NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse vs. Louisville

Jeff Grant

Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:45 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2013 12:45 PM UTC

The Louisville Cardinals have won six consecutive games in the Big East Championship dating back to last year, as they prepare to take on the Syracuse Orange in the title game Saturday night. Which team will help us cash in with our sports picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this high-profile affair at Madison Square Garden, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

Do they have anything left?

Syracuse has won three games in three days in the Big Apple, including a 58-55 overtime victory over the Georgetown Hoyas as one-point neutral-site underdogs Friday night, while going UNDER the posted total of 117.

The Orange are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last six Saturday games, while the UNDER is on a 4-1 run in that situation.

Quite a run

Louisville is playing its best basketball of the 2012-13 campaign, as it pushed its current winning streak to nine games Friday, with a convincing 69-57 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as 8.5-point neutral-site favorites.

The Cardinals have covered the number in 13 of their last 16 games on a neutral floor, while going OVER the total in five consecutive contests in that type of role. 

Series split 

College basketball handicappers will find that the road team has won both meetings this year as an underdog, which will certainly make the underdog an attractive option when the number is released on SBR's College basketball odds page.

It’s important to note that Syracuse earned a 70-68 victory as seven-point road underdogs in the first meeting on Jan. 19—but played that game without the services of forward James Southerland.  He is averaging 17.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting in the tournament. 

Running the point

The biggest matchup in this game is certainly going to take place between Peyton Siva and Michael Carter-Williams at the point guard position, as both will be in charge of managing the game for Louisville and Syracuse respectively.

Siva has averaged just 3.7 points on 23.1 percent shooting in seven meetings with the Orange, while Carter-Williams had 13 assists and nine turnovers combined in the two games this year.



I’ve established the Cardinals as four-point neutral-site favorites in this affair, which makes them my choice for my NCAA Basketball picks if the betting line comes out at 3.5 points or lower, while the Orange deserve a look at 4.5 or higher in the betting market.

Handicapper Line:  Louisville Cardinals -4
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