NCAAB Tournament (6) Clemson vs Alabama (4) Betting Preview

First Trip to the Final Four on the Line for Both Schools

The winner of the Clemson vs Alabama matchup on Saturday night will make history as it will be the first Final Four both for either school. The Crimson Tide (24-11) had a relatively easy ride last weekend beating #13 Charleston and #12 Grand Canyon but they’ve proven they’re legit by toppling #2 seed Arizona on Thursday.

Clemson (24-11) may not have expected to be playing for a berth in the Final Four, but they’ve won three games as underdogs to advance for this opportunity. The Crimson Tide are -3.5 favorites for Saturday night’s matchup and a somewhat surprising 69% of the betting public like the Tigers and the points.

Why Clemson Has Value at +3.5

It wouldn’t shock anybody if Clemson won Saturday night’s game outright, so to get +3.5 points almost seems like a no-brainer. The Tigers dropped their ACC tournament opener, but finished the regular season 7-3 over their last 10 and have beaten New Mexico (77-56) as +2 point underdogs, eliminated Baylor (72-64) at +4.5, and then upset #2 Arizona (77-72) with a +7 point line.

The Tigers have had a more difficult path to this point than their opponents. The Crimson Tide may have beaten #1 North Carolina this week, but they were also fresh after easy wins over a 13 seed Charleston (109-96) and #13 Grand Canyon (72-61). Alabama has a great offense, but also the #102 adjusted defensive efficiency according to the KenPom rankings.

Clemson has a couple All-Tournament caliber players led by PJ Hall who doesn’t always put up great numbers (18.8/6.8 during the regular season) but brings a noticeable energy to the game. Both Hall and Chase Hunter have averaged over 15+ ppg going back to the ACC Tournament and Clemson has gotten this far even as veteran PG Joe Girard III has struggled with a 7 point and a 4 point outing in the NCAAs while averaging 15.7 during the regular season.

Why Alabama Has Value at -3.5

The Tide may have taken some flack for beating double digit seeded opponents to get to the Sweet 16, but you can only play who is in front of you. Alabama’s 89-87 win over #1 seed North Carolina on Thursday should dispel any doubts that this team is not a legitimate National Champion contender.

Like their opponent Clemson, Alabama bowed out of their conference tournament in the first game but also finished the regular season relatively successful at 9-4 over their last 13. The win over UNC was obviously the most impressive over that span, but the Tide also put up their 24 wins with the 3rd hardest adjusted strength of schedule in the country while Clemson’s was 17th.

The Crimson Tide had a lot of contributors in the win over the Tar Heels, with Grant Nelson scoring 24, Aaron Estrada and Rylan Griffen both adding 19, while Mark Sears had 18. That’s the type of balance that comes in handy in a high pressure situation with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Free Clemson vs Alabama Betting Pick

Alabama looked good against UNC, but there is also an emotional letdown after beating a #1 seed and having such a quick turnaround. These two teams met up in the regular season with Clemson getting an 85-77 win at Tuscaloosa as +8.5 underdogs and even though that contest was way back in November, it’s hard to give the points after that.

Free Pick: Clemson +3.5

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