How fun is it when you get a rivalry game and a battle of two unbeaten squads? That’s what the college basketball world is treated to when the South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road to face the Clemson Tigers tonight.
Taking a look at college basketball odds, Clemson is an 8.5-point favorite while the total is 139.5.
I have my eyes set on that total as both teams have been red-hot offensively but this series is typically low-scoring in nature. What gives in this year’s iteration?
Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for the South Carolina Gamecocks vs. the Clemson Tigers on Wednesday, December 6 to find out.
South Carolina vs Clemson best odds
South Carolina vs Clemson picks and predictions
Second-year head coach Lamont Paris has engineered a nice turnaround for the South Carolina Gamecocks after last year’s disappointing 11-21 campaign. His team is up to 51st overall in KenPom and could be headed for a Top-50 spot with a strong showing tonight.
This marks South Carolina’s first true road game after three neutral-site victories in non-conference play. It should be a raucous environment at Littlejohn Coliseum for this heated rivalry between two unbeatens. The Gamecocks were 4-8 on the road last season.
The Gamecocks enter a confident bunch after breaking a school record with 18 three-pointers against George Washington on Friday. That was the culminating moment for a team that has been red hot from deep to start the year, canning 9.4 triples per game at a 40.2% clip.
Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers have also been scorching hot from deep, hitting 10.3 threes per game at 40.7%, helping propel them to a 7-0 start, which includes back-to-back impressive road wins over Alabama and Pitt.
The Tigers may have been on a bit of a vengeance tour after missing last year’s NCAA Tournament despite winning 23 games. Brownell isn’t leaving any doubt this year that his team is a quality group in what’s been a remarkable showing during non-conference play.
Both teams are off to hot starts on the offensive end — the Gamecocks are averaging 76.7 points per game while ranking 48th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, and the Tigers average 80.3 ppg, checking in at 21st in offensive efficiency.
This has typically been a low-scoring matchup as nine of the last 10 meetings have gone Under the total and I think that’s influencing this line as it really should project in the low 140s considering both teams are better offensively than they are defensively. There’s only been one total over that 10-year span which was in the 140s — 2018, which was also the only time these teams hit the Over. Tonight's 139.5 is the second-highest total in the last 10 years, indicating that more points are expected than usual.
South Carolina made a concerted effort to improve offensively and now has an abundance of shooters for an offense with wonderful spacing. Clemson, meanwhile, lost two of its best defenders from last year’s team (Hunter Tyson and Ben Middlebrooks) and replaced them with the offensive-minded Joseph Girard III.
The chemical composition of both respective squads is different than in years past as both are more offense-oriented. Therefore, I’m not too concerned with recent results in this Palmetto State showdown and believe it could be creating some line value in a game between two red-hot offenses.
While both have excelled at the deep ball, neither stands out defending it. Clemson typically lets its opponents take plenty of trey balls, ranking 262nd in three-point attempts allowed vs. the average opponent (per Haslametrics). South Carolina, meanwhile, checks in at 151st in three-point percentage allowed vs. the average opponent.
I’m going to hit the Over in a game between two sizzling offenses.
My best bet: Over 139.5 (-110 at bet365)
South Carolina vs Clemson same-game parlay
The first play that I will add to the Over on the game total is for Clemson guard Joseph Girard III to score 12 or more points. He’s averaging 14.7 points on the season and has come on strong of late, scoring at least 13 in five straight while posting 18.8 ppg in that span. I like him to exceed this alternative points prop regardless of game script and find it to be a fine play targeting a guard who has averaged 13 field goal attempts across his last five outings.
The final leg features South Carolina against the spread. Clemson is catching an inflated number after two straight impressive road wins. It now returns home and is expected to squash an undefeated SEC team. Not so fast, my friend.
The Gamecocks improved this offseason and now have a wealth of experience as their Top 5 scorers are all upperclassmen. I expect Paris to have this team ready to at least keep things close in a hotly-contested rivalry game.
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South Carolina vs Clemson spread and Over/Under analysis
Both teams are 7-0, but it’s South Carolina that has been adept at covering spreads at 6-1. Clemson has also been profitable at 4-3 against the spread.
Although the Gamecocks have yet to play a true road game, they have looked impressive in neutral-site victories (and outright upsets) over Grand Canyon (+4.5) and Virginia Tech (+6.5). They also covered the spread against DePaul to make them 3-0 ATS in games away from home this season.
This has been a hard team for bookmakers to nail down after finishing with a lousy record a year ago. Paris hit the transfer portal hard and came away with an experienced group that has had great spacing thus far offensively, so I’m inclined to believe that the books’ early-season mispricing of this squad may have not been rectified just yet.
As for the total, both teams have played to the Over. South Carolina is 4-3 O/U while Clemson is 5-2 O/U.
South Carolina vs Clemson betting trend to know
South Carolina is a perfect 3-0 O/U in games away from home. Find more college basketball betting trends for South Carolina vs. Clemson.
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South Carolina vs Clemson game info
|Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC
|Wednesday, December 6, 2023
|8:00 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs Clemson key injuries
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