Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#651 Syracuse 131 vs.
#652 Georgia Tech -3
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Joshua Broom

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#651 Syracuse University
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An ACC matchup ensues today as the Syracuse Orange visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech enters this afternoon’s contest winners of two straight after losing two consecutive. The Yellow Jackets bounced back to defeat Boston College and Nebraska at home. The Yellow Jackets’ aforementioned losses came vs. SEC rivals Arkansas and Georgia. Behind fourth-year head coach Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech’s 4-2 record is predicated upon defensive utility and uptempo pace -the Yellow Jackets use 77.3 possessions per game, #28 NCAA.

Meanwhile, the visiting Syracuse Orange have lost three-straight after an 0-2 NIT Season Tip-Off run. Those setbacks came vs. Oklahoma State, Penn State and Iowa. When Jim Boeheim’s men have found success this season it’s been against smaller conference programs such as Colgate, Cornell, Bucknell and Seattle. The Orange are 0-4 this season vs. fellow power conference schools, most notably losing a low-scoring season opener 48-34 vs. Virginia.

Last season, Georgia Tech scored a 73-59 road win over Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets open tonight as -5 favorites.

New-look Syracuse off to slow start

After losing four-fifths of their 2018-2019 starting core, the Orange have struggled to gel this season. Two-way struggles litter the Orange’s four recent setbacks. Depth and offensive shortcomings are Syracuse’s biggest weaknesses one year after making a routine NCAA Tournament cameo. The Orange average just 69 ppg, while allowing 63 -though each number is built primarily against non Power Six opponents. Boeheim’s largely untested group allowed 86 and 85 points during recent losses vs. Oklahoma State and Penn State.

Syracuse’s defense held a little better during their latest outing, a 68-54 loss vs. Iowa. However, offense lacked as the Orange shot just 36-28 overall. As expected, this year’s Syracuse group is inconsistent and lacks much help behind leading scorer Elijah Hughes (17.9). Expect similar Orange shortcomings tonight vs. a homestanding Georgia Tech group.

Georgia Tech off to credible start behind standout Devoe‘s play

Following two down years, Georgia Tech has largely held its own against credible opposition this season. Much of the team’s early success comes from sophomore guard Michael Devoe’s exceptional play. A top-100 2018 recruit, Devoe has doubled his scoring average from last season’s 9.7 to 23.8 as Tech stands 4-2. The Yellow Jackets began their 2019-2020 schedule by defeating conference foe NC State 82-81. In their latest outing, Tech used a second-half offensive burst to down Nebraska 73-56 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

That night, Devoe added 26 points and Moses Wright 18 as Tech’s swarming defense held the Wolfpack to 32/23 shooting. Overall, Georgia Tech averages 71 ppg and allows 64.5. While Tech has hit rough offensive patches at times, its defense has proved sustainable while standing #16 in DRtg. Expect a quality effort tonight from the Yellow Jackets on their home floor.

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Georgia Tech’s experience and Devoe’s explosive play will be too much for the incoherent Orange to overcome tonight. Following Devoe’s lead, the Jackets’ quality defense will force misses and miscues from Boeheim’s men while running their ACC record to 2-0. The Orange simply haven’t found, or do not have, options to replace last season’s NCAA Tournament-worthy production. Meanwhile, Tech is on a bit of an upswing behind Devoe, and that upward momentum will produce another win tonight. Take Georgia Tech.

Prediction: Georgia Tech

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I’ll take the Under 130 tonight as Tech’s defense is becoming better as the season progresses. Also, Syracuse’s offense is prone to struggle when challenged. Challenges will come from Josh Pastner’s men tonight. The Jackets will use half court sets to frustrate the Orange’s attempts and then overwhelm Syracuse with the nation’s #28 pace. The Orange, behind their #262 measured pace, will find scoring opportunities difficult tonight. Take the Under.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.