NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse vs. UConn

Joe Freda

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 3:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 3:44 PM UTC

Who will get the money between these rivals in their first battle since last March’s conference tourney?

The No. 6 Syracuse Orange roared past the St. John’s Red Storm and Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a pair of home matchups last week, cashing at 2-0 ATS. Wednesday’s college hoops action has Jim Boeheim’s squad heading to Hartford against the Connecticut Huskies, who have a 6-3 spread record in their last nine spots of Big East Conference play.

Orange, Fair cruise past St. John’s 

Syracuse shot 53.7 percent from the field in Saturday’s 77-58 win over St. John’s, collecting as 13 ½-point home ‘chalk.’  The Orange drained 10-of-22 buckets from three-point land, while being edged out in rebounds, 28-26.

Orange forward C.J. Fair notched team-highs of 17 points and nine boards, hitting 7-of-13 shots from the floor. Fair’s mate Michael Carter-Williams logged eight assists, while adding six of his side’s 11 steals. 

The duel’s combined 135 points leaped above the closing ‘total’ of 134 ½ by a ‘hook,’ ending a 2-0 run for the UNDER in Syracuse’s prior pair of games. Orange center Baye Moussa Keita logged two blocks in 22 minutes of action, finishing with eight points in a 4-for-4 day of shooting.

Huskies, Napier pull away on the road

Connecticut picked up its fourth win in five games with Saturday’s 78-67 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates. The Huskies connected from the floor at a 54.2 percent clip, while sizably sinking 21-of-23 free throws. 

Huskies guard Shabazz Napier piled in 22 points, while adding nine of his squad’s 14 assists. Connecticut’s Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun logged five rebounds each, finishing with a combined 30 points.

The contest’s 145 points surged beyond the ‘total’ of 128 ½, lifting the OVER to 5-1 in the Huskies’ last six games. UConn allowed 48.1 percent field shooting from the Pirates, while both teams logged 16 turnovers each.


Back the Orange as road ‘chalk’

The NCAA basketball odds opened Syracuse as a four-point road favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 132 ½. Early NCAAB betting action on the Orange and OVER drove the numbers north to 4 ½ and 134 ½, respectively.

I am tailing the ‘steam’ here, laying the points with Syracuse as part of my sports picks tonight. Syracuse has held foes to 60.8 PPG in its last four road spots that did not go to overtime, with the span including cashed tickets at Louisville and South Florida.

Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams leads the Big East in assists (8.5 APG) and steals (3.1 SPG), while mate Rakeem Christmas has logged eight blocks over the team’s last three games. The road team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these rivals, while the Orange have held UConn to 63.5 PPG over their last two battles in Connecticut.

Connecticut is 1-2 ATS in its last three home dates, including a losing ticket in last month’s 73-58 defeat to Louisville as a 6 ½-point dog. The Huskies were held to 39.6 percent field shooting, while being outrebounded, 33-25.

Look for Syracuse to hand UConn another setback as a home dog here, with the Orange cashing at a low premium in this spot.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Syracuse Orange -4 ½ (
comment here