|Under 141 (-108) @ pinnacle|
8* Take Houston – Syracuse UNDER (#647-648)
There are no easy looks for either side in this matchup. Nobody is hitting perimeter shots against the Syracuse matchup zone of late. The Orange don’t pound the offensive glass either – they get back on defense, eliminating fast break opportunities from their opponents. Houston’s point guard DeJon Jarreau isn’t fully healthy; still dealing with a hip injury, expected to be ‘about 75%’. And the Cougars are as tough as nails defensively – for a team that lacks dribble penetration like the Orange, this is an extremely tough matchup, because the Cougars contest everything on the perimeter. Houston isn’t the #3 defensive efficiency defense in all of college basketball by accident.
Don’t expect much pace in this game either. The Orange rank #158 in the country in tempo; not exactly a squad that gets out and runs. Houston is even slower, ranked #311 in ‘possessions per game’ out of 347 teams. And when Kelvin Sampson’s team faces off against another defensive minded, slower paced squad, we’ve seen a steady diet of Unders, like we saw with Houston – Rutgers last weekend.
Syracuse just hit 52% from the floor, nailed 14 three pointers and still stayed Under vs West Virginia. And don’t be fooled for a minute by that Syracuse – San Diego State Over cashing in the first round, arguably the worst bad beat of the entire tournament – the Orange held the Aztecs to 30 points with nine minutes remaining before an extraordinary late flurry of garbage time three pointers sent the game Over the total. I’m not expecting a repeat here. Take the UNDER.
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