NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Syracuse

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 1, 2013 1:41 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 1, 2013 1:41 PM UTC

The Michigan Wolverines and Syracuse Orange are both playing at a high level in the NCAA Tournament, but one of them owns a distinct advantage over the other in terms of the coaching department.

Let’s take a closer look at the College basketball odds for this Final Four matchup, with Saturday’s opening tip scheduled for 8:49 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome on CBS.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

Impressive run

Syracuse has definitely turned its season around since the start of the Big East Championship, as it has won seven of eight games in that span, with its 2-3 zone being the main story of its success.

The Orange earned a 55-39 victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles as 4.5-point neutral-site favorites in the Sweet 16, while going well UNDER the posted total of 126.5.

Peaking at the right time

Michigan has won and covered the spread in all four of its games during the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which includes a dominating 79-59 victory over the Florida Gators as four-point neutral-site underdogs Sunday, while going OVER the posted total of 134.5.

The Wolverines are outscoring opponents by an average margin of 15.5 points during the Big Dance, as their offense has scored 71 or more points in each contest.

Quite an edge

College basketball handicappers need to be careful in blindly laying the points in this spot, as Jim Boeheim has won all nine all-time meetings with John Beilein on the sidelines. 

Boeheim has cranked up Syracuse’s 2-3 zone to an entirely different level during the tournament, as it prepares to face one of the Big Ten Conference’s top offenses—but it easily handled Indiana in the Sweet 16.

Perfect versus non-conference opponents

All seven of Michigan’s losses this season have come against Big Ten foes, which can’t be ignored when making your sports picks, considering it has an unblemished record versus non-conference opponents.

The Wolverines are the lone representative to make the Final Four from a conference that many felt was the absolute best during the 2012-13 campaign.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Orange as one of their NCAA Basketball picks Saturday, as the Wolverines have struggled as single-digit favorites against some of the best defenses in the country this year.

It’s also very hard to ignore Boeheim’s 2-0 SUATS mark in the Final Four since 1991.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Syracuse Orange +2.5 at Pinnacle

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