Alabama vs. Clemson Odds, Pick
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: PJ Hall (Clemson)
Alabama vs. Clemson Odds, Pick
We have a terrific ACC/SEC Challenge showdown Tuesday evening, as the Clemson Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to take on the Crimson Tide.
Nate Oats' team has picked up where it left off from last season, as it's off to a high-flying start on the offense side of the ball.
For the Tigers, they enter this matchup at 5-0 and will look to pull off an upset. They've done a terrific job on both ends of the floor and are trying to establish themselves as a real threat in the ACC this season.
So, here's college basketball odds and a pick for Alabama vs. Clemson.
We're going to learn a lot about this Tigers team in this matchup, considering this is their toughest task yet. According to KenPom, the toughest opponent they've faced thus far is ranked 86th (Boise State).
Offensively, I had a feeling this was going to be a fairly efficient group entering the year. Syracuse transfer Joe Girard III has gotten off to a terrific start — he's shooting 39% from beyond the arc.
Alongside guard Chase Hunter, PJ Hall has also been a force to be reckoned with on the inside.
This trio of seniors is a big reason why this is one of the more experienced teams in the country.
In this particular matchup, the Tigers will need to continue protecting the basketball. They're 34th in turnover rate, and they're facing an Alabama team that doesn't force many on the defensive side of the ball.
I would also expect Clemson to be extra aggressive attacking the inside, which is another area the Tide haven't defended particularly well. Hall should be able to feast inside.
The Tigers have yet to attempt many free throws in their games, but that metric could easily be skewed because of the blowout wins they've had. The Tide have been pretty foul-happy, so this will be an area the Tigers will need to capitalize on.
This Clemson defense has a tall task at hand. The Tide are the current No. 1 team in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, according to KenPom.
I'm severely concerned about the Tigers' ability to defend the 3-pointer because they've really struggled in that department, despite a weak schedule. Alabama is shooting a scorching 43% from 3, which is good for third-best in the nation.
The path to victory in this matchup for the Tigers will be to remain timid on offense and force the Tide to slow down their rapid pace. If they're able to set up their defense consistently in the half-court, I think they'll be able to hang tough.
Let's face it, it doesn't appear the Tide are missing NBA lottery pick Brandon Miller too much. I've been very impressed with this offense, and the metrics have proven that the unit isn't a fluke.
This is a team that actually struggled from beyond the arc last season, and it ultimately cost the Tide in the NCAA tournament against San Diego State. With how fast they want to go on offense, their 3-point shooting efficiency is imperative for their success as a team.
As good as the Tide have been on the offensive end of the floor, you could argue this will be the best defensive team they've faced all year.
The good news is this Tigers' defense doesn't force a lot of turnovers, which is an area that's been a struggle so far. The Tide also should continue to have success shooting from the outside, since the Tigers don't defend the 3-pointer very well.
However, Clemson is 34th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, so I can see a world where this is the first game the Tide struggle a bit offensively.
I'd like to also point out that 43% from 3 and 62% inside the arc is unsustainable for Alabama.
KenPom makes this game Alabama -10, and normally, I'd be all over Clemson in this spot. However, I'm going to take a dangerous approach and take an under here.
I would like to advise everyone to wait as long as possible to bet this, since many public will see the recent Alabama offensive success and assume that the game is bound to go over the total.
With that being said, KenPom makes this total about 160, so I will be looking to target that number or better.
I'm a bit skeptical about this Tigers team due to the weak schedule they've had thus far, but I think their offensive style and stingy defense can slow down this Alabama scoring attack a bit. Combine that with the fact that the Tide are due for a bit of shooting regression, and this gives me more validity that this will go under.
It's a scary one, but let's hope the Tigers' defense comes into play and cashes this total for us.
Pick: Under 160.5 (Play to 159)
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