Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#603 Pittsburgh 131 vs.
#604 Syracuse -6
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#603 University of Pittsburgh
#604 Syracuse University
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The Syracuse Orange will battle the Pittsburgh Panthers in an ACC clash Saturday afternoon from the Carrier Dome. The Panthers held on for a 74-72 home win over Boston College on Wednesday night, and the Orange earned an 84-82 road win against Notre Dame in their previous tilt. Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh in all three meetings last season.

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Pittsburgh Evens Conference Record, Seeks Third Straight Win

The Pittsburgh Panthers have recovered from a mini two-game slide with two straight wins and have climbed to the middle of the ACC standings with a 4-4 record. Pittsburgh was 11 point favorites in a hard-fought 74-72 home win over Boston College on Wednesday night. The Panthers rely on defense to win games.

Trey McGowens hasn’t been able to find his shooting touch, recording a clip below 40% in four straight games. The sophomore guard has come through with some big performances and he is currently averaging 13.4 PPG on 39% shooting. Xavier Johnson has been similar to McGowens regarding his inconsistent shooting. The sophomore guard scored 20 points against the Tar Heels last week, and he holds an average of 12 PPG. Justin Champagnie is playing well and earned the double-double with 17 points and 10 boards on Wednesday. The freshman guard has compiled an average of 11.4 PPG and 6.9 RPG.

The Panthers are placed 77th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings and are an even 2-2 on the road. Pittsburgh is not a high-scoring team, and they are averaging 66.7 points, ranking them 299th n the country. They are holding opponents to 61.7 points, good for 30th in all of DI.

Orange Remain Hot with Win Against Notre Dame

The Syracuse Orange are establishing themselves as a big threat in the ACC. It did not look good early as they opened ACC with an 0-3 record, but have since compiled four consecutive wins to improve to 4-3 in conference play. They defeated a ranked Virginia team to start their winning streak and filed an 84-82 road win against Notre Dame on Wednesday in a matchup that had the Orange as four-point dogs.

Elijah Hughes continues to excel. The junior forward collected 26 points along with seven boards in Wednesday’s victory. Hughes has now eclipsed the 20 point mark seven times this season, and he features an average of 19.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG. Buddy Boeheim is proving to be one of the best offensive threats on the Orange. The sophomore guard has netted at least 22 points in two out of his last three games and he is up to 15.9 PPG on 41% shooting. Joseph Girard III has tallied at least 12 points in five out of his last six games. The freshman guard is currently posting 12.2 PPG.

The Orange are ranked 51st in all of DI in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings and feature an 8-4 home record. Syracuse is scoring an average of 73.6 points on the season, placing them 122nd overall. They are conceding an average of 66.3 points, good for 105th in the country.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the points with Pittsburgh in this ACC battle. Pittsburgh has momentum and has won two straight games. They also took a ranked Louisville team to overtime less than two weeks ago. Pittsburgh doesn’t score many points but their stifling defense should keep them in this game. They have held their opponent to 69 or fewer points in six of their eight ACC games this season.

Furthermore, I give credit to Syracuse as they are playing well but they are a lower-scoring team which will make covering the points a big challenge. They have averaged 71.4 points in their last five games overall which is below their season average.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Panthers +6

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect a defensive battle. Both teams place an emphasis on defense and points should be hard to come by as a result. Syracuse is only averaging 69.1 possessions per game and Pittsburgh is even slower with 67.8 possessions per game which places them 327th overall in pace.

In addition, Pittsburgh rarely posts a big number offensively and they are only shooting 41.7% as a team, plus the Carrier Dome is a tough road atmosphere. The under is 6-1-2 in the Panthers’ last nine games following an ATS loss, and 34-16-1 in their last 51 games as a road underdog.

Prediction: Under 132

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Syracuse team total available on PointsBet is a solid prop. The Panthers know if they want to have a chance to win they need to neutralize Syracuse’ scoring. Pittsburgh is holding opponents to 40% shooting from the field and is allowing an average of only 61.7 points. Moreover, the Panthers held Louisville to 38% shooting from the field and North Carolina to a 32% clip all within their last three games.

Prediction: Syracuse Team Total Under

Half-Time Total Bet

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I expect a low scoring game from start to finish. The Panthers are excellent from a defensive standpoint in the first half where they are holding opponents to 28.8 points, good for 28th in DI. Also, the Orange are also tough to solve in the first half where they have limited their opponents to 27.7 points in their last three games.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.