Georgetown at Syracuse Picks and NCAA Basketball Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 2/23/2013
It is the end of an era in Syracuse basketball.
No. 11 Georgetown visits No. 8 Syracuse at 4 p.m. on Saturday for what will be the final regular season Big East Conference matchup between these rivals in the Carrier Dome. This is one of the best rivalries in all of college sports, and this weekend will be more than a little nostalgic for Orange coaches and fans.
(Naturally, ESPN will be in Lexington covering the Missouri-Kentucky game. You know, because anyone gives a damn about that game.)
The Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry is collateral damage from the plague of conference re-alignment. With the Orange headed to the ACC next year, this will be the last time these two square off as conference rivals. The Orange have sold out The Dome, and they are expecting the largest crowd in the history of The Loud House.
Syracuse set an NCAA record for on-campus college basketball crowd back on Feb. 27, 2010, when 34.616 watched them demolish Villanova. Reports state that the Orange have already sold 35,012 tickets for this weekend’s game.
Here is a breakdown of this week’s top matchup:
Georgetown Hoyas at Syracuse Orange Betting Story Lines
There will be an absurd amount of emotion in The Dome on Saturday. The scene will be unlike anything else in college basketball, and the density of the history behind this game will elevate every play. The team that is able to keep its composure will be the one that sets the tone.
The stakes don’t get any higher than Syracuse-Georgetown. But, as if this game needed another storyline, these two archenemies are currently tied for first place for the league title.
Georgetown has won eight straight games and is one of the hottest teams in the country. They are 20-4 on the season, and, outside of a weird 73-45 blowoutloss to Pitt, the Hoyas have not been an easy team to shake. It took No. 1 Indiana overtime to down the Hoyas back in November, and Georgetown’s other two losses came by just one point and three points.
Sophomore swingman Otto Porter leads the Hoyas with 15.1 points per game. Porter is a blue chip player that shoots nearly 50 percent from the field, 45 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line. He is second on the team in assists and blocks and he leads the team in steals. He does it all.
Syracuse is coming off a dominating performance over Providence on Wednesday, winning 84-59. The Orange have won two straight and four of five but are just 4-3 in their last seven games after an 18-1 start to the year.
Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams give the Orange perhaps the best backcourt in the country. They combine for 27.6 points and 11.8 assists per game. C.J. Fair gives Syracuse another go-to player as well, and the Orange really overwhelm opponents with their size, their length, and their impressive athleticism.
The Orange have recently been adjusting to the return of senior wing James Southerland. Southerland, the team’s No. 3 scorer and best perimeter shooter, missed six games while dealing with an academic issue. He has been streaky since his return. But if Syracuse is going to win they will need the senior to show up and play well because if the Orange has a weakness it is their lackluster three-point shooting.
Georgetown will try to frustrate the Orange with a deliberate pace. The Hoyas are all about execution in John Thompson III’s modified Princeton offense. They will try to take the air out of the ball, slow down the Syracuse transition game, and make this a possession game.
The Hoyas are No. 10 in the nation in points allowed and No. 10 in field goal defense. They will rely on that defense to hold back the Orange attack. If Georgetown can hold their own in the paint and force the Orange to do their damage from the perimeter, then I can see Syracuse struggling to put points on the board.
Depth is an issue for Georgetown. They really only play six players, and if anyone gets in foul trouble the bench isn’t very deep. Georgetown is also one of the least experienced teams in the country. They don’t have a single senior in their rotation and just two juniors: explosive guard Markel Starks and rugged power forward Nate Lubick.
The Orange have won two straight and five of the last seven meetings in this series. However, the road team has won four of the last five outright, and the underdog is on a 5-0 ATS run in this series.
Georgetown at Syracuse NCAA Basketball Betting Odds and Key Trends
BookMaker has installed the Orange as seven-point favorites on the opening line. The total is set at 122.0.
Georgetown has covered the spread in eight straight games and 11 of their last 13. They are 5-2 ATS in their seven road and neutral site games this year. The Hoyas are a sparkling 18-6 ATS in their last 24 conference games, and they are 3-1 ATS in the last four against Syracuse. Georgetown is 7-0 ATS in its last seven against a team with a winning record.
Syracuse has gone 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall after a mid-season slump at the window (1-5 ATS). At 15-8 ATS on the season, they have been a fantastic moneymaker. They are 5-2 ATS in their last seven at home and they are 7-1 ATS coming off a blowout of 20 points or more.
Georgetown at Syracuse Picks and Betting Predictions
I actually think that the Hoyas are going to be successful in setting the tempo and implementing their style in this game. They should be able to slow it down, and I think they will be able to frustrate the Orange a little bit. It’s just what Georgetown does. They gave up just 64 points in regulation to Indiana and have completely shut down teams like Louisville (51 points) and Notre Dame (47 points). In fact, the Hoyas have allowed just five of their last 13 Big East opponents to score 60 or more points, and just four of their last 20 opponents overall have managed 65 or more points.
Syracuse is really an underrated defensive team as well. Their patented 2-3 zone smothers opponents and has allowed the Orange to rank No. 30 in the country in scoring defense, No. 7 in field goal defense and No. 10 in three-point defense. The Hoyas have had some disgusting offensive games, including scoring just 37 points in a win over Tennessee, and, after notching a season-high 90 against DePaul, I think they will come back down to earth.
The Orange are not going to lose this game. But Georgetown has always been great in the underdog role under Thompson. I think this one is going to be a vintage Syracuse-Georgetown slugfest, and I can see this game being played in the 50s or low 60s. I’d look at the “under” here.
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