The Syracuse Orange, riding on a five-game winning streak, will be looking to stay hot in Wednesday’s online NCAAB lines when they travel to Kentucky to face off the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals. On paper, Louisville is understandably considered as the obvious favorite to win this home ACC tilt, but after watching the Orange deliver a number of marquee wins recently (including wins at No. 20 Duke and against No. 25 Notre Dame), bettors should be very wary of the potential of an upset in this game. Bearing that in mind, here is a brief college basketball odds preview of this dicey matchup.
Syracuse vs. Louisville NBA Odds and Picks
When: Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 PM ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
NCAAB Odds: Louisville (-7)
Why Bet on the Orange (18-8, 8-5 in ACC)
After a dull start to the season, the Orange have been on-color in their recent games, shining brightly with five straight wins in their last five games and seven wins in their last eight outings, making them one of the hottest teams in the ACC right now.
The Orange will thus be brimming with confidence in their bid to upset Louisville and possibly find its way into the top-25 rankings in the nation. To fuel their chances for a road win this Wednesday, Syracuse will need every bit of its stellar defense that is allowing just 64.4 PPG (25th-best in the nation) to stand strong against Louisville decent offense that is scoring 77.9 PPG. Meanwhile, Syracuse’s leader in scores and assists, Michael Gbinije (17.4 PPG, 4.3 APG), will need to lead the likes of Tyler Lydon and Malachi Richardson for a big offensive showcase against Louisville’s top-10 ranked defense.
Why Bet on the Cardinals (19-6, 8-4 in ACC)
Though still ranked in the top-25, the Cardinals have been far from fluent in their recent games, losing their last two outings and going 2-3 SU in the last five games. Last week’s losses at Duke and at Notre Dame were particularly bad, as it ruined Louisville’s chance to close the gap on UNC at the top of the ACC standings.
Fortunately, Wednesday’s clash will be played in Louisville, offering the Cards a chance to get back to winning ways in front of their favorable home crowd. Outside the home court advantage, the Cardinals own the seventh-best scoring defense in the entire nation (60.8 PPG allowed), so the Orange’s offense (71.1 PPG scoring) is guaranteed a hellish time.
As earlier mentioned, Louisville’s offense is also loaded with talents like Damion Lee (team-best 16.5 PPG) and Quentin Snider, who can control the game’s pace and give the Cards a strong offensive representation. The performance of these two players will be very important, as Louisville’s big man Anas Mahmoud is out for final 6 games with ankle injury, joining star forward Mangok Mathiang in rehab. Without a strong performance from Lee and Snider (of course with the support of the rest of the team), beating the on-song Syracuse won’t be easy.
Syracuse at Louisville Expert NCAAB Predictions and Picks
Louisville is ridiculously 16-1 SU at home this season, so I doubt if it will be losing this game, even with the injury concerns factored in. Nonetheless, Syracuse is impressively 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games (including a 4-1 ATS mark in its last 5 road games), which makes me believe that the in-form Orange will be able to keep the game close to at least take the points. In totals, the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Syracuse’s last 6 overall games against Louisville and I expect the same in this game, given the already explained fact that both teams rank in the top-25 in scoring defense and their offenses aren’t dependable.
NCAAB Picks: Louisville for SU, Syracuse for ATS
Game Total: UNDER, Final Score Prediction: Louisville 63, Syracuse 58.