Both the Syracuse Orange and the North Carolina Tar Heels seem to have corrected course following some early season struggles. Who emerges from upstate New York with a coveted conference win Tuesday? Read on for our North Carolina-Syracuse college basketball picks based on the top NCAAB odds.
North Carolina (14-6, 6-3) endured a pretty significant wakeup call when it tumbled out of the AP Top 25 after opening the year as the No. 1 team in the country. The Tar Heels have since stabilized but still haven’t been prime performers in road games this season.
The Heels head into a tough environment Tuesday to battle a Syracuse (13-7, 6-3) team that has faced a similar trajectory of improving its efforts after a sluggish non-conference slate.
Will UNC again fail to meet expectations as a road team?
Here is our best North Carolina vs. Syracuse college basketball pick (odds via BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
North Carolina vs. Syracuse game info
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, NY
North Carolina opened as a 3.5-point road favorite and has been bet up even further to -4.5 across our affiliated sportsbooks. Around 64% of the money wagered on the spread has gone on the underdog, Syracuse.
The total opened at a lofty 150 points before decreasing slightly to range from 148.5 to 149.5 across our recommended sportsbooks, with 60% of the money wagered on the total going Over.
Syracuse +4.5 vs. North Carolina (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This matchup features two teams that have walked similar paths, stumbling in the early non-conference slate before finding their footing as ACC play has moved along. But for North Carolina, there’s still one thing the Tar Heels haven’t been able to solve: their poor play in road games.
North Carolina is 1-4 both outright and against the spread as a road team this season. Its only road win came against Louisville, which is arguably the worst Power Six team in modern college basketball - not exactly an accomplishment.
The ATS woes haven’t been isolated to road games for UNC; the Heels are also 1-3-1 ATS in neutral-site games. That makes for a 2-7-1 ATS record in non-home games for North Carolina, a concerning number for a team favored by 4.5 points on the road against KenPom’s 81st-ranked team.
Granted, Syracuse hasn’t been a dynamite road team, either, but that simply doesn’t matter for Tuesday night. Syracuse is 9-3 outright in home games this season and has lost only one game by the margin of Tuesday’s point spread since late November, and that came at Virginia, a top-10 team. It’s been a different story at home, where the Orange are 7-4-1 ATS on the season, having rebounded nicely from an embarrassing mid-November home loss to Colgate.
Most of the betting board features an identical value on the Syracuse point spread with the Orange catching 4.5 points at all of our recommended sportsbooks. Four of the five locations also feature standard -110 odds. The one that doesn’t is BetMGM, which lists Syracuse at -105 on the 4.5-point spread, making it the best value for Orange backers.
This play would be reduced to a three-star recommendation if it gets within a single possession at +3. For those looking for a more aggressive play on the home team, Syracuse is +165 on the Moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, and PointsBet.
North Carolina-Syracuse pick made 01/24/2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
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