College Basketball Pick: #12 Duke Blue Devils at #11 Clemson Tigers
Major ACC Hoop Matchup Today
The #12 TCU Duke Blue Devils (21-5 Overall, 9-4 ACC) meet the #11 Clemson Tigers (20-5 Overall, 9-4 ACC) at 1 p.m. E.T. today, Sunday, February 18. Both teams are dealing with having to play without one of their major contributors. Duke has won two straight without freshman and leading scorer and rebounder Marvin Bagley III. He’s sat out a few games with a knee strain. Clemson will be without star point guard Shleton Mitchell today. He suffered a frightening head injury this past Wednesday in the game against Florida State. In developing our projection, we note that Our Duke plays Clemson 2018 NCAA basketball ACC pick has the Blue Devils favored by anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 points. The over/under at 145.0.
The Blue Devils have won their last two games and are 3-2 for their last five contests. Recent losses for Duke include 65-63 to #2 Virginia and 82-78 to #21 North Carolina. Clemson lost on Feb. 14 to Florida State 87-79 in OT. The Tigers had won four in a row prior to that. That included an 82-78 win over #19 North Carolina. They had a terrible loss to #2 Virginia on Jan 23. The final score was 61-36.
Duke is averaging a hefty 88.3 PPG, while the Tigers are putting up 75.2. Clemson is better when it comes to points allowed, giving up just 65.8 per game, while the Blue Devils are allowing opponents 71.8. Duke is +4% over the Tigers on shooting percentage, plus-seven on rebounds, and plus-five on assists. Duke is hitting 75% of their frees. The Tigers are good on 70%.
Players to Watch
Freshman forward Wendell Carter Jr. comes to the game with 9.5 RPG and 14.4 PPG. Freshman guard Trevon Duval is a fine playmaker, dishing off 5.6 APG while averaging 11.0 PPG. Guard Gary Trent, another freshman, is good for 15.2 PPG and is a 46% three-point shooter.
Clemson puts some fine upperclassmen on the floor including forward Donte Grantham who’s good for 14.2 PPG and 6.9 RPG. Guard Marcquise Reed leads the club with 15.7 PPG. Forward Elijah Thomas is grabbing 7.6 RPG while averaging 10.2 PPG.
Our Duke Plays Clemson 2018 NCAA Basketball ACC Pick
Clemson will have to make some major adjustments without Mitchell. Duke has done well playing without Bagley. We like Duke in this one, especially if they’re knocking in their three-point shots. Our Duke plays Clemson 2018 NCAA basketball ACC pick is the Blue Devils at -1.5. Let’s go with over 145.0.