 4-1 ATS) takes on No. 15 TCU (11-0 SU, 6-4 ATS) Friday night (9 ET). The results have not been pretty for the visitors. Since 2006, CAA teams are 0-16 SU and 6-10 ATS in this spot, losing by 26.2 points per game. They tip off as 19.8-point underdogs on average.

William & Mary head coach Tony Shaver is one of the best X’s and O’s leaders in the game. Every season he designs an efficient shooting team out of what most would consider spare parts; the Tribe rank 65th in adjusted efficiency currently. The issue here is the home/road splits are often severe, much more against strong opponents. Since 2006, three seasons into Shaver’s tenure, William and Mary is 0-14 SU and 4-9-1 ATS against ranked opponents on the road. They average 56.7 points per game on 37.6 percent shooting.

William & Mary’s defense is struggling this year, ranking 333rd in adjusted efficiency. It will not come close to gigging the Horned Frogs. TCU dominates 92-55 in a blowout win. Lay the 20.5 points.

Free NCAAB Pick: TCU -20.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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