NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Syracuse Odds Preview

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 4:09 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2013 4:09 PM UTC

Offense or defense? Which wins out when Michigan and Syracuse meet up this weekend with a spot in the national championship game on the line?

Odds Overview

This is where having stakes in multiple books can really help you out. Some books have a spread of two on the NCAAB odds board, while 2.5 is also available at certain outlets if you think the Wolverines are the correct side.

You can't forget about a total play either with your sports picks. The O/U is residing in and around the 131-point mark. 

Michigan Wolverines 

Two nights after surviving a true test of will in an overtime win against Kansas, the Wolverines annihilated Florida in the Elite Eight.

No extra periods necessary. Michigan was dominant right from the start, jumping out to a 13-0 lead and never looking back. The Wolverines were up 47-30 at halftime and went on to win the second half (32-29) too for good measure.

Trey Burke picked up right where he left off, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. More impressively, he only turned the ball over once.

Still, it was Nik Stauskas that was getting most of the attention. He was on fire against the Gators, hitting 7-of-8 shots, including a perfect 6-of-6 from beyond the arc, en route to 22 points. Mitch McGary continued his fine play with 11 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

The Wolverines offense is looking mighty good right now, having averaged 78.8 PPG over their four NCAA tournament wins. The ultimate test arrives this weekend though in the form of Syracuse's zone defense.

Syracuse Orange 

They say defense wins championship, and Syracuse is hoping that moniker holds true as they prepare for Burke and the Wolverines.

They've been scary good defensively in the tournament, holding opponents to a laughable average of 45.6 PPG. Neither Montana (34 points) or Marquette (39) were able to even break the 40-point barrier.

The Orange made Indiana look very mediocre in a 61-50 win in the Sweet 16, clearly their most impressive win of the Big Dance so far, and then were all over Marquette in a 16-point victory in their final eight matchup.

Michael Carter-Williams followed up a 24-point performance against the Hoosiers by completing a 12/8/6 line to go along with five steals against the Golden Eagles. James Southerland added 16 points and C.J. Fair posted 13 points and six boards.

The Orange are going to need to force their pace upon the Wolverines, slowing the game down whenever possible and making Michigan work extremely hard on every possession. Jim Boeheim's team will likely be in trouble if they engage themselves in a shootout with the explosive Wolverines.

See why Jeff Grant thinks that this game will go the other way~


College Basketball Pick

What a battle this will be. It's a clash between contrasting styles, as Michigan has been out of this world offensively, while Syracuse's zone defense has been a tough nut to crack.

When push comes to shove, we like the Wolverines to cover this small number.

A big reason why? The Orange have yet to deal with a point guard like Burke in the tournament so far. He's been ridiculously good and is going to be at the heart of everything Michigan does this weekend. Plus, you've got to have good shooters to beat a zone, and the Wolverines have no shortage of those.

Syracuse had a nice win over the Hoosiers, but their overall body of work doesn't impress us as much as Michigan's. The Wolverines have beaten four quality programs in Florida, Kansas, VCU, and San Diego State, and ultimately we think they should be the team you take with your college basketball picks. 

Pick: Michigan Wolverines +2.5 at 5 Dimes

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