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Betting Connecticut Syracuse – Floundering Huskies Fall At Syracuse

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 10:24:18 PM

Connecticut’s online betting odds are going down the drain quickly and they’re coming off a rout at the hands of Louisville as they prepare for Syracuse, who survived a tough test from Georgetown and even though they’re flawed, the Orangemen will put away the Huskies at the Carrier Dome.

What: NCAA Basketball Betting
When: Saturday, February 11th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Pick: Syracuse Orangemen

Why Bet On UConn Huskies (15-8 SU, 6-12-1 ATS)

The Huskies are in complete disarray as an 80-59 loss at Louisville was their fifth in six games, but at least UConn was competitive in their other losses; their largest margin of defeat prior to this game was 14 points at Georgetown three games ago, but they were blown out of the water at Louisville and the score was probably flattering for the Huskies, who were without head coach Jim Calhoun for the second straight game due to health problems. Ryan Boatright had a solid night for UConn, posting 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Alex Oriakhi came off the bench for 11 points and seven boards, but the Huskies got nothing from Jeremy Lamb (seven points on 3-of-9 shooting) and Andre Drummond (no points on 0-of-6 shooting, four rebounds), the duo that was supposed to spearhead UConn’s conference and national championship defenses. The Huskies shot 35.1% from the field, they were outrebounded by five and turned the ball over 15 times as the Cardinals pulled away in the second half.

Calhoun (back) is out indefinitely and the program is also in turmoil over academic issues and the possibility of missing next year’s NCAA Tournament, so it is a trying time at UConn right now and the losses are piling up. A meeting with the Orangemen may be the last thing they need right now as UConn is 218th in three-point percentage and that could mean trouble against the Syracuse zone. They have to defend like their Tournament hopes depend on it (and they very well might), and the Huskies desperately need Lamb and Drummond to play like the lottery picks many college basketball betting players think they are.

Why Bet On Syracuse Orangemen (24-1 SU, 14-10 ATS)

The No.2 Orangemen outlasted Georgetown 64-61 in overtime in a slugfest of a game that exemplifies everything that the Big East is about: tough, physical basketball. Jim Boeheim passed North Carolina legend Dean Smith for third on the all-time head-coaching wins list with his 880th victory, but it didn’t come easy as the Orangemen shot 34.9% from the field and they were outrebounded 48-30, including 20-12 on the offensive end. Kris Joseph stepped up on the offensive end with a career-high 29 points and he nailed six of his 11 three-point attempts, while Fab Melo added 11 points and seven boards for the Orangemen, but Melo also had six blocks and you saw just how much the Orangemen missed him when he was out with academic problems. The 2-3 zone is exceptionally long this year at Syracuse, but Melo may be the most improved player in the country due to a massive weight loss and he has enhanced his defensive instincts; not only do you have to work to make outside shots or even get inside the zone, but you then have to get past Melo, who is averaging 3.1 blocks per game.

If there is a glaring weakness for Syracuse, however, it is their rebounding and Boeheim didn’t sound like a coach that had won a game to move up the all-time wins list. The Orangemen are 182nd in rebound margin and they’re one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to keeping teams off the offensive glass, which is incredible when you realize that they play a zone. The entire team could stand to hit the glass harder, and that is an area that UConn can take advantage of on Saturday afternoon.

How It Will Play Out

Syracuse will be the NCAA basketball betting favorites at the Carrier Dome, where they are 2-3 SU and ATS in their last five meetings with the Huskies, with four games going under the posted total. The Orangemen are 8-9 ATS at home this season, while the Huskies are 1-6 ATS on the road, so the edge has to go to Syracuse.

UConn will definitely play better than they did at Louisville, but they’re too inconsistent to risk as a darkhorse, especially without Calhoun on the sidelines. It is a talented team, but they don’t have a leader like Kemba Walker was last year; Oriakhi is the closest thing they have to a leader, but he comes off the bench. Unless the Huskies pound the offensive glass, they don’t have a chance and even then, Syracuse will still find a way to pull this game out. Take the Orangemen to cover the sports betting spread on Saturday.

UConn Syracuse Betting Pick: Syracuse Orangemen

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