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Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds – Orangemen take step towards Big East crown

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/26/2010 11:09:53 AM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick Syracuse

Syracuse still aren’t the online betting favorites in the Big East: that title belongs to Villanova, who trail the Orangemen by a game in the country’s toughest conference. The two will clash in the game of the season at Syracuse on Saturday night, and the Orangemen’s 2-3 zone will be enough to handle the Villanova perimeter players.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Saturday, February 27, 9:00 PM ET
WHERE: The Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
KEY STAT: These two have split their last 10 meetings at Syracuse

The Storyline: Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds
The No.7 Wildcats (23-4, 12-3) thumped South Florida 74-49 on Wednesday, bouncing back from losses against UConn and Pitt. The No.4 Orangemen (26-2, 13-2) rolled to a 99-85 win at Providence, their second straight away win after a victory at Georgetown last weekend, to pull into first in the Big East. The Wildcats can pull even with a win, and they’ve won their last two trips to the Carrier Dome, while Syracuse will be aiming to avoid consecutive home losses.

Offensive Matchups: Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds
The Wildcats are second in the country in scoring, and they rank in the top 10 in free-throw shooting, something that most college teams aren’t good at anymore. Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher push the pace from the backcourt, but Villanova should try to get some more touches for Antonio Pena, their best inside presence.
The Orangemen are ninth in scoring, but they lead the nation in field-goal percentage, and they’re second in assists. Syracuse passes the ball around and have five players in double digits this year, but they still struggle with turnovers. Wes Johnson hasn’t been shooting the ball well lately, but he’s contributing in other areas.

Betting Edge:

Defensive Matchups: Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds
Villanova tries to account for their size disadvantage by being physical, but they rank 327th in the country in fouls, which gives their opponents extra chances at the charity stripe. Everyone rebounds for the Wildcats, and they’re 19th in the country in that category. Villanova harasses you all over the floor for 40 minutes, but you can get them in foul trouble.
Syracuse ranks fifth in the nation in steals and seventh in blocks, and they’re also fifth in fouls, which shows a disciplined 2-3 zone. The athleticism of Johnson and Kris Joseph on the wings of the zone covers the perimeter, but they don’t rebound as well as they should. Still, the Orangemen have the length to deal with the Wildcats.

Betting Edge:

Coaching Matchup: Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds
Jay Wright is doing a great job by keeping the Wildcats in the running for March Madness favorites in your sportsbook, and the style he plays is perfect for Villanova. It helps to have Reynolds on the floor, as well. To have 12 wins in a conference like the Big East is massive for any coach.
Jim Boeheim has a talented group buying into his team system, and that’s especially important with the zone defense he employs. He also brought in Johnson, a transfer from Iowa State, and Boeheim has never been big on transfers. But he’s shown an ability to adapt, which is crazy in his 34th year of coaching.

Betting Edge:

Betting Prediction: Villanova vs Syracuse Betting Odds
The Orangemen should be favored in this contest, even though both of their losses have come at home this year, and Villanova has split their last 10 at the Carrier Dome, including two straight wins. Syracuse can hurt you inside and outside, and they’re insanely deep. The Orangemen can get out on Villanova’s shooters, and their biggest worry will be stopping the penetration of Reynolds, particularly in the second half. Look for Johnson to shake his slump on Saturday night.

Washington’s Pick: Syracuse

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