Virginia Tech Hokies (14-4 SU, 7-7 ATS, 7-7 O/U) at Clemson Tigers (11-7 SU, 7-9 ATS, 10-6 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 22, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., 6:30pmET
Line: Clemson -7
Clemson and Virginia Tech are both struggling so both need to get back on track if they want to make the big dance as an at-large big. The Hokies are coming off a 62-61 home win over Georgia Tech to move to 3-3 in the ACC. Clemson is a disappointing 1-5 in the ACC after falling at Louisville, 92-60. The Tigers have dropped five straight. Last season, the Hokies won the only meeting at home, 60-57 on Feb. 6, 2016.
LaDay, Allen step up for Hokies
Zach LeDay and Seth Allen scored 17 points to lead Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech by one point on Wednesday from Blacksburg. Allen made the game-winner with 15 seconds left to lead the Hokies to a key conference win. Chris Clarke added 11 pints and 11 rebounds for a Hokies team that shot 40 percent from the field and just 6-of-25 from beyond the arc. This was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team being able to take control. The Yellow Jackets shot better from the field (45.1%), but struggled at the foul line (9-15).
The Hokies average 81.4 points per game and shoot 48.3 percent from the floor (38.4%). They allow 71.7 points per game, 43.3 percent from the field and just 31.9 percent from the three-point line. LeDay leads the Hokies in scoring with 16.4 points per game and rebounds with 7.2 per game, while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor. Guard Ahmed Hill adds 13.9 points and shoot 44.8 percent from the floor.
Blossomgame needs help
Clemson senior forward Jaron Blossomgame (6-7, 220) is one of the premier players in the ACC. He’s averaging 17.8 pints per game and 5.8 rebounds and had scored 20 or more points in four straight games before behind held to just 10 in the Tigers’ 92-60 loss at Louisville on Thursday. When Blossomgame is not scoring, the Tigers have little shot to beat good teams. The second-leading scorer is Avry Holmes, who’s averaging 11.1 points per game. He’s the only other player to average in double figures. But in the loss to Louisville, scoring was not the only problem. Louisville shot 56.2 percent from the floor and 9-of-22 from the 3-point line. The Cards also outrebounded the Tigers by 20 and forced 14 turnovers. Clemson just couldn’t do anything right on Thursday night.
The Tigers have been competitive lately, losing to North Carolina by three in overtime at home, by just five at Notre Dame and by four at home to Virginia. Clemson is averaging 75.7 points per game and shooting just 44.8 percent from the field (34.6% 3pt). They allow 69.2 points per game and 43.4 percent from the field (34.4% 3pt).
College Basketball Trends:
Virginia Tech is:
- 7-2 ATS last 9 Sunday games.
- 20-8 ATS last 28 vs. ACC.
- 3-7 ATS last 10 home games.
- 0-5 ATS last 5 vs. ACC.
The underdog is 6-2 ATS last 8 in this series and the Hokies are 5-2 ATS last 7 against Clemson. That’s not the only reason to take Virginia Tech. They have more balance than the Tigers, who have one great player in Blossomgame. I know the Hokies have struggled at times on the road but no way am I laying 7 with Clemson right now.
Pick: Virginia Tech +7
This is the battle of an over team in Clemson against an under squad in Virginia Tech. Clemson has put up some serious points at home, even 73 to Virginia, who has a great defense. Virginia Tech has had their moments on defense but also allowed 93 points at Florida State and 104 to NC State. Clemson has gone over five straight times. This series is 5-1-1 Over in Clemson and 11-4-1 Over last 16 in series.