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The #4 Virginia Cavaliers will head on the road to battle the Clemson Tigers in ACC action Saturday afternoon from the Littlejohn Coliseum. The Cavaliers are coming off a convincing 83-56 road win over Boston College, and the Tigers fell 61-53 to Syracuse in their previous action. Virginia defeated Clemson in all three meetings last season.
Virginia’s Defense Continues to Shine
The #4 Virginia Cavaliers improved to 2-0 in ACC play with a dominating 83-56 road win against Boston College on Wednesday in a game that had UVA favored by 12 points. The Cavaliers shot a sizzling 60% from the field, while holding Boston College to a 39% clip. De’Andre Hunter scored a team-high 18 points on 6 for 11 shooting in the victory. The sophomore guard has only reached double-digits in points in three out of his last six games, and he is averaging 14.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG on the year.
Cavaliers’ scoring leader Kyle Guy tallied 10 points along with eight rebounds in Wednesday’s win. The junior guard is playing well, averaging a stellar 20 points in his last three games, and he is up to 15.4 PPG on 48% shooting on the season.
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) January 10, 2019
The Cavaliers now stand at 3-0 on the road this season which included a win against a strong Maryland team. Virginia also features a 3-0 record against ranked opponents this season. They are currently averaging 74.6 points, ranking them 164th overall. The Cavaliers are the best defensive team in the country. They are limiting opponents to an average of only 51.8 points per game.
Clemson Drops to 0-2 in ACC Play
The Clemson Tigers will be eager to return to action after falling 61-53 to Syracuse on Wednesday in a game that had the Tigers labelled as three point underdogs. Clemson shot a weak 35.8% from the field, while holding the Orange to 41.7% shooting. Clemson’s top scorer Marcquise Reed couldn’t find his shooting touch in the loss, going 5 for 13 from the field for 16 points. The senior guard has reached 20 points in three out of his last five games, and he is currently averaging 19.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG on the season.
Elijah Thomas was a bright spot in Wednesday’s loss, netting 13 points along with seven rebounds. The senior forward is a combined 11 for 15 from the field in his last two games, and he is posting 13.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG.
The Tigers are placed at 40th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they feature a 7-1 record on their home court. They lost 87-68 to Duke in their conference opener. Clemson has struggled offensively in their first two conference games, and they are currently averaging 73.3 points, ranking them 196th overall. The Tigers are a strong defensive squad, and they are holding opponents to 67 points, placing them 74th in the country.
The Clemson Tigers are:
- 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning road record.
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600.
The Virginia Cavaliers are:
- under is 34-16-2 in their last 52 Saturday games.
- under is 36-14-1 in their last 51 road games.
- under is 33-16-2 in their last 51 road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the points with Clemson in this contest. Clemson plays tough on their home court where they stand at 7-1 on the season, and their defense should keep them in this game. The Tigers just limited Syracuse to 61 points in their latest action, and they are holding opponents to an average of only 62.4 points in their last five home games.
Furthermore, while Virginia has very few weaknesses as a team, Clemson is shooting a solid 47.6% from the field on the season, and I am confident they can find a way to have some success against the Cavaliers stifling defense.
Prediction: Clemson Tigers
Full-Game Total Pick
This contest should evolve into a defensive battle. Virginia continues to receive low totals due to their defense, and the under has converted in five out of their last seven games. Also, the Tigers are holding opponents to 42.7% shooting on the season, plus the under is 6-2 in their last eight home games against Virginia.
In addition, Virginia is allowing an average of only 51.8 points on the season, ranking them 1st in the country, and Clemson is not a high-scoring team, plus the under is 38-18-1 in the Cavaliers’ 57 conference games.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Virginia team total is worth a look. Virginia doesn’t score a ton of points due to their style of play, and they only scored 65 points against Florida State in their conference opener. Clemson has very similar defensive stats to Florida State. Also, Clemson has only allowed more than 68 points at home once this season.
Prediction: Virginia Team Total: Under
Half-Time Total Bet
I anticipate a low-scoring battle from start to finish. Virginia’s first half defense is tough to crack. They are holding opponents to an average of only 23.1 points in the first half. The Tigers are also tough on defense in the first half where they are limiting opponents to 31.6 points.