Virginia Tech vs. Clemson
Tip off: 7 PM EST
Spread: CLE -2.5
Bet at Bookmaker, where these odds are drawn from.
Virginia Tech has experienced a big regression from their 22-12 season from a year ago. Last year, they were invited to the NIT and advanced to the second round. This year, they are highly unlikely to receive any post season invitations.
The season started out OK for the Hokies, it just got ugly once conference play began. After posting an 11-4 out of conference record, Virginia Tech went on to lose 12 of their 16 conference games and they now sit a game below .500 They just faced Clemons a week ago to the day, coincidentally, and the Tigers prevailed two.
The Hokies came back from down eight to tie it at 56, but Tanner Smith nailed home the dagger at the free throw line and the final minutes of the game were scoreless. The Hokies received 37 points from the trio of Cadarian Raines, Dorenzo Hudson, and Jarrell Eddie. Eddie’s 15 led the way as he hit 3 of 6 from behind the arc, accounting for 3 of the 8 Hokies three point field goals (8 of 16, 50%).
Erick Green is the leading Hokies scorer and is averaging 15.3 points per game in a team high 34.4 minutes per game. He also leads the team in assists with 2.8 per game, which is actually depressing for Hokies fans, because it indicates that the team only does indeed average 12 assists per game. They score 65 a game, but that’s nothing to hang their hat on either, as that ranks them in the lower third of D-1 programs. They can’t pass (11.8 apt), don’t rebound well (33.6 rpg), and shoot a horrible field goal percentage (42.3%). How can they expect to win with numbers like that?
Perhaps the worst part of it is that the are heading into this tournament riding a four game losing streak. Granted, all four opponents are significantly better than the Hokies, and they also did hang with Duke, losing by only five, but it’s hard to get much of a good vibe on this team after their conference play.
Hokies Betting Trends:
Last 10 vs Clemson: 4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS, 8-2 OU, Avg Total: 143.3
Like Virginia Tech, Clemson has fallen in the ACC ranks this season as well, after finishing with a 9-7 ACC record last year and making it to the Big Dance, where they lost by 8 to West Virginia in the second round. Their defense was stellar, and it hasn’t been that bad this year actually, save night’s like last game against the Florida Seminoles when they gave up 80 points, the second most they have surrendered all year (SIU, 83).
They’ve played well of late, though, and have won 5 of their last 7 games after suffering a three game losing streak in early February that included losses to then #18 Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Maryland. They rebounded on their home court against Virginia, winning by 12, while forcing 18 Cavaliers turnovers.
They’ve remained afloat in the ACC with a .500 record, and are led by Andre Young’s 13.3 poitns per game. Young also leads the team in minutes (34.4 per game) and is tied for the team lead in steals (1.7 per game). The 5’9″ spark plug has had a couple of big games, the biggest of which was a 29 point performance against Georgia Tech, in which he hit 9 of 12 from the floor and 7 of 9 from three point range. His three point percentage is down from last season’s 39.6% to 34.2%, but he’s shooting them still in very high volume, averaging 6.1 three point attempts per game. The high volume of threes accounts for the low overall field goal percentage of 41.7%, but Young is clearly the best player on the Tigers.
6’8″ junior Devin Booker isn’t much of a refined offensive player, but he has nice touch around the hoop and is an adept rebounder — a good role player, if nothing else, and Booker averages 10.7 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game He also manages nearly one steal and one block per game, showing he can contribute effectively on both ends of the court.
Tanner Smith, a 6’5″ senior point guard, runs the show for the Tigers. He averages 4.1 assists per game, but does turn it over 2.1 times per game, as well. A 2:1 assist to turnover ratio is pretty solid for an NCAA point guard, though, so I won’t knit pick. He still need sot work on his decision making, but I guess that’s really all coming to an end for Smith anyway, unless he pursues a career overseas, or something…
Tigers Betting Trends:
Clemson is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 games. The Tigers are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games and they are 6-3 SU in their last 9 against Virginia Tech. The total has gone OVER In 8 of the last 10 Clemson – Va Tech games.