Orange Will Make You Green on Sunday Afternoon

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, March 17, 2018 8:22 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018 8:22 PM UTC

No. 11 Syracuse will meet No. 3 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the Big Dance. Let’s check out the college basketball odds and determine which side is set to cover.

No. 11 Syracuse (22-13 SU, 15-17 ATS) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (30-4 SU, 15-18 ATS)Midwest Region, Sunday, 2:40 PM ETFree NCAAB Pick: Syracuse +8 ½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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· Michigan State is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a favorite.

· Michigan State is 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.

· Michigan State is 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a favorite of 7.0-12.5.

· Syracuse is 4-1 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.

· Syracuse is 6-1 ATS in their last seven NCAA Tournament games.

· Syracuse is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.

Syracuse outlasted Arizona State 60-56 as one-point underdogs in the First Four to claim a date with the No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs as 4 ½ point dogs in the opening round of the national tournament. The Orange did not disappoint as they proved once again that the college basketball odds had the wrong favorite when they eliminated TCU by the score of 57-52 courtesy of a solid second half of lockdown defense. Speaking of defense, the Orange have one of the best, currently allowing just 63.9 points per game which ranks them 12th in the nation. Head coach Jim Boeheim has employed a 2/3 defensive scheme that has stymied opponents and been a key in their recent 4-1 straight up and ATS run.

The Spartans spared themselves a big upset and a boatload of humiliation when they eventually doused the flame that was Bucknell. Those who backed Michigan State in their college basketball picks were laying 14 ½ and looking at a 15-point Spartans lead with two minutes remaining. However, the Bison would not go down without a fight but ultimately ran out of time when they fell 82-78 to MSU. That score may have made the Michigan State fans happy but it was a bitter pill to swallow for those betting on the Spartans and watching their wager flame as Bucknell caught fire down the stretch.

This is a matchup of two extraordinary college basketball coaches in Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Michigan State’s Larry Izzo. Both teams not only have legends roaming their respective sidelines but boast tough-as-nails defenses. Syracuse has surrendered an average of 60.4 points per game over their last five contests which is even better than their season average of nearly 64 PPG. Meanwhile, MSU boasts the 22nd ranked D in the nation, allowing 65.2 points per game. The difference between the two clubs is that the Spartans can score, averaging 81 PPG, while Syracuse is challenged on that side of the ball, averaging just 67 PPG.

But it should be noted that although Michigan State has reeled off 14 wins in their last 15 games, they have only covered the number in four of those contests. The Orange will play slowdown basketball on Sunday afternoon and force the Spartans into turnovers and mistakes. Jim Boeheim has seen this movie before over his decades’ long career and understands how to make noise in the postseason. I feel that the oddsmakers are bracing for a flood of public money on MSU which means I will happily take advantage of Joe Q. Public and all his square friends. Grab the points and back the Orange.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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