It is the first-round matchup for the Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC tournament as they take on the Syracuse Orange. Get the latest odds and information for this contest at PointsBet Sportsbook.
Syracuse Crushes NC State
The Orange (15-8, 9-7 in the ACC) got off on the right foot, crushing North Carolina State to open the ACC tournament, 89-68. Body Boeheim led the way with 27 points and added five assists. Four other players scored in double digits, including Alan Griffin who came two rebounds short of a double-double, scoring 12 points and adding eight rebounds. He also chipped in five assists.
Syracuse is averaging 76.1 ppg while allowing 70.7 points per contest. They are shooting 43.6% from the field and 33.0% from the three-point range.
The duo of Boeheim and Griffin have been fantastic for the Orange. Boeheim leads the team in scoring at 16.5 ppg with Griffin right behind at 15.2 points per game. He is second on the team in rebounds at 6.7 per contest. Quincy Guerrier is the leading rebounder at 8.8 per contest and is averaging 14.4 points per game.
Cavaliers Defense Leads the Way
Virginia (17-6, 13-4 in the ACC) closed out the season with two victories. They earned themselves the regular-season title in the conference, edging Florida State. It has been an outstanding defense that has led the way for the Cavaliers, as they have not allowed a team to score as many as 70 points since Gonzaga did it back on December 26. They held opponents under 70 in all 17 ACC games.
Virginia is averaging 68.5 ppg while allowing opponents only 60.1 points per contest, ranking in the top 25. The Cavaliers are shooting 48.1% from the field, 29th in the nation, and 38.6% from the three-point range, 12th overall.
Virginia is led by Sam Hauser, averaging 15.8 ppg. He is second on the team in rebounding at 6.8 per game. The Cavaliers have their own two-headed monster, as Jay Huff is second on the team in scoring (13.1) and first in rebounding (6.9). Trey Murphy is also averaging double digits at 11.1 points per game.
- 3-7 in their last 10 games against teams with a winning percentage greater than 60%.
- 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following a victory where they won by more than 20 points.
Virginia is only favored by five, so it is a bit surprising to see that they do not have any trends going in their direction. That likely has a lot to do with the fact that this team plays a very methodical, slow game where fewer points are scored on both ends of the court.
These teams only played each other one time this season, and Virginia blew out Syracuse by 23. The spread in that game was 7.5, and I see no reason to believe that the Orange all of a sudden has improved that much. They will not lose by 23, but it will not be by less than six either.
Pick: Take Virginia -5.0 at -110
Oddsmakers clearly believe in a low-scoring affair, and I think that is a smart pick. Even in the blowout victory, only 139 points were scored. So, a spread of 133 seems like a good place to start.
Virginia has gone over in four of their last five games while Syracuse has gone over in nine of their last 10 games at a neutral site. I think the over is going to be the right prediction as well. Take Virginia to win, 74-60.
Pick: Go over 141.5 points at -110