Rutgers vs Clemson March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 19

Updated: March 15, 2021

Andrew Caley
Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 3:22 PM ET

You’ve got to love the clear mistakes in seeding by the NCAA Tournament committee, just like in the Midwest Region’s 10 vs. 7 matchup. The 10-seed Rutgers Scarlet Knights are actually slight 1-point favorites going up against the 7-seed Clemson Tigers.

This is a matchup of two very strong defensive teams who have survived through roller-coaster seasons, but who has what it takes to extend their March Madness stay and cover the small spread? 

Find out in our best Rutgers vs. Clemson March Madness picks and predictions for college basketball betting action on Friday, March 19.

Rutgers vs Clemson odds

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Oddsmakers actually opened 10-seed Rutgers as the 1-point favorite with a total of 126.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Clemson Tigers betting preview


Rutgers: No injuries to report.
Clemson: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Clemson is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Rutgers vs. Clemson.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Clemson Tigers began the season 9-1 and had what looked like one of the best defenses in the country. They recorded wins over Purdue, Alabama and Florida State in that stretch. They also have wins over North Carolina and Syracuse but were ousted in the first round of the ACC Tournament by Miami. 

The biggest problem for Clemson is if its defense, which ranks 20th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating, doesn’t completely shut down its opponents, they don’t have the offense to win a shootout. 

The Tigers rank 153rd in effective field goal percentage and average a minuscule 65.4 points per contest. They are led by big man Aamir Simms, but he is their only elite playmaker. 

Rutgers, on the other hand, is probably much better than their record suggests and March Madness odds agree, at least for this matchup. The Scarlet Knights began the season 7-1, which included wins over Syracuse, Maryland and No. 1 seed Illinois.

The Big Ten was a battleground this season, with teams beating up on each other, and Rutgers was no exception. They had winning streaks and losing streaks, and closed the season going 3-2, getting ousted by Illinois in their second Big Ten Tournament game. On offense, the Knights are led by Ron Harper Jr., who has a silky smooth jump shot, while Myles Johnson is one of the best interior defenders in the country.

The Scarlet Knights just have the more capable scorers and the Tigers turn over the ball too much, which will be their undoing in this one. Take the Big Ten 10-seed in this NCAA Tournament matchup.

PREDICTION: Rutgers -1 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

As you can imagine, the total for this matchup is one of the lowest on the board in the first round of the tourney, sitting at 126.5. As noted, Clemson averages just 64.5 points per game this season, they don’t shoot a ton of threes and they play at one of the slowest tempos in the country. They have scored 66 points or fewer in 10 of their last 13 games. That doesn’t bode well against a Rutgers team that ranks 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency and has the athleticism on the inside to combat the Tigers’ best player.

On the other side, Rutgers’ offense has come and gone at points this season, but there is no doubt they have the scoring ability to put up big numbers. However, betting on them showing up against a stout Tigers defense is a shaky proposition. They started the season going 6-1-1 to the Over but ended the season going 12-6 to the Under over their final 18 games.

Inconsistent offenses and strong defenses means you’ve got to lean towards the Under even with a number this low.

PREDICTION: Under 126.5 (-110)

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First-half spread pick

Clemson surprisingly got off to a decent start against Miami in the ACC Tournament, before choking the game anyway. It was surprising because the Tigers are not known for their fast starts this season, averaging just 30.3 first-half points. Rutgers was a slightly better team before the break, scoring 32.3 half-time points per game.

Once again, this just comes down to Rutgers having more reliable scorers, with Jacob Young and Geo Baker running alongside Harper. The Scarlet Knights are providing good value to enter the half with a lead.

PREDICTION: Rutgers -0.5 First Half Spread (-105)

Rutgers vs Clemson betting card

  • Rutgers -1 (-110)
  • Under 126.5 (-110)
  • Rutgers -0.5 First Half Spread (-105)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Rutgers vs. Clemson picks, you could win $61.16 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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