Clemson vs. Temple Odds & Picks: Bet Tigers in Thursday’s College Basketball Game (November 18)
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- Clemson and Temple go to battle in Thursday college basketball action.
- The Tigers enter as 5-point favorites, according to updated odds.
- Shane McNichol explains why he's backing Thursday's favorite below.
Clemson vs. Temple Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
Highly-ranked St. Bonaventure headlines the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic played throughout this weekend, yet the meaty middle of the tournament features a host of teams eyeing early-season non-conference wins that could boost their resume in March.
Clemson and Temple are two such teams. Each was picked toward the back of the pack in preseason conference polls, but have impressed in the early going.
The winner of this game would be hoping for a crack at St. Bonaventure in the semifinals, yet both of these teams would be wise not to overlook this first-round matchup.
This season marks a pivotal moment for the Clemson program. Brad Brownell is in his 12th year with the Tigers and has just three NCAA Tournament berths in his time as head coach.
Last season, the Tigers earned a 7-seed in March before being bounced in the first round in an ugly game against Rutgers.
The roster is not packed with talent, especially after the departure of Aamir Simms, who did everything for Clemson and was the face of the program during his time on campus.
Most of last year’s team has returned, but without Simms, that isn’t saying much. No Clemson player on this year’s roster averaged double-digits in scoring or at least five rebounds or three assists last season. That is a ton of production to make up this year.
So far this season, it hasn’t looked like an issue. Brownell has the Tigers playing slowly as usual — with Clemson outside the top 250 in tempo every year but Brownell’s first — yet they are scoring thanks to some hot shooting and aggressiveness.
Last season, Clemson was 337th nationally in free-throw rate. The Tigers were built on jump shooting and it showed, with game-to-game success wildly varying. Clemson beat good teams like Alabama, North Carolina and Florida State and also lost to Virginia by 35.
This season, the Tigers aren’t settling for jump shots. Clemson is attempting 24 free throws per game after just 12.8 foul shots per night last year.
When the Tigers are taking jump shots, they are making them. Brownell’s top three leading scorers have combined to shoot 20-of-38 from outside the arc. Those three players, Hunter Tyson, Al-Amir Dawes and PJ Hall, all returned from last season and will be counted on to carry Clemson this year.
I would have doubts that the Clemson offense can stay as effective as we’ve seen it, especially with the schedule dialing up. When jumpers aren’t falling, Clemson needs to have a reliable answer.
Temple is also at a crossroads, entering year three with Aaron McKie at the helm. The former NBA talent and Temple alum faces the tall task of bringing his alma mater back to national prominence.
The Owls will do so while still members of American Athletic Conference, which is soon to be a wasteland of misfit toys.
McKie has some talent, enough to compete with the second tier of conference foes beneath Houston and Memphis.
His Owls are led by Khalif Battle, who scored 15 points per game last season. This year, he’s off to a lightning quick start, dropping 48 total points in Temple’s first two tilts. Battle has taken 16 shots from outside the arc and has made half of them.
He’s flanked by Damian Dunn, who also averaged double figures last season. They can provide a one-two scoring punch that fuels the Temple offense.
If McKie has excelled in one area, it’s been getting his teams to share the ball. Both of his clubs have ranked in the top-40 nationally in assist rate.
Size is an area of concern. Temple doesn’t play anyone bigger than 6-foot-8 and most of the available big men are unproven youngsters. Protecting the paint won’t be easy for this group.
USC managed 76 points despite just four made threes against Temple.
Clemson vs. Temple Betting Pick
Both of these teams have over-performed a bit to date this season.
Clemson’s hot shooting start has the Tigers’ offense looking a lot rosier than it should through three games.
Temple, meanwhile, blew out one of the worst teams in the nation, Maryland Eastern Shore, which was playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and snuck in a backdoor cover against USC in a home game in North Philly. The Trojans led by as many as 23 in the second half before the Owls closed the lead to just five to end the game.
On a neutral court, Clemson is the better team. The Tigers have the athletes to slow down Temple’s scoring duo and should be able to control the game in the paint.
A well-defended rim and an advantage on the glass gives Clemson the upper hand, at least by a few possessions.
Pick: Clemson -4 (Play to -6.5)
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