No. 10 seed Syracuse has lost five of their last six games and probably shouldn’t even be in the NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, the Orange will look to get past No. 7 Dayton when they square off in an intriguing first round Midwest Region pairing that gets underway on Friday in St. Louis. Now, let’s find out who’s going to bring home the bacon. Check the updated college hoops online betting lines here.
How to Bet the Syracuse Orange vs. Dayton Flyers March Madness Odds
When: 12:15 PM ET, Friday, March 18, 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Stream: NCAA March Madness Live
NCAAB Odds: Syracuse -1
Why Bet the Syracuse Orange
Syracuse (19-13 SU, 16-15 ATS) was wildly inconsistent all season long as they put together two winning streaks of at least five games and two losing streaks of at least three games. The Orange have lost three straight, but each loss came by five points or less, including their heartbreaking 72-71 loss against Pittsburgh in the ACC conference tournament last week. Syracuse averages three fewer points per game than Dayton and they’re not very deep with five players averaging a whopping 30 minutes per game.
All-ACC second team, senior Michael Gbinije leads the Orange in scoring by putting up 17.8 points per game while Tyler Roberson leads the team in rebounding and field goal shooting. Syracuse ranks 36th in points allowed (65.7 ppg) and a stellar 13th in three-point defense (30.4%), but many believe they shouldn’t be in the annual tournament. “I thought we could make this (NCAA Tournament) because we’ve got good wins,” Coach Jim Boeheim told the media. “This is probably the happiest I’ve been on Selection Sunday since I’ve been coaching.”
Why Bet the Dayton Flyers
Dayton (25-7 SU, 13-17-1 ATS) has the better offense and a defense that gives up just 0.1 points per game more than the Orange. The Flyers have won three of their last four coming in and played fantastic basketball in their narrow 82-79 loss against St. Joe’s in the semifinals of the A-10 tournament last week.
The Flyers have four players that all average double digits in scoring while shooting at least 45.0 percent from the field. Dayton also has a steady floor general that doesn’t turn the ball over often in junior Scoochie Smith.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
With two very evenly matched teams taking to the court in this affair, I think the best play for this March Madness matchup is to play the Over 129 total points. The Over is 2-0 in Syracuse’s last two games, 4-1 in their last five games following an SU loss and 6-2 in their last eight games overall. The Over is also 8-3 in Dayton’s last 11 games and 5-2 in their last seven games against teams from the ACC.
I like the Dayton Flyers to get the super narrow win and accompanying ATS cover, mostly because I believe that underachieving Syracuse Orange are overly fortunate to be in this tournament in the first place.