Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 34-26-2 (+6.65 units)
Monday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Free NCAAB Pick: Syracuse ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Syracuse wasn’t able to defend its home floor Saturday in a lopsided loss to Georgia Tech, and I mean that literally in the sense the Orange defended neither in the paint nor beyond the 3-point line. Jim Boeheim’s bunch gets a quick chance to redeem themselves Monday, but it’s going to take a monumental upset on the road at the Duke Blue Devils.
The crazies are going to be out in full force at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the nationally televised tip, and the NCAA basketball odds suggest the Orange are in for their second consecutive beatdown with the Blue Devils pronounced favorites. Monday’s scoreboard target resides in the mid-140s.
Duke’s Williamson Questionable With Eye Injury
Favored by 9 at 5Dimes on Saturday, Syracuse watched Georgia Tech start the second half on a 12-2 run to pull away and propel the Yellow Jackets to a 73-59 rout. Boeheim’s crew was dominated inside where the Ramblin’ Wreck held a 36-16 scoring edge, and Georgia Tech shot 50 percent (6-12) from beyond the arc while the Orange sank only 7-of-33 tries from 3-point range. The setback snapped a 4-game run both straight-up and against the spread for Syracuse.
The top-ranked Blue Devils returned home Saturday evening in a very good mood following a last-second win at No. 13 Florida State. The Seminoles lost Duke’s Cam Reddish on an inbounds pass with under three ticks on the clock, and the 6-8 freshman made them pay by hitting his fifth 3-pointer of the game for the 80-78 decision. Favored by 7 on the road, the Blue Devils were forced to play the second half without Zion Williamson due to an eye injury, and the 6-7 forward is listed as questionable for Monday’s match.
Cuse Unranked For 7th-Straight Matchup
A couple of victories last season left Duke with a 7-5 advantage in the rivalry, all but four of those matchups coming since Syracuse joined the ACC for the 2013-14 season. The first clash a year ago came in Durham late in the regular season, the Blue Devils throttling the Orange by a 60-44 count on a -13½ spread and the final falling well short of a similar total as we’re seeing Monday. The follow-up meeting took place in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, Duke holding off for a 69-65 triumph as 11-point chalk. The eight matchups as conference foes have split the totals with the Blue Devils 4-3-1 ATS.
Williamson’s availability will go a long way to just how big a spread Duke backers will be asked to lay. Both teams are currently in strong “under” trends, something else for bettors to consider. I’m going to take the points for my free NCAA basketball pick with expectations the Orange bounce back from such a poor second half Saturday against Georgia Tech.