NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse +10.5 vs. N. Carolina

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, January 26, 2015 3:34 PM GMT

An underachieving Syracuse team goes to Chapel Hill tonight, where they will face the N. Carolina Tar Heels. Check inside to find out this SBR capper free NCAA Basketball pick for this game.

Syracuse vs. N. Carolina (-11) 7:00 ET ESPN
An underachieving Syracuse team goes to Chapel Hill tonight, where they will face the N. Carolina Tar Heels at 7:00 ET on ESPN. With the celebration of Coach K’s 1,000th victory in the rear view mirror, look for it to be business as usual in Chapel Hill this evening.  Last year, the Tar Heels’ offense was flummoxed by Boeheim’s zone defense in a 57-45 loss at the Carrier Dome.  The answer to whether they can turn it around on their home court will now be explored. 

When Syracuse lost their, one-and-done, PG Ennis to the NBA in the off-season, HC Boeheim was forced to scramble for a replacement.  PG Joseph, a slight of frame frosh, has been far less promising as the answer.  In addition, the loss of frosh big man McCullough (knee injury, out for the season) has been a major blow to the back line of the Syracuse zone.  On Saturday, Miami, FLA repeatedly penetrated that back line defense for easy looks.  The result was a rare Syracuse home loss by a score of 66-62.  Though the Orange remain 5-2 SU vs. the Big East, those victories have all come against the lower echelon of the league.  Now, the schedule toughens and HC Boeheim, the No. 2 winningest coach in America, will have his coaching mettle tested.  For, beginning in mid-February, they face a season-ending schedule that includes Duke (twice), Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia and NC State.  It will take yeoman’s work from Christmas on the interior and Cooney from behind the arc for the Orange to make the NCAA Tourney.  Yet, there is plenty of value in this line due to a recent 1-6 ATS, and more recent 0-4 ATS, slide.  We get the Orange as a double digit dog on NCAA basketball odds board.  This year, Syracuse is 3-0 ATS as dog, winning outright against Iowa, losing by 3 at Michigan and losing by only 5 vs. Villanova. 

N. Carolina is struggling to find continuity as well!  Though the Tar Heels enter on a 5-game win streak, much like Syracuse, it has been vs. the lower echelon to the ACC.  A microcosm of their underachieving conference season is a 0-4 ATS mark as home chalk vs. the ACC.  A key reason why that may well continue is that N. Carolina does not offer the perimeter pop of previous Tar Heel teams. In fact, they average just 32% on their 3 point attempts, converting less than 5 per game. 

In short, the fabled 2-3 Boeheim zone appears to be the perfect defense to contain N. Carolina.  With a lofty double digit impost, Syracuse is the percentage side in this contest, add them tonight to you NCAA basketball picks

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Syracuse