Are you ready for some Final Four basketball? The top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels will look to take down upstart Syracuse en route to their first national championship appearance since winning it all back in 2009. Conversely, the Orange will look to pull of another upset as they try to take the next step toward winning their first national title since Carmelo Anthony led them to the 2003 national championship. More importantly, this look at both ball clubs will give you the expert March Madness betting insight you’ll need in order to make a wise wager on the Final Four showdown between the Tar Heels and Orange when they square off on Saturday, April 2.
How To Bet the Syracuse vs. North Carolina March Madness Final Four Odds, TV & Game Info
What: Syracuse Orange (23-13) at North Carolina Tar Heels (32-6)
When: Saturday, April 02, 2016
Start Time: 8:49 PM ET
Where: Houston, Texas
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Spread: North Carolina -10
Moneyline: North Carolina -625
Game Total: 149
Stream: TBS Sports
Radio: Syracuse at North Carolina
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 28, 2016
The Tar Heels (32-6 SU, 19-18-1 ATS) are the only No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four this year. Carolina beat No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast 83-67 in the first round, No. 9 Providence 85-66 in the second round, No. 5 Indiana 101-86 in the Sweet 16 and No. 6 Notre Dame, 88-74 in the Elite Eight.
Through four games, North Carolina is averaging a stellar 89.2 points per game while limiting their opponents to an average of just 73.2 points per game.
North Carolina’s Strengths
North Carolina has a slew of athletic high school All-Americans that gives them quality depth that most teams just can’t match. While it all starts with All-American forward Brice Johnson (17.1 ppg), North Carolina also has two heady guards in Marcus Paige (12.3 ppg) and Joel Berry II (12.7 ppg) and a trio of freakishly athletic forwards in Isaiah Hicks (9.1 ppg), Justin Jackson (12.2 ppg) and Kennedy Meeks (9.2 ppg) that all provide consistent contributions.
With his ability to make shots facing up out to about 18-feet, Johnson has proven to be almost unstoppable on most nights and dominated Notre Dame in the second half of Carolina’s Elite Eight win on Sunday. The Heels up-tempo style and waves of players they can substitute without losing anything performance-wise, is Carolina’s greatest strength and one that most teams just can’t match.
North Carolina’s Weaknesses
North Carolina can often play ‘clueless’ basketball while showing their inexperience and youth, though I have to admit that the Heels haven’t played that kind of poor basketball in quite some time, seeing as how they’ve won nine straight heading in the Final Four.
By The Numbers
North Carolina ranked 10th in the nation in scoring this season (83.0 ppg) while also finishing 16th in field goal shooting (48.2 %) and 27th in free throw shooting (74.7 percent). Carolina has given up an average of 69.9 points per game (126th) while limiting their opponents to just 41.3 percent shooting from the field (66th).
Tar Heels are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
Tar Heels are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
Tar Heels are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Tar Heels are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
Tar Heels are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 neutral site games.
Why Bet on Syracuse
Tons of college basketball prognosticators were up in arms that Syracuse (23-13 SU, 20-15 ATS) got selected to participate in the National Championship tournament, but they’ve proven to be a lot more resilient that anyone could have ever imagined.
Syracuse won the Midwest region by beating No. 7 Dayton 70-51 in first round, No. 15 Middle Tennessee 75-50 in second round, No. 11 Gonzaga 63-60 in the Sweet 16 and No. 1 Virginia 68-62 in the Elite Eight. More importantly, the Orange have shown an innate ability to come back from second half deficits that looked virtually impossible to overcome.
Syracuse is one of the few teams that can virtually match North Carolina in length and athleticism. Syracuse has a pair of outstanding players in leading scorer Michael Gbinije (17.6 ppg) and Malachi Richardson (13.3 ppg) and a heady point guard in Trevor Cooney (12.7 ppg) that seemingly makes the right play every time the ball is in his capable hands.
The Orange also have a pair of 6-8 forwards in Tyler Roberson and Tyler Roberson and a 6-9 center in Dajuan Coleman that all provide consistent contributions both on the glass and in the low post
Syracuse’s greatest strength however is its stupendous defense. Syracuse plays a great brand of zone defense and can turn up the pressure whenever they want by extending their defense or simply switching to man-to-man. Syracuse has given up just 55.7 points per game in the tournament and could give the Heels trouble.
Jim Boeheim doesn’t have much depth as all five starters average at least 30 minutes per game and only Coleman and backup guard Coleman Howard average double digits in minutes off the bench.
Gbinije, Cooney and Richardson all average at least 36 minutes per game, so if any of them get in foul trouble, they’ll be at a decided disadvantage against the Tar Heels.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Syracuse averages a modest 70.1 points per game (253rd) and shoots just 42.6 percent from the field (249th) and 36.1 percent from beyond the arc (117th). Again, defense is what the Orange are all about. Syracuse ranked 25th in the nation in points allowed (64.6 ppg) while also ranking 47h in defensive field goal percentage (40.8%) and a stellar 18th in three-point field goal defense (30.8%).
Orange are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
Orange are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
Orange are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win.
Orange are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Orange are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
Orange are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
Orange are 15-35-2 ATS in their last 52 Saturday games.