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Providence Syracuse Betting Predictions – Syracuse Tries To Move Toward Big East Title

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/18/2013 6:43:48 PM

The Syracuse Orange have been in the top two of the Big East Conference for almost all of the 2013 college basketball season. They will try to move a step closer to a league championship.

Providence Friars @ Syracuse Orange – Wednesday, February 20    
Online sports betting line:

Why Providence Will Win

Few college football betting experts thought that Louisville, a two-touchdown underdog, would beat Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, and therefore, it's still quite possible that Providence, as a heavy underdog, can win this game on the road against Syracuse. Consider what happened the last time these two teams played this season, on Jan. 9 in Providence, R.I. The Friars built a nine-point first-half lead and flustered the Orange to a considerable degree. They just couldn't finish, however, as Syracuse used its defense to shut down Providence in the latter stages of regulation. Syracuse earned a narrow and difficult 72-66 victory.

Here's an excerpt of the game story from the Associated Press, in which Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was quoted at length: "'Offensively, we haven't seen zones much. When you don't shoot the ball well against the zone, you're going to have trouble,' he (Boeheim) said after the Orange overcame 3-for-21 shooting from 3-point range to escape their last Big East visit to Providence with a 72-66 victory on Wednesday night. 'It's probably the worst shooting night we've had.'

"'When you don't shoot, it's hard to get ahead against teams playing a zone,' Boeheim said, with a nod that acknowledged the irony of his comments. 'I know that.'"
Providence's zone defense unsettled Syracuse, the team that normally confounds opposing teams with its own 2-3 zone, a Boeheim staple. The Friars, with a little more offensive consistency and better foul shooting (they were 15 of 23 at the free throw line against Syracuse on Jan. 9), can pull off the upset.

Why Syracuse Will Win

The best betting reason to take the Orange in this game is that they are simply the better team, playing at home. Yes, Syracuse almost lost to Providence over a month ago, but that was a road game. This reunion is not. Moreover, it's very hard to imagine the Orange shooting 3 for 21 from long distance in this contest. Providence had the perfect scenario laid out in Rhode Island and blew its opportunity to catch Syracuse on an off night. The Orange should be vigilant in this game, mindful of the fact that they were very nearly ambushed by the Friars in the not too distant past. Syracuse will be mentally prepared for this contest, and as long as that's the case, it's hard to  think of a way in which Providence can actually win this contest. The Friars have beaten Villanova and Seton Hall on the road in the Big East this season, but Syracuse is in another league altogether.

Who Will Win

Ultimately, Syracuse is simply too talented and resourceful to get caught sleeping at home against Providence. The Friars will have a hard time shutting down the Orange with a zone defense – Jim Boeheim will be ready for it on this occasion.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Syracuse

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