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West Virginia Syracuse Betting – Syracuse Tries To Bounce Back Against West Virginia

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 10:10:04 PM

The Syracuse Orange finally lost a game after winning their first 20 this season. Will they allow themselves to get rattled, or will they fight back with a fury against West Virginia?

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Syracuse Orange - Saturday, January 28

Sports betting line: No line

Why West Virginia Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, it’s worth mentioning that while Syracuse is viewed as a national title contender, the Orange are going through one of those rough patches in the middle of a season, a stretch that can certainly make a team better for March… but not without short-term costs. Syracuse is fighting through its limitations right now. The Orange fell at Notre Dame this past Saturday, dropping a 67-58 decision without starting center Fab Melo, who was out with an injury. Melo is not a prolific scorer, but he doesn’t need to be a on a team loaded with them. Melo needs to be that rebounder-defender who anchors the Orange in the paint and provides just enough of an offensive threat to keep defenders honest. Melo was part of Syracuse’s winning mix, so the fact that Syracuse played so poorly without him is something of an alarm bell for SU and head coach Jim Boeheim.

Maybe Melo will play in this game against West Virginia, and maybe he won’t; what’s important to point out is that he won’t be 100 percent, which – in and of itself – raises questions regarding Syracuse’s level of performance. West Virginia big man Deniz Kilicli – a slow but intelligent player from Turkey who makes good decisions with the ball and plays high-level help defense – could have a big night against Syracuse, which would make the Orange a less effective team at the defensive end of the court. If Melo is not appreciably fit in this game – whether he plays or not – Syracuse’s wings will be smothered by West Virginia’s perimeter defenders, and the calculus will shift in West Virginia’s favor.

Why Syracuse Will Win

The college basketball betting experts who follow the Big East Conference for a living know that while Syracuse is a team in flux due to the Melo injury, this is not an overwhelming West Virginia club. The Mountaineers have two players – Kevin Jones (averaging roughly 20 points and 11 rebounds per game) and Darryl Bryant (roughly 18 points per game) – who can hit big shots on an appreciably consistent basis, and that’s pretty much it. Coach Bob Huggins doesn’t have the quality depth he could turn to in 2010, when the Mountaineers made the Final Four and took down a star-studded Kentucky team in the East Regional final. This is a less potent West Virginia squad, and against Syracuse’s array of gifted scorers, the Mountaineers will have to muck it up as much as possible in order to win. That’s not likely – not in Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. 

Who Will Win

It’s not a lock, because Syracuse is working through issues, but an elite team such as the Orange will likely use a loss as mental fuel. Syracuse might sweat against an opponent that can match its talent at all five spots on the floor, but West Virginia is not that team. Take Syracuse.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Syracuse



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