Former No. 1 Syracuse goes against high-scoring NC-Asheville in NCAA tournament action Thursday afternoon.
The Orange, who earned the top seed in the East Regional on the strength of winning the Big East regular-season season title, are favored by 17 points over the 16th-seeded Bulldogs. NC Asheville earned their way into the tournament by winning both the Big South regular-season and tournament championships.
Consol Energy Center is the location for this game, which makes it a neutral-site matchup.
The Orange sit at 31-2 (16-16 ATS) on the season. By comparison, the Bulldogs are currently 24-9 (7-1 ATS). Looking to wager on the totals? Syracuse is 15-17 OU, and UNC Asheville is 4-4 OU.
Sportsbooks had set the Orange as 17-point favorites on the opening line for this contest at GTbets, who are offering a guaranteed cash pool in their bracket contest.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
It's a betting matchup between the No. 6-rated Orange and the No. 131-ranked Bulldogs, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark. Prediction formulas run on this game indicate a possible 86-82 result in favor of the Orange.
How They Match Up:
Rebounding is always a key handicapping consideration and Bulldogs is ranked No. 157 in NCAA hoops at 34.7 per game. Contrast that with Syracuse’s No. 125 mark in the paint. When it comes to three-point shooting, Syracuse is the No. 145-ranked team in the country at 6.4 per game, while UNC Asheville rates No. 133 at 6.5 per game.
Defensively, UNC Asheville features the nation's No. 220-rated defense on the road, allowing 71.4 points per game. Syracuse, meanwhile, comes in at No. 90 nationally in scoring at home.
UNC Asheville won its last outing, an 80-64 result against VMI on March 3. They covered in that game as a 12.5-point favorite. UNC Asheville earned an 80-64 victory over VMI on Saturday, getting 18 points from Jeremy Atkinson at Kimmel Arena.
In their last action, Syracuse was a 71-68 loser at home against Cincinnati. They failed to cover the 8-point spread as favorites. Dion Waiters scored 28 points for Syracuse on Friday, but the Bearcats managed a 71-68 victory over the Orange at Madison Square Garden.
Syracuse Orange Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
After playing Cincinnati are 5-4
After a loss are 5-5
A few Bulldogs at Orange trends to consider:
Syracuse is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Syracuse's last 15 games
Syracuse is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games