College Basketball Picks: Syracuse vs. UConn Betting Predictions
by Dain Zank - 3/10/2011
We've come to expect the unexpected in the Big East Tournament each season, and it happened again Thursday when the ninth-seeded Connecticut Huskies knocked off the top-seeded Pitt Panthers, which might cost Pitt a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. So UConn, a team that lost seven of its last 11 regular-season games and finished 9-9 in Big East play, moves on to the conference semis Friday to play fourth-seeded Syracuse (7 p.m. EST, ESPN), which outlasted St. John's Thursday.
Connecticut started 10-0 this season and won seven of its first nine Big East games. But the Huskies struggled at home from there, and finished in a tie for ninth place in the conference. And they did their financial backers no favors, going 3-8 ATS down the stretch.
But UConn has found a little something here in the conference tournament. Tuesday they beat DePaul by 28 points; Wednesday they defeated Georgetown 79-62; and Thursday they upset Pitt, 76-74, on a buzzer-beater by leading scorer Kemba Walker from the top of the key. Walker has scored 26, 28 and 24 points, respectively, in the Huskies' three tournament games. But Connecticut at times relies on Walker too much for its offensive production. On the season Walker is averaging 23 points per game, while no other Husky is averaging more than 10 PPG.
Syracuse started 18-0 this season, then lost four in a row and six of eight. The Orange then won their last five in a row to close the regular season, finishing in a three-way tie for third place in the Big East and earning one of the double-byes into Thursday's quarterfinals. And the 'Cuse made a little money for their friends late in the season, covering six of their last nine point spreads.
The Orange then advanced to Friday's semifinal by beating St. John's on Thursday, 79-73, covering the spread as three-point favorites.
On the season Connecticut is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the line. The Huskies are also holding opponents to 40 percent FG shooting and outrebounding foes by 4.4 per game.
Syracuse, meanwhile, is shooting 47 percent from the floor, 35 percent from long range but only 66 percent from the line. The Orange are also limiting foes to 39 percent shooting and outrebounding them by 3.4 per game.
These two teams met once during the regular season, in early February, andSyracuse went to Hartford and came away with a 66-58 victory as three-point underdogs. The Orange only shot 38 percent from the field that night, but held UConn to 36 percent shooting and outboarded the Huskies 42-32. And they hounded Walker into a 3-for-14 shooting performance. That game played ‘under’ its posted total of 138.
The winner of this game will play in the Big East Tournament Championship Game on Saturday night.
Syracuse vs. UConn Odds
As of Thursday night this game had not yet been lined.
Syracuse vs. UConn Betting Trends
Four of the last five games in the series between these two teams have played ‘under’ the total.
The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five games in this series.
Connecticut is 16-11 ATS this season, and 12-14 on the totals.
Syracuse is 14-16 ATS this season, 12-17 on the totals.
College Basketball Picks: Syracuse vs. UConn Predictions
This will be the fourth game in four days for the Huskies, and just the second in two days for the 'Cuse. And while these kids are in the best shape of their lives we can't help but think UConn's legs will be a little wobbly in the second half Friday night. Syracuse is just the better team, overall, in this matchup. They shoot the ball better, they play better defense and they're more experienced. And the Huskies are, at times, almost a one-man show on offense, while the Orange have four guys averaging 12 PPG or more. So we'll take Syracuse here, hoping we don't have to give too many points, and praying that the Orange can make their free throws when it counts, near the end of the game.
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