Clemson Tigers (16-4) at Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (10-10)
We got back in the win column last night when we backed the Kentucky Wildcats on the road at West Virginia. It looked like we were on the wrong side early on as West Virginia opened up an eighteen-point lead in the first half. The Wildcats showed some great heart and used a strong run to start the second half to tighten the game back up.
I mentioned in my article that I would be shocked if Kentucky could pull off the upset and win the game outright, and here I am in shock, as the Wildcats won 83-76. We were getting ten points, so the cover wasn’t really in question at all, but what a statement game for Kentucky. Coach Cal’s teams always seem to get better as the season wears on and they just might be peaking at the right time for a deep run in March.
For West Virginia? I am not really sure where they stand. My eyes tell me this is still an elite team, but they have now lost four out of five games. Buyer beware on West Virginia until they can snap out of this recent funk. Today I will break down a matchup in the ACC, as the Clemson Tigers play against the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets.
The Clemson Tigers will try and get back on track today as they travel to Atlanta to play the Yellowjackets of Georgia Tech. Clemson scored only 36 points in their last game, a blowout loss to Virginia, and have struggled on the road in conference play.
The Yellowjackets have lost three straight in league play and find themselves towards the bottom of the ACC standings. Clemson is -2-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 128.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 PM PST from the Thrillerdome.
The Clemson Tigers have had a great start to the season. They are 16-4 and are currently ranked 16th in the nation. The one area they have struggled though? On the road in conference play. The Tigers have lost their last three conference road games. However, when you look a little deeper into that recent record, it doesn’t look quite as bad.
Losses to North Carolina and Virginia were both expected and the loss to N.C. State is looking better by the day. The Wolfpack has wins against Arizona, North Carolina, and Duke, so there isn’t too much shame in dropping a game to them on their home court, they are likely much better than their record says they are.
Clemson doesn’t do any one thing great, but they use a very balanced attack to beat teams this year. All five Tiger starters are averaging double digits scoring, and four out of the five are averaging at least 4.5 rebounds a game.
Clemson has some nice wins on its resume. They beat Ohio State, Florida, N.C. State, and Miami. They have to be able to win games on the road in league play if they want to be considered for a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament this year. They won’t get many better opportunities for road wins in the ACC, then they will today, against a struggling Georgia Tech team.
It’s not that Georgia Tech is a bad team, they have a decent level of talent. It is just that the ACC is really, really good this year and they just can’t hang with the top half of the league. The one place they have been relatively competitive this year? At home. Georgia Tech has wins against Miami and Notre Dame at home this year in ACC play.
The Notre Dame win came against a roster decimated by injury, but a win is still a win. If the Yellowjackets were able to win tonight, it would be the best win of the season for them. Georgia Tech isn’t going to make the NCAA tournament, but these guys play with a lot of heart and pride and will be giving their all tonight on their home court.
This line opened up at Clemson -3-points, and as is almost always the case, the sharps jumped on the home underdog in league play. The line quickly shifted to Clemson -2.5 and now sits at Clemson -2-points.
If you ever like a road favorite in league play you should always wait the line out as the sharps are going to push it in your favor. That is what happened for me today. I liked Clemson -3 but had a feeling it would move, so I waited it out. My knowledge and patience got me what could be a very critical extra point.
It is not always great to be on the opposite side of the sharps, but in this case, I think we are making the right choice. Yes, Georgia Tech is serviceable at home, and Clemson has struggled on the road in ACC play. Anyone that glances at the schedule can see that. But I think Virginia is the best team in the country, and they proved that yesterday when they went into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beat Duke.
North Carolina is the defending National champion and N.C. State just manages to beat a lot of good teams. I don’t think the fact that Clemson has lost to those three teams equates them losing to a very mediocre at best, Georgia Tech team today. I expect a hard-fought game and the Tigers will likely need all forty minutes to win and cover, but they are the much more talented team, and I expect them to take care of business tonight on the road.
Give me the Clemson Tigers -2-points tonight on the road!