ACC College Basketball Picks: Clemson Tigers at Miami Hurricanes

Clemson Tigers at Miami Hurricanes
BankUnited Center – Coral Gables, Florida
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Miami -5
Current Line: Miami -6
Opening Total: 119
Current Total: 117
Opening Money Line: Miami -265 / Clemson +220
Current Money Line: Miami -250 / Clemson +210

Both Miami and Clemson are 14-8 this season as they meet Sunday in Coral Gables.
Both Miami and Clemson are 14-8 this season as they meet Sunday in Coral Gables.

Both the Clemson Tigers and Miami Hurricanes are 14-8 this season as they meet Sunday in a key ACC contest. Both teams are on the bubble of the NCAA tournament. Clemson is 6-4 in the ACC and tied for sixth with Syracuse. Miami is in 11th place at 4-5.

Clemson leads the series 12-9 all-time against Miami, but the Hurricanes are 5-3 at home. The Tigers won the last meeting 58-54 in Clemson last season. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season.

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Clemson is coached by Brad Brownell. The Tigers have home losses to Winthrop, Rutgers, North Carolina, and Florida State, a neutral site loss to Gardner-Webb in a tournament in the Virgin Islands, plus road losses at South Carolina, Louisville and Virginia. Clemson has won 4 straight games. The Tigers have neutral site wins over Nevada and LSU in the Virgin Islands, home wins over Arkansas, Auburn, Oakland, Robert Morris, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Boston College, along with road wins over Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and Florida State 62-56 Wednesday night. Clemson is 10-8 ATS and the total is 3-11 this season. The Tigers were 2.5 point underdogs at Florida State and the total was 123.

Miami is coached by Jim Larranaga. The Hurricanes have home losses to Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Louisville 63-55 Tuesday, a neutral site loss to Providence in Brooklyn, along with road losses to Notre Dame and Florida State. Miami has lost 3 straight games. The Hurricanes have home wins over South Alabama, Illinois, College of Charleston, Boston College, and NC State, neutral site wins over Drexel, Akron and Charlotte in a tournament in Charleston, SC, plus road wins over Florida, Charlotte, Duke and Syracuse. Miami is 9-10-1 ATS and the total is 7-8-2 this season. The Hurricanes were 4.5 point underdogs against Louisville and the total was 131.

Clemson is outscoring teams 63-61 this season. The Tigers are #46 in points allowed nationally.  Clemson is shooting 41.3% from the field and 30.1% from 3 point range. The Tigers make 65.9% of their free throws. Clemson is #273 or worse out if 353 teams in all offensive categories. Opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field 31.3% from 3 point range. Clemson is #61 or better in both categories nationally. The Tigers average 37 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.5 per game. Clemson averages 10.6 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 5 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 11 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Forward Jaron Blossomgame averages 13.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Donte Grantham averages 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Rod Hall averages 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. Damarcus Harrison averages 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Landry Nnoko averages 7.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Jordan Roper, Josh Smith, Sidy Djitte, and  and Austin Ajukwa will also get minutes in the rotation.

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Miami is outscoring teams 68-63 this season. The Hurricanes are shooting 43.6% from the field and 36.1% from 3 point range. Miami makes 71.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Hurricanes average 33.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.9 per game. Miami averages 13.8 assists, 10.3 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.8 assists, 11.6 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 14.1 points, 5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and and 1 steal per game. Angel Rodriguez averages 13 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2 steals per game. Manu Lecomte averages 8.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Tonye Jekiri averages 8.2 points, 10 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. Deandre Burnett averages 7.6 points, and 2.6 rebounds. Five other players average at least 12 minutes a game in the rotation.

Clemson is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-1 in road games, and against teams with winning home records. The underdog is 12-3-1 ATS in this series recently. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the series recently. The Tigers are 5-0-1 ATS in the last six games against the Hurricanes, and Clemson has covered their last 4 trips to Miami.

Miami is 3-7-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 1-3-1 overall, and against ACC teams, 0-3-1 after a straight up loss, and 0-4-1 at home. The under is 6-2 in the last 8 games in Miami in this series.

Miami is very difficult to figure out. They have wins over Duke and Illinois but losses to Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes need to break out of their current 3 game losing streak, and against a team that has won 4 straight games. This should be a low scoring game in the low 60’s or perhaps the 50’s and both teams are solid on defense. I think Miami wins a close game.

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