The Syracuse Orange will be trying to extend their winning streak to five games when they entertain the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Carrier Dome on Saturday evening. Syracuse is coming off consecutive victories over Arkansas State, St. Bonaventure, Notre Dame, and Clemson. The Yellow Jackets had won three straight before falling to Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
Not enough offense
The Yellow Jackets pushed seventh-ranked Virginia Tech to the brink at home Wednesday, holding the nation’s fourth-best three-point shooting team to 18.5 percent from beyond the arc in a 52-49 loss to the Hokies. Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, it made only 17 shots from the floor and turned the ball over 18 times.
“The team that’s played the best defensively has been us,” head coach Josh Pastner said, presumably comparing his squad to the rest of the ACC. “But we’ve had struggles scoring.”
Jose Alvarado scored 20 points in the Virginia Tech loss and is averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game. James Banks finished with only two points on 1-of-5 shooting on Wednesday after recording 20 points in last week’s victory over Wake Forest. He averages 9.3 ppg to go along with 8.0 rpg. The Yellow Jackets are holding opponents to 37.8 percent shooting from the field, good for third in the ACC and 10th in the nation.
Quick ACC start
Syracuse has used stifling defense to win its opening two ACC games for the first time in four seasons, and the team seeks its fifth consecutive victory overall on Saturday against Georgia Tech. The Orange, who rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense and turnover margin, scored 20 points off 17 forced turnovers during Wednesday’s 61-53 home victory over Clemson–mixing in press defense that helped offset an offense that hit just 7-of-22 shots in the second half.
“The press can help you or hurt you,” head coach Jim Boeheim noted. “We’re trying to use it where we can, when we can, and if it works we’ll stick with it.”
🔥 Visual Recap 🔥
Syracuse vs. Clemson pic.twitter.com/hWGwFUEuv4
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) January 11, 2019
Tyus Battle leads the Orange in scoring at 17.5 points per game, ranking sixth in the ACC. Elijah Hughes is shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range and averages 15.2 points per contest, leading the Orange with 14 points in the victory over Clemson. Syracuse forces 16 turnovers per game and its turnover margin of 4.3 is 21st in the land.
The Syracuse Orange are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last four overall
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the ACC
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are:
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games after scoring less than 50 points in their previous game
- 3-1-1 Under in their last five games against teams with winning records
- 5-1 Under in their last six games against teams with winning percentages over .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The only good news for Georgia Tech is that this may be a low-scoring game, not unlike the one than transpired against Virginia Tech earlier this week. Still, this is not a good matchup for the Yellow Jackets. Syracuse is a bear on defense and the Jackets neither shoot the ball well nor take care of it well. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head matchups.
Prediction: Syracuse Orange
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have relied on defense. Syracuse is limiting opponents to 60.9 points per game (13th nationally), while Georgia Tech ranks 20th at 62.3 points per outing. Both squads rank at the bottom of the ACC in scoring, as GT averages 71.2 ppg(14th) and ‘Cuse is last at 70.9 ppg. These teams have split six games since Syracuse joined the ACC, with Georgia Tech winning 55-51 at home last season. The under is 3-1-1 in the Yellow Jackets’ last five against winning opponents, 5-1 in their last six against opponents with winning percentages over .600, and 5-0 in their last five on the road following at least three straight home games. It is also 9-2 in the Orange’s last 11 overall, 4-0 in their last four at home, and 6-2 in their last eight following a win. Look for this one to stay under the total.