NCAA Basketball Picks Syracuse vs. Miami Preview

Jeff Grant

Friday, January 24, 2014 3:26 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 3:26 PM GMT

The Miami Hurricanes and Syracuse Orange will close out their 2013-14 series Saturday, as the two teams prepare to meet at the BankUnited Center. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Atlantic Coast Conference matchup, with the opening tip scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS.

Perfect

Syracuse is 18-0 SU and 9-4-1 ATS through 18 games of the 2013-14 campaign, as it occupies the No. 2 spot in the national rankings—behind only the Arizona Wildcats out of the Pac-12 Conference.

The Orange are coming off a hard-fought 59-54 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers as five-point home favorites in the NCAA basketball odds last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for a sixth consecutive contest.

Falling into a pattern

Miami has alternated wins and losses over its last six games, as it looks to bounce back from a 67-46 defeat to the Duke Blue Devils as four-point home underdogs Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fifth consecutive affair.

The Hurricanes were out-rebounded by a sizable 42-28 margin in that contest—leading directly to a 15-point disparity in second-chance opportunities.

Fair

College basketball handicappers are going to have an interest in backing the Orange as road favorites, as they possess four players that average double figures offensively, with senior forward C.J. Fair leading the group at 16.8 points a contest.  

He scored a game-high 15 points in the team’s 49-44 win as 13-point home favorites in the first meeting this season—playing all 40 minutes in the process.

Where’s the offense?

In a glitz and glamour city, Miami isn’t doing a very good job of entertaining the crowd, as it ranks 343rd nationally in averaging just 61.5 points per game.

The Hurricanes are 349th in terms of their average offensive possession lasting 21.3 seconds, which led directly to their first meeting against the Orange having just 87 combined field-goal attempts.

Outlook

I’ve established the Orange as 5.5-point road favorites, which makes them playable at a number of five or lower in the market, while the Hurricanes are worth a look at six or higher.

It’s important to point out that the visitor has covered the number in the last five meetings in this series before making your NCAA basketball picks.

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