Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#803 Syracuse 138.5 vs.
#804 Pittsburgh -1
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by The Force

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#803 Syracuse University
#804 University of Pittsburgh
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Syracuse Orange vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Where and when: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, 7 pm EST

An Atlantic Coast Conference battle between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange will take place on Wednesday night at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 7 pm EST. Syracuse seeks to win its 2nd-straight conference game after taking out the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets at home in their last outing while the Panthers look to halt a 4-game losing skid when they while also avoiding their 3rd-straight loss at home. It is worth mentioning that the Panthers have dropped 6-straight to the Orange (including 2-straight at home) with their last meeting ending in an 8-point victory for the Orange at home thanks to a solid defensive effort that held Pittsburgh to just 39% shooting.

Syracuse locks down Panthers in first matchup

The Orange allowed 14 points and 9 rebounds to the Panthers leading scorer Justin Champagnie (5-6 shooting) in their matchup on January 25th, however, the remainder of the starting 5 shot a combined 7 of 30 for the game in addition to going 5 for 21 from long-range. This type of defensive effort was necessary for the Orange after allowing an average of over 80 points to their prior 3 opponents (all losses), including surrendering 90 points on the road to Louisville on February 19th. They now turn their attention to an offense for Pittsburgh that is ranked as one of the worst in the nation in points scored per game (66), field goal percentage (41), along with 3-point field goal percentage (29).

Similar to their win over Georgia Tech, the Orange offense shot 44% versus the Panthers last month. And despite leading scorer Elijah Hughes going 4-13 on the night (0-4 3FG, 4 TO's) for 10 points and 6 boards, Syracuse's sophomore guard Buddy Boeheim (16 ppg) came through in the clutch to post 21 points on 4-8 shooting night from long-range, thus increasing his average for the year to just under 39% in this area. Important to also note that since their win over the Orange, Hughes has had 20+ point nights in 5 of 7 games despite the team going just 2-5 during this time (3-4 ATS). Pittsburgh’s defense will be a challenge as they are not only ranked in the top 48 teams in the nation in points allowed per game at 64, but are coming off a slim defeat to a 19-win Virginia Cavaliers team where they allowed 44% shooting while forcing 14 turnovers.

Panthers nearly closed out Cavs to win 2-straight

Pittsburgh’s loss to the Cavaliers was a close contest throughout with the defense for the Panthers being the tip of the spear in keeping this game within reach. What doomed the Panthers in the end, however, was something that has commonly occurred throughout the season, the offense not being able to garner any type of consistency. Pittsburgh ended the night shooting 39% from the floor along with connecting on just 3 of 15 attempts from long range as Champagnie had a rough outing with 9 points on 4-12 shooting (1-4 3FG). Again, the team is ranked 313th in the nation (or worse) in the major offensive categories and if their last matchup with Syracuse was an indication, it seems that the Panthers may indeed struggle yet again on Wednesday.

The Panthers will need another productive offensive night from sophomore guard Au’Diese Toney (9 ppg), who is coming off a 13-point effort versus the Cavaliers along with guard Xavier Johnson (12 ppg), who led the team with 16 points in their most recent defeat to make this game interesting. Important to note that Tony is coming off a set of great games as he has posted double-digits in his last 4 contests while being very efficient from the floor in shooting 47% for the year. Pittsburgh’s offense has failed to score more than 63 points in their last 6 matchups with Syracuse and has averaged just 55 points in their last 2 meetings at home versus their conference foe.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Take the Orange to pull out a win in this contest as one will witness a defensive-minded contest throughout where Syracuse will garner just enough offense to pull away while their defense will perform solidly on an offense for the Panthers that continues to look dismal at every turn.  The Orange are also seeking to go over .500 in the conference with their 9th win of the year (against 8 defeats), so motivation can certainly be a key factor for the visitors in this ACC showdown. Important to note that the Orange have won the last 4 meetings versus the Panthers by an average of over 10 points per.  

 

 

Prediction: Syracuse Orange -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Again, we are talking about 2 solid defenses for the Panthers and the Orange going against 2 middle-of-the-road to awful offenses in this contest.  Pittsburgh has not done well for themselves versus the Orange at home lately as pointed out earlier and I see the visitors really getting physical on the defensive end versus the shaky offensive unit for the Panthers.  Expect a low-scoring affair from these two teams as this has been the case in the last 2 matchups versus these 2 teams at the Petersen Events Center. Important to note that the Panthers are averaging just 63 points in their last 4 home games.

Prediction: Under 139.5
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Written By Falepa Emme , "The Force"

A true analyst for a variety of sports, Falepa Emme has been a sports enthusiast for decades. His ability to read, learn, write, and constantly think sports will offer a unique perspective to NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL, along with MLB contests. Falepa brought his passion for analytics in each of these areas to OUR TEAM here at StatSalt and it will certainly benefit you in obtaining more insight into upcoming match-ups.