NCAA Basketball Picks: Minnesota to Outlast Clemson In ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Charles Stark

Monday, November 30, 2015 5:28 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 5:28 PM UTC

Clemson visits Minnesota in what should be a tight, hard fought game. NCAA basketball odds have this game as almost a pick, but I don't think Clemson has enough to beat the Gophers on their own floor.


NCAA Odds Overview
NCAA Basketball odds have Minnesota as a small favorite across the board at -1 -110 at Bookmaker. I think the Gophers have enough to win this game, and should at home, so I will back them for one of my NCAA picks. This is not a marquee matchup, but on paper this should be a really good game between two relatively even teams that are part of Monday's slate.


Clemson Tigers
The Tigers are averaging 73.8 points per game, 46.5% shooting from the field, and 33.6% from beyond the arc. So far this season, the usual issue of Clemson playing solid defense but not being able to score has only reared its ugly head once against UMASS. Unfortunately though, the Minutemen were the best team they have faced so far this season and they only managed to shoot 37.5% from the field and 22.2% from beyond the arc. They lost starting guards Rod Hall and Demarcus Harrison who were two of their top four scorers, but they do return leading scorer Jaron Blossomgame who is currently leading the team at 18.2 points per game. Last season they ranked last in scoring in the ACC and I don't think they will move much from that spot this season if at all with their current lineup.

On defense, the Tigers are allowing 56.2 points per game, 37.9% shooting from the field, and 31.8% from beyond the arc. Now we get to the good part about Clemson: these guys can play great on this end of the floor. Their defensive scoring ranks fifth in the country on top of last year where they ranked third in the ACC. Since his time at Wright State, head coach Brad Brownell has always had solid defenses. Tonight on the road, though, I don't think this will be enough to get past Minnesota.


Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota is averaging 74.7 points per game, 43.1% from the field, and 37.4% from beyond the arc. They aren't expected to do much in a loaded Big Ten conference and, so far this season, they have been less than stellar on the offensive end. I am still not sure if Richard Pitino is a good coach or not, but since his hiring, it seems that this year the Gophers expectations are tempered a bit. What I do like is the three guys averaging double figures and the return of their starting point guard Nate Mason. This will be their toughest test offensively against a well coached defensive team, but at home they should have some success led by seniors Joey King and Carlos Morris.

Defensively, the Gophers are allowing 71.5 points per game, 39.7% shooting from the field, and 37.1% from beyond the arc. Their overall defensive statistics are not bad and they have been solid under the perimeter allowing just 40.9% opponent two point shooting. This should benefit them playing against a Clemson team that does a lot more damage in the interior than at distance.

This is good matchup, period. Both teams are not expected to do much in their respective conferences this season. Although Clemson is the better team defensively for one of your NCAA Basketball picks, I recommend backing Gophers at home from a pick to -1 to come away with the victory.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers -1 at BetOnline

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