NCAAB Friday Odds: Syracuse Depth Too Much For Monmouth

Mark Lathrop

Friday, November 18, 2016 5:53 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 5:53 PM UTC

Our NCAA basketball handicapper looks at Friday's matchup between two NCAA Tournament bubble teams from last year -- one got in to the tournament and one didn't -- and explains why No. 18 Syracuse (-13) will outclass Monmouth.


Monmouth (1-1) At Syracuse (2-0)

With two very easy wins under their belt against Colgate and Holy Cross, the Orange bring a more formidable foe in Friday night in the Hawks. Monmouth hails out of the MAAC conference, where it went 29-8 last season. Syracuse snagged one of the last few at-large spots over Monmouth to the Big Dance last year, which adds a bit of intrigue to this matchup. The NCAA basketball odds don’t believe it will be close, though, having listed Syracuse as a 13-point favorite. The O/U total ranges from 142.5 to 144, with 5Dimes having the 'under' call at 142.5.

Syracuse is off to a very hot start shooting the ball, hitting 56.3% of its shots overall 44.4% of its 3-pointers, all while limiting opponents to 29.4% from the field. Monmouth has struggled so far, playing in two games that have gone 'under' the listed total while hitting just 36% from the field. To get its field-goal percentage up significantly, Monmouth is going to have to force feed big center Chris Brady, who is averaging 15.5 points and 9 rebounds per game. Another reason for Monmouth’s struggles from the field has been the start of Justin Robinson, the 5-foot-8 dynamo who is only averaging 13 points per game this year.

A discrepancy in size will play a big factor in this game, as the Orange have a starting lineup that averages nearly 6-foot-8, while Monmouth comes in at 6-foot-3. Look for an extreme rebounding edge if Monmouth’s Brady gets benched or runs into foul trouble in this game.

The No. 18 Orange have the edge in this game in depth at guard as Frank Howard and John Gillon could lead teams on their own but only share duties at Syracuse. It is that depth that will make it difficult for Monmouth to keep up later in this game, and as I said before any type of foul trouble for the Hawks and this game carries the risk of becoming a blowout.

A blowout is exactly what happened the last time these teams met in 2012 at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse led by 29 points at halftime on the way to a 108-56 win. To be fair, the players are different this time around but it speaks to the recruiting classes of each program. Monmouth might make this a game in the first half, but Syracuse will pull away late.

NCAAB Free Pick: Syracuse -13Best Line Offered: Bovada

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