Monday NCAAB Pick: UConn And Syracuse To Keep It 'Under' At Madison Square Garden

Willie Bee

Monday, December 5, 2016 6:15 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 6:15 PM UTC

They've put on some great shows in the past when each resided in the Big East, but both No. 22 Syracuse and Connecticut are struggling as they get set for Monday's top NCAA basketball betting matchup. The total is 129 at SBR's top sportsbooks. 

It's the perfect remedy to get over all of the College Football Playoff rancor in the media, a throwback rivalry from the good ol' Big East days and on the most iconic hardwood in the country.

Madison Square Garden is the setting for Monday's best NCAA basketball matchup as the No. 22 Orange and Huskies tangle in the Big Apple. The Deuce begins its coverage of the clash at 7 p.m. ET and shortly after that the Orange will begin trying to cover a 9-point spread. That number is up from the initial 8½ that BookMaker sent out, and the total is currently at 129.

Monday marks the 93rd meeting between the rivals the and second consecutive year they've met after Syracuse left the Big East a few years ago for the ACC. Last year's matchup came in the semis of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, with 'Cuse the unranked team in the matchup and coming away with a mild 79-76 upset as 6-point dogs on the NCAA basketball odds. That broke a string of three straight Huskies covers in the series, which the Orange lead 55-37.


Orange Slipping After Fast Start

Syracuse was the only side ranked last week, No. 22 according to the writers and 24th in the coaches' poll. Jim Boeheim's lads might fall out of both after dropping a pretty lopsided 77-60 affair at Wisconsin, the Badgers earning an easy cover as 6-point home favorites. The Orange were beaten on the glass and never found an answer for Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig.

That was their second consecutive loss, and the Orange did follow up with a W. The 77-71 decision was, however, much tougher than expected in the unlined contest vs. North Florida, and the only reason Syracuse didn't blow an early lead was the second-half performance by freshman Tyus Battle.


UConn Looking For 1st Cover

Things haven't exactly been rosy for Kevin Ollie and the Huskies so far. It all started with a couple of home losses to Wagner and Northeastern, the first not even drawing a spread from sportsbooks and the second with UConn carrying 13-point chalk. Chaminade hung with the Huskies out in the loser's bracket of the Maui Classic after UConn fell to Oklahoma State by a 98-90 count in the opening round.

It was touch and go this past Wednesday at home against Boston, another unlined matchup the Huskies had to hang on for a 51-49 win. Connecticut still hasn't covered a spread in five games that made it to the NCAA basketball betting board, twice as the underdog and three times tagged as the favorite.

Neither side really generates much excitement right now, and neither leaves me with much confidence for backing with a free NCAA basketball pick. I can see this one staying in the 110s at the end more than I see it reaching the 130s, so put me down for a play on the 'under.' My season record on NCAAB picks is 11-10.

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 129Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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