Pick Syracuse +5.5 vs. Michigan for ACC/Big Ten Challange

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 3:16 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 3:16 PM UTC

Michigan has a losing record when participating in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which makes Syracuse a playable road underdog Tuesday night.

Offensive Struggles
Syracuse has won five of its first six games, but it’s apparent that Jim Boeheim’s offense is a work in process, as it ranks 350th in the country in shooting 19.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The Orange are trying to overcome the biggest loss of scoring since Boeheim arrived on campus, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as their young perimeter players are simply making too many mistakes.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 6-6 SUATS as underdogs, with the UNDER going 7-4 in that situation.


A Challenging Experience
Michigan has put together a 5-8 SU all-time record when participating in this event, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball betting picks, including an even 3-3 mark when playing in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines have tallied 84 assists versus just 55 turnovers in capturing five of its first six games, with their only defeat coming against the Villanova Wildcats on a neutral floor a week ago.

It’s important to point out that the team is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points dating back to the 2012-13 campaign, with the UNDER cashing in two of those three opportunities.


Inside the Paint
The Orange must attack the paint offensively in hopes of pulling off the upset, which means that Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough will need to come up big—combining to average 32.8 points per game.

Christmas is the main player to watch due to his experience of being a graduate on campus, while he also scored a career-high 25 points last time out in a 72-48 home victory over Holy Cross.


Key Injury
The Wolverines have some nice pieces on the perimeter in hopes of solving the Orange’s vaunted zone, but starting point guard Derrick Walton Jr. has been missing in action the last week with a sprained toe.

Michigan has listed his status as day-to-day, which means that backup Spike Albrecht will likely need to play 30-plus minutes in this matchup, as he comes off scoring 10 points and seven assists in Walton’s absence against Nicholls State last week.


I’m going to recommend that readers back the Orange as one of their main basketball picks, as they’ve covered the number in four of their last five games versus Big Ten opponents.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse Orange +5.5 at Bookmaker

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