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It’s an ACC matchup on the college hardwood in the Bluegrass State. The Clemson Tigers are on the road as they make the trip to face the #16 Louisville Cardinals Saturday afternoon. Clemson was edged 65-64 on the road by Miami (FL) in their last game Wednesday night. Louisville blew a big lead and was stunned 71-69 at home by #2 Duke Tuesday night. The Cardinals lead the all-time series 5-2 but the Tigers claimed a 74-69 overtime home win in the last meeting on January 6, 2018.
Clemson Tigers Seek Another Upset Win
Clemson narrowly missed a chance to take down Miami on the road as they were beaten in the final seconds. The Tigers are 9th in the ACC with a 5-6 conference mark after that defeat, leaving them five games behind Duke. Clemson led by two at the half, trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, and rallied to lead 64-63 with 1:16 to play. The Tigers gave up the winning bucket on a jumper with 0.4 seconds to play. Clemson shot 41.8 percent from the field, including three of 19 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 38-29 in the loss. Marcquise Reed led the Tigers with 19 points in the loss.
— Clemson Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) February 11, 2019
The Tigers are putting up an average of 70.2 points per game so far this season. Clemson grabs 34.9 boards a night while dishing out 12.2 dimes per contest. The Tigers are very good on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 21st in scoring defense by allowing 64.1 points per game. Marcquise Reed leads the team with 18.9 points, five rebounds plus 3.1 assists a night. Shelton Mitchell kicks in 11.8 points per game while Elijah Thomas puts up 13 points with 7.8 rebounds a night. Aamir Simms, David Skara, Clyde Trapp, Javan White, Hunter Tyson and John Newman III all log important minutes for coach Brad Brownell. The Tigers shoot 46.6 percent from the field as a team this season. Clemson knocks down 6.3 three pointers per game on the year and shoots 32 percent from beyond the arc. The Tigers have been good from the charity stripe this season as they shoot 73 percent as a team.
Louisville Cardinals Try to Bounce Back From Back to Back Defeats
Louisville lost their second straight game as they were upended by a ranked foe at home. The Cardinals fell to 8-4 in the ACC, leaving them tied for fourth, 2.5 games behind Duke in the conference standings. Louisville led by nine at the half and built up a 23-point edge at 59-36 with 9:58 to play in the game. The Cardinals were outscored 35-10 the rest of the way, giving up the winning points at the line with 14 seconds to play. Louisville shot 41.7 percent from the field, including nine of 27 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 17 times in the game. Jordan Nwora led the Cardinals with 23 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2019
The Cardinals average 78.2 points per game on the offensive end of the floor this season. Louisville collects 37.7 rebounds per contest while dishing out 14.2 assists per night. The Cardinals are 104th in scoring defense by allowing 68.6 points per game. Jordan Nwora is one of three players for Louisville scoring in double figures with 17.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Christen Cunningham (10.2 points), Dwayne Sutton (11.2 points, 6.9 rebounds), Steven Enoch, Ryan McMahon, Darius Perry, Malik Williams, Khwan Fore and V.J. King each put up at least 3.7 points a game for coach Chris Mack. The team is shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. Louisville is knocking down nine three pointers per contest, while shooting at a 36.4 percent clip from the perimeter. The Cardinals have been sharp at the stripe, cashing in 76.7 percent of their opportunities.
- Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss
- Cardinals are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Clemson beat Virginia Tech but let one slip away on the road against Miami in their last game. Louisville has suffered back to back losses with both coming to ranked opponents. The Cardinals are a tough team though and they are very good at the free throw line. The Tigers are inconsistent at best and we’ve seen them melt down on several occasions late in games to end up with a loss. Louisville takes care of business at home as they salt the game away at the line while Clemson stumbles.
Prediction: Louisville Cardinals -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Meltdown against Duke aside, the Cardinals are a good team with plenty of offensive weapons. Louisville is 63rd in the nation in scoring offense and they are 82nd in three-point field goal percentage on the offensive end of the floor. Clemson, despite being 21st in scoring defense, has their struggles with perimeter teams as they rank a dismal 279th in three-point field goal percentage defense (35.9 percent) this season. Louisville is good in close games because of their success at the line: they are 11th in the nation as a team in free throw percentage. Can Clemson find a way to make the critical plays in crunch time to steal one on the road or will it be heartbreak like it was against Miami and NC State this season?
The under is 5-0 in the Tigers’ last 5 games following an ATS loss, 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up loss and 7-3 in their last 10 overall. Louisville has seen the under go 5-1 in their last six on Saturday and 9-4 in their last 13 after a straight up loss. This one is a tough, physical game with plenty of contested shots. As a result, this one ends up under the total.
Prediction: Under 134