NCAAB Picks: Syracuse vs Minnesota

Joe Freda

Monday, November 25, 2013 1:49 PM GMT

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have topped foes for a five-game winning streak to start this year’s campaign, cashing at 3-0 ATS in their trio of ‘board’ battles. Monday’s NCAAB betting has Richard Pitino’s crew tipping early in the Maui Invitational, facing the Syracuse Orange.

Gophers, Hollins hold off Wofford

Minnesota’s latest victory came in Thursday’s 79-57 spanking of the Wofford Terriers as one of our NCAAB picks, collecting as 17 ½-point home ‘chalk.’  The Golden Gophers jetted out to a 50-24 halftime lead, while holding Wofford to 31 percent field shooting.

Gophers guard Austin Hollins hit 3-of-6 buckets beyond the arc, finishing with 18 points and three assists. The senior’s mate Elliott Eliason shut down the Terriers with seven blocks, while notching 11 boards as part of a double-double.

Hollins and Co. sank 11-of-13 free throws, while Minnesota’s Deandre Mathieu and Daquein McNeil came away with two steals each. Gophers forward Oto Osenieks reached double figures after a quiet start to the year, knocking down 6-of-11 floor shots.

Orange, Coleman survive St. Francis

Syracuse received a tougher fight than expected in last Monday’s 56-50 win against the St. Francis Terriers. The Orange held St. Francis scoreless in the final minute of action, while Syracuse’s Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair both hit a pair of clutch free throws.

Orange sophomore DaJuan Coleman connected from the field at a 5-for-5 clip, leading his side’s scoring with 14 points. Grant united with Coleman for 14 boards, while the duo’s mate Tyler Ennis logged three assists and one steal.

Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas was shutout in points for the first time, reaching four personal fouls in 22 minutes of action. Ennis was held to a 1-for-8 night on the floor, while Christmas and Fair each recorded two blocks.

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Back the Orange in Maui

Syracuse opened as a one-point favorite in the NCAAB odds, with the number holding steady after early wagers. The matchup’s winning squad advances to tomorrow’s semifinals against either the Arkansas Razorbacks or California Golden Bears.

I am giving my lean to the Orange in this affair, laying the short premium as part of Monday’s NCAAB picks.

Syracuse’s upset scare last week should have the Orange refocused as they look to make a statement in Hawaii. Jim Boeheim’s troops have yet to play outside of Carrier Dome, but cashed at 3-1 ATS in last year’s first four affairs away from home.

Minnesota has strung together an impressive start, but could see its momentum swing with the shift to Maui’s confines. The Golden Gophers were thrashed in last November’s “Battle 4 Atlantis” in an 89-71 loss to the Duke Blue Devils, logging a 2-5-1 spread record in their last eight neutral-site games.

Syracuse has held foes to 58.5 PPG and should be in for another low-octane affair here. The Orange rank second in the Atlantic Coast Conference for boards, grabbing 43.5 RPG. Look for both sides to have their share of missed buckets, with Coleman and Co. muscling out Minnesota for a cashed ticket.

Pick:  Syracuse Orange -1 at BetOnline

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