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October 22, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Clemson at North Carolina

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Quintrell Thomas guards North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo during their game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina won the game 79-73.

Clemson has traveled to play North Carolina 56 times in school history. The Tigers have lost in all 56 attempts.

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So, of course, I’m picking them for our Play of the Day on Sunday. Let the self-sabotage continue.

Clemson plus-7.5 at North Carolina: $330 to win $300

Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: Just because you bet this game, doesn’t mean you have to watch it.

A Biddy Basketball matchup a few miles down Tobacco Road will likely prove more exciting than this pairing of ACC has-beens. The Tigers and Tar Heels are setting basketball back this season with offenses as disjointed as a group of fraternity brothers after a weekend-long bender.

They both play tough enough defense, however, to put points at a premium. That’s an immediate reason to take the underdog, but digging deeper makes Clemson look even better.

These teams’ statistical profiles are close to mirror images of each other, meaning 7.5 points is too much for either side. Clemson is coming off of a humbling 76-43 pasting at Pittsburgh where it shot 32 percent.

The Tigers have twice posted field-goal percentages lower than that this season, both times coming back to win straight-up and against the spread in their next game. Two weeks ago, Clemson upset Duke 72-59 two days after losing to Florida State 56-41.

Oddsmakers must be entranced by the powder blue or seduced by the tradition because North Carolina is one of the most overvalued teams in the nation. The Tar Heels have covered just one of their last nine games.

Standings: Bern (3-3, $9,840), Brewer (2-3-1, $9,470), Keefer (2-5, $8,787.50)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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