ACC Clash: (2) Syracuse Orange at Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes
The Syracuse Orange are a perfect 18-0 on the season and are ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Orange have swept through ACC play 5-0 and will take on the 10-8 Miami Hurricanes in NCAA action Saturday. Syracuse is a 6.5-point favorite according to college basketball oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The Orange have done it with defense. Offensively, the team generates just 72.0 points per game (175th), but the Orange are efficient (46.1 percent field goal percentage). C.J. Fair leads the team in scoring with 16.8 points per game and Fair is also second in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game.
Fair took on a much larger role last year as a junior, and flourished, hitting 47 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three-point range en route to a 14.5 point per game average in 2012-13. This year, that efficiency has dipped some, but Fair is taking nearly three more shots per game and he’s coming up with big plays on the defensive end now (1.4 steals, 0.7 blocks). Fair will have to get his turnovers down, though, as 2.9 is a lot for a non-point guard. At 6’8″ though, Fair is a versatile forward that is a big problem for ACC defenders.
The Miami Hurricanes have had a lot of trouble generating offense this season. The team averages just 61.5 points per game. Miami has lost four of its six ACC games and fell badly to Duke 67-46 on Jan 22. The Hurricanes were able to take control against Georgia Tech and win 56-42. Low scoring games are the hallmark of this year’s Hurricane team, and the 114 total may prove to actually be high.
Rion Brown leads the Hurricanes in scoring with 13.4 points per game and he is second on the team in rebounding (6.2 per game). Brown, a 6’6″ senior guard, has more than doubled his scoring average from his junior season. He’s not wildly efficient at 41.7 percent from the floor and 31.1 percent from three-point range, but he can put the ball in the basket and the Hurricanes only shoot 41.8 percent as a team, anyway. Donnavan Kirk, a 6’9″ senior forward, is having a good season down low and averages 10 points and a team-leading 6.4 rebounds per game.
Syracuse Trends: 3-7-1 ATS in last 11 Saturday games.
Miami Trends: UNDER 11-1 in last 12 overall; 1-7 ATS in last 8 home games; 33-16-5 ATS in last 54 Saturday games.