December 21, 2016
There are two picks tonight.
#1: Take Clemson +1 spread against South Carolina for 3% of the bankroll.
This is a big time inter-state rivalry matchup as the Clemson Tigers take to the road to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Clemson Tigers have been one of the hottest teams in the country and come into this rivalry game on a 6-game win streak which includes victories over the likes of Nebraska, Alabama. They also hold notable victories over both Davidson and Georgia this season as well. They are clearly battle tested already this season and should help put them in a position to pull off the victory on the road in this contest.
While South Carolina is a team that is built around their 4th ranked defense, they have struggled at time to put points on the board, especially since the loss of their leading scorer, Sindarius Thornwell. As of right now, they are ranked 206th nationally in scoring average. The issue that we have with South Carolina is the fact that they have yet to play any defensive indeed teams. This matchup with Clemson will be their first look at a true, hardnosed defense and without an established go-to ball-handler, we believe they will have a difficult time putting points up on this Clemson squad.
South Carolina has dominated this series as of late and yet we find it interesting that the oddsmakers have listed this game at a near pick'em. South Carolina is ranked in the Top 25 and are undefeated at home on the season, so that should raise the questions as to why such a short line? Clemson looked incredibly strong in their most recent road contest against a quality Alabama program and we believe that will carry over into this matchup tonight. This will undoubtedly be a closely contested matchup, but with Clemson having already played some top notch programs this season and the fact that they have a true go-to scorer in Jaron Blossomgame should be the deciding factor in this matchup. Clemson snaps their recent losing streak in this rivalry and comes away with a closely contested road victory.
#2: Take Louisville +2 spread against Kentucky for 3% of the bankroll.
The matchup between Kentucky and Louisville is arguably the biggest on the card tonight and because of that, it will likely be the most popular matchup for the betting public to wager on. The Kentucky Wildcats, since the arrival of John Calipari have been one of the more popular teams for the betting public to back, given their dominance over the years. That being said, the odds makers have purposely assigned an extremely low spread on this game, enticing the betting public to back their 'favorite' team and they have followed suit. We believe that is a mistake in this matchup and Kentucky backers are about to get burned.
The Wildcats are coming off an impressive 103-100 victory over high ranked North Carolina in their last contest in a matchup that saw standout Freshman Malik Monk score 47 points! It was an impressive display of talent and athleticism; however, we believe it may leave them ripe for the pickings in this matchup against an extremely tough Louisville team.
Louisville is ranked number 11 in the country and will be the toughest defensive test that Kentucky has faced all season long. Few teams can contend with the talent and athleticism of Big Blue, but Louisville plays a smothering style of defense of pressure defense that the Wildcats have yet to see this season. This will not be an up and down the court track meet like their matchup with North Carolina. Louisville will look to play their game in the half court, which is something that few teams have forced Kentucky to do. If Louisville can do that, they will have a great chance to pull off the outright upset.
This is a series that has been dominated by the Wildcats over the years and coach John Calipari is 8-1 SU against Rick Pitino since taking over the coaching duties for Big Blue. Both coaches are hall of fame bound, however you can rest assured that the recent series history doesn't sit well with Pitino. This is arguably his team's biggest test this season and we expect them to play it like it was a National Championship game. The fact that this game is being played on their home floor is a huge advantage.
Let's not forget, that despite all of their talent, Kentucky is still a very young team made up of predominately freshman. They are prone to mistakes and a couple of mistakes at critical times is all that this Louisville team needs to create an opening. Louisville is not a team that loses very often on their home court and have gone 40-5 over the last 3 seasons, including 7-0 SU and 6-0 ATS already this season. This will certainly be a tough test for this Kentucky team. We fully expect Louisville to pull off the outright victory in what should be a back and forth contest. This matchup could come down to the final possession and if that is the case, we expect the points to prove to be valuable.
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