Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#845 Detroit vs.
#846 Clemson
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#845 University of Detroit Mercy
#846 Clemson University
0-1
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18-13
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The Detroit Titans will travel on the road to the Littlejohn Coliseum for a non-conference showdown against the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson opens the season with five straight home games as they get set for an expanded ACC schedule this season. The Tigers lost a rare conference game in the first game of the year against Virginia Tech but have since bounced back with a pair of non-conference victories. Clemson will try to keep its momentum going against a Titans’ team that is fresh off playing another ACC opponent, NC State, in their season-opener last week. Can Detroit pull off the upset at the Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson on Sunday?

Titans to play second straight game vs. ACC opponent

Detroit is trying to flash improvements in Mike Davis’ second year as head coach following a tough 11-20 season a year ago. The Titans opened the year with a tough Tier-A matchup against NC State, falling on the road 84-65 against the Wolfpack despite a game-high 28 points from sophomore Antoine Davis. Davis didn’t get much help from his teammates though, as no other Titans’ player finished in double-figures on the night. Detroit shot just 5-for-25 from distance and turned the ball over 15 times in the lopsided loss.

Davis’ squad comes into Sunday’s matchup slotted at No. 253 in the latest KenPom rankings. After one game, the Titans rank among the worst defensive teams in the country. Detroit has surrendered 106.5 points per 100 possessions (334th in the NCAA) and opposing teams have been able to get whatever they’ve wanted at the rim against the Titans’ defense. The Titans have given up an effective field goal percentage of 55.7 percent (312th in the NCAA), including a healthy 59.4 percent from 2-point range (331st in the NCAA).

Detroit hasn’t been much better offensively either. They come in scoring 99.5 points per 100 possessions (140th in the NCAA) despite sporting an effective field goal percentage of only 44.2 percent (280th in the NCAA). The Titans have shot only 20 percent from 3-point range (347th in the NCAA) and 60 percent from the charity stripe as a team (300th in the NCAA) coming into this game.

Clemson pulls away late vs. Colgate

Clemson defeated Colgate 81-68 at home last Sunday to improve to 2-1 on the season. Tevin Mack scored a team-high 17 points to lead four Tigers’ players in double-figures on the night while Al-Amir Dawes added 16 for the Tigers, who trailed midway through the second half before pulling away. The Tigers forced 18 turnovers and won the battle on the boards 36 to 27 to help offset a 6-for-20 shooting performance from beyond the arc.

Brad Brownell’s squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 75 in the latest KenPom rankings after back-to-back wins. Clemson has scored only 100.4 points per 100 possessions (124th in the NCAA) despite turning the ball over on just 15.2 percent of their offensive possessions (31st in the NCAA). Through three games, the Tigers have settled for too many jump shots and it has resulted in one of the lowest free-throw rates in the country. Clemson sports a free-throw rate of only 19.4 percent (328th in the NCAA), and when they do get to the line, they are shooting a pedestrian 67.6 percent as a team (208th in the NCAA).

Brownell has given his players the green light to let it fly from long-range, and the Tigers have taken advantage, launching 43.5 percent of their total field goal attempts from beyond the arc (65th in the NCAA). The Tigers are shooting 52.8 percent from inside the arc (96th in the NCAA) and 32.5 percent from 3-point range (165th in the NCAA) so far this year.

While the Tigers have struggled on offense at times this season, they’ve made up for it by thriving on the defensive end of the floor. Clemson has surrendered only 90.7 points per 100 possessions (47th in the NCAA) while forcing their opponents to cough up the basketball on 24.7 percent of their defensive possessions (37th in the NCAA).

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The Titans put up a good fight against NC State and still lost by 19 points last week. Clemson might not be as good as the Wolfpack this season but the Tigers are still a formidable ACC opponent and Brownell has shown the ability to outperform preseason expectations. Clemson is young and talented, so they are going to be inconsistent at times this season. Colgate gave them all they could handle last weekend, so I expect them to come out a little more focused in this game. Take the Tigers to cover the number at home in this non-conference battle on Sunday.

Prediction: Clemson Tigers -15.5

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The main concern here is going to be pace. Both teams play at a relatively average pace on offense but the Titans let NC State run all over them last weekend. Detroit was inefficient on offense in their first game of the year and it is hard to see them improving dramatically against another ACC opponent here. Meanwhile, Clemson hasn’t exactly been very explosive offensive either. Look for this game to stay under the projected total on Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: Under 143.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.