The game of the night for Tuesday in college basketball is the South Carolina Gamecocks taking on the Clemson Tigers. Between the two teams, they are a combined 17-3 on the season. Something has to give in this matchup as South Carolina (8-2) is 2-0 on the road this year while Clemson (9-1) has gone 5-0 at home. Oddsmakers have made the home court Tigers -7.5 favorites in the 12/19 college basketball free pick in a line that has held firm. Is it too many points though?
Big night of college hoops with Clemson hosting South Carolina & Georgia taking on Georgia Tech
— Kevin Faigle (@kevinfaiglewrdw) December 19, 2017
South Carolina Was a Final Four Team a Year Ago
Last year’s Gamecocks team put South Carolina basketball on the map with a Final Four trip that included an upset win over Duke in the NCAA tournament a year ago. This seasons unit is a much different team however after losing nine players in the offseason, most notably SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell. Coach Frank Martin has reloaded however, led by Chris Silva who has scored in double figures in eight of 10 games this season.
South Carolina is in 7th place in the stacked SEC despite having only lost twice this season. SC has won three straight and six of the last seven – but they were supposed to having been favored by at least -8 in six of those games. The Gamecocks have one of the better defenses in the country, ranking 55th in points allowed with opponents shooting just a little over 41%. 12/19 college basketball free pick critics say a lot of SC’s success is due to the quality of their opponents as their strength of schedule is 188th – Clemson’s is just 168th however.
Clemson Winners in Last season’s Matchup
Clemson eked out a 62-60 road win against the Gamecocks last year as +1.5 underdogs. The Tigers shot just 18% from three point range in that victory – but it was still better than the 12% that South Carolina put up. Oddsmakers are expecting another relatively low scoring night for the 12/19 college basketball free pick as they’ve set the total at 137.5.
Clemson has already boosted their March resume with wins over Florida (71-69 as +6.5 underdogs) and Ohio State (79-65 as +5 ‘dogs). The Tigers have won five in a row and their five home victories have come by an average of 22.4 points. The Tigers have the #26 shooting offense in college basketball with a field goal percentage of 50.2% backed up by the #40 defense in points per game at 64.4.
— Clemson Men’s Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) December 19, 2017
12/19 College Basketball Free Pick Betting
South Carolina kept it within two points last year despite shooting 35.5% from the field and 2 for 16 from three point range. Two things though, 1) that was at home and 2) only three players on the roster took the court last year. Clemson on the other hand has 2/3 of it’s scoring returning from last year’s win and got the road win a year ago despite going 21 of 51 from the field and 3-16 from three point range. The Gamecocks are solid on the road going 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9, but they are just 1-3-1 ATS their last five overall. Another huge factor in the 12/19 college basketball free pick is that South Carolina hasn’t played in 10 days – expect some rust and the game to get out of hand early.
Pick: Clemson Tigers -7.5