College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Clemson vs. Rutgers: Value Lies in Total
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Clifford Omoruyi
- Clemson takes on Rutgers in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge from Piscataway, New Jersey.
- The Scarlet Knights are likely without Geo Baker.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Clemson vs. Rutgers Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge kicked off on Monday night and continues through Tuesday, with the bulk of the contests taking place on the second night of action.
Clemson takes on Rutgers in one of the late games.
Both squads are seemingly dead even teams that play at a similarly slow pace. They have Adjusted Tempos ranked below 300, per KenPom, and their strengths reside on defense.
Geo Baker has a nagging hamstring injury and could very well miss another game for the Scarlet Knights, so this may leave one of their top scorers on the sidelines. Clemson also has not put up many points against stronger competition, but is there value on the under, or is this already priced in?
Clemson’s offense gives a variety of reasons to target the total. The Tigers play at a slow pace, as they rank 302nd in Adjusted Tempo, using about 17.7 seconds per possession. They also have only registered a 66.4% mark from the free throw line.
Still, they have hit 44.1% of their shots from downtown and own the eighth-best Effective Field Goal Percentage (58.8%) in the NCAA.
However, their 3-point percentage is a tad inflated. For example, Nick Honor is hitting 50% of his outside shots. Could he have figured it out suddenly? Sure, but he shot 36.7% last season. That being said, they have threats from deep, so this is the one threat to the total when looking at an under here.
When Clemson has played top-100 teams (St. Bonaventure and West Virginia), it has held them to 65 points or fewer. Opponents play slow against Clemson, as they have taken 18.2 seconds per possession.
Clemson has also held opponents to a 30% 3-point percentage or lower, so far. Expect that number to look even better on Tuesday, as Rutgers has only shot 24.1% from downtown.
Clemson has defensive stoppers on the perimeter, too. David Collins and Honor both average at least 1.5 steals per game. Hunter Tyson averages around one steal per game, as well.
The Tigers only limit opponents to a 26.8% offensive board percentage, so this is their biggest weakness. As long as they can limit Ron Harper, Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi down low, they should prevent second chances for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers primarily relies on three players for most of its offensive production, as Harper, Omoruyi and Baker all average at least 11 points per game.
Baker is sidelined, so this means the points will need to come from elsewhere. It’s likely Aundre Hyatt or Paul Mulcahy will need to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the ball. Baker’s absence leaves a massive hole in this lineup, so they will not see similar scoring from other options.
The Scarlet Knights also hold one of the lowest Effective Field Goal Percentages in college basketball. Sure, they do not turn over the ball, but they have only shot 47.5% from inside the arc and 68.8% from the free throw line.
Given their poor abilities from 3-point land, it is hard to see where they manufacture points, outside of Harper and Omoruyi.
They do have a height advantage over the Tigers, but Clemson will have a tight enough defense to utilize traps when needed. Seeing how Rutgers only put up 48 points on Merrimack and 51 points on Lafayette, Clemson will be too tall of a task to make consistent buckets inside.
Clemson vs. Rutgers Betting Pick
Clemson could win this basketball game, but it would be hard to side with it, since Rutgers outsizes them. However, the Tigers have a lockdown defense and run at their own pace. Rutgers has not yet proven it can dictate the pace of the game or find consistent scoring from its lineup.
The under is the play here. Take it at 127.5 and play down to 125, as points will be at a premium for both sides.