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Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Georgia Bulldogs (20-14) at Clemson Tigers (17-14)

College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Littlejohn Coliseum)

The Line: Clemson Tigers -5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESFC

Headed our way on Friday in opening-night college basketball action from Littlejohn Coliseum, the Georgia Bulldogs will be traveling to visit the Clemson Tigers. 

Georgia is fresh off a 20-14 season (10-8 in the SEC) in 2015-16, tying for sixth place in the conference. The Bulldogs managed to get to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament but lost to Kentucky. Afterward in the NIT, Georgia got past Belmont but lost in the second round to Saint Mary’s. 

Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The good news for Georgia is that they’ll be retaining their top two scorers from last year in JJ Frazier (16.9 PPG) and Yante Maten (16.5 PPG). Frazier and Maten were also strong on the boards for the Bulldogs in 2015-16, combining for 12.6 rebounds per game. Two key losses for Georgia this season will be Kenny Gaines (12.8 PPG) and Charles Mann (10.9 PPG; 4.1 RPG), who made up the rest of the team’s “Big Four” which provided the lion’s share of the scoring. 

Over on the Clemson side, they’re entering play here coming off a 17-14 season (10-8 in the ACC), tying for seventh place in the conference. The Tigers’ season ended with a loss to Georgia Tech in the second round of the ACC Tournament. 

Clemson also has some positives heading into the year with their roster, as Jaron Blossomgame (18.7 PPG; 6.7 RPG), Donte Grantham (10.2 PPG) and Avry Holmes (10.0 PPG) will be returning to the fold after finishing as the top three scorers last year. The Tigers will have some holes to fill further down the lineup, however, as Jordan Roper (8.8 PPG) and Landry Nnoko (8.1 PPG; 5.7 RPG) have moved on. 

Georgia is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. The over is 4-0 in Georgia’s last four non-conference games, and the over is also 9-1 in Georgia’s last 10 overall. 

As for Clemson, they’re 1-4 ATS in their last five home games, and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Clemson is also 0-4 ATS in their last four versus the SEC, and the under is 5-0 in the Tigers’ last five games versus the SEC. 

With Frazier and Maten back on the floor to lead the charge, we should see a mature and experienced presence with Arizona in this opening game. More of the same should follow from Clemson’s top three, but I get the feeling the Tigers will be playing smaller and open to getting out-muscled on the boards. There’s still a lot to learn about both squads, but I like Georgia here to take the opener.

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Georgia Bulldogs +5

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