ACC College Basketball Handicapping Picks: #2 Syracuse Orange at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#2 Syracuse Orange at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ACC Network
Opening Line: Syracuse -9
Current Line: Syracuse -10
Opening Total: 121
Current Total: 125
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -450 / Wake Forest +355
Current Money Line: Syracuse -550 / Wake Forest +425
The 19-0 Syracuse Orange are one of three undefeated teams left in the country along with Arizona and Wichita State. The Orange look to tie a school record of 20 straight victories to start a season as they travel to the 14-6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Wednesday night. The Orange lead the ACC at 6-0 over 7-1 Virginia. The Demon Deacons are 4-3 in conference and tied for 5th with Florida State and Clemson.
This is only the second meeting between Syracuse and Wake Forest, who just became conference rivals this season when Syracuse joined the ACC after many years in the Big East. The Orange beat the Demon Deacons 74-67 in the championship game of the 2001 pre-season NIT in Madison Square Garden. This is the only scheduled meeting between Syracuse and Wake Forest unless they meet in the ACC Tournament.
Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have key wins over Cornell and Fordham at home, Minnesota, California, and Baylor (all in the Maui Invitational), Indiana at home, at St. John’s, and Villanova at home. In conference, Syracuse has home wins over Miami, North Carolina and Pittsburgh plus road wins at Virginia Tech, Boston College and Saturday at Miami 64-52. The Orange are 10-4-1 ATS and the total is 5-7-2 this season.
Syracuse is outscoring teams 72-58 this season. The Orange are #6 nationally in points allowed. Syracuse is shooting 46% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Orange make 69.3% of their free throws. Syracuse opponents are shooting 41.1% from the field and 34.2% from 3 point range. The Orange average 35.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.3 per game. Syracuse is #8 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Orange average 12.8 assists, 9.5 turnovers, 9.3 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 15 turnovers, 4.4 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
Syracuse forward C.J. Fair averages 16.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Trevor Cooney averages 13.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Forward Jerami Grant averages 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Tyler Ennis averages 12 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Forward Rakeem Christmas averages 5.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward DeJuan Coleman averages 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game but is out for the season with a knee injury. Michael Gbinije, Tyler Roberson, and Baye-Moussa Keita also get significant minutes in the rotation.
Wake Forest is coached by Jeff Bzdelik. The Demon Deacons have losses to Kansas and Tennessee in a tournament in the Bahamas, plus road losses at Xavier, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Clemson. Wake Forest has key wins over USC in the Bahamas, Tulane, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, North Carolina, NC State, at Virginia Tech and at home against Notre Dame 65-58 Saturday. The Deacons are undefeated at home. The Demon Deacons have won 3 of their last 4 and 2 straight games. Wake Forest is 9-7 ATS and the total is 5-10 this season.
Wake Forest is outscoring teams 72-68 this season. The Demon Deacons are shooting 45% from the field and 32.9% from 3 point range. Wake Forest is #328 out of 351 teams nationally in free throw shooting at 64% from the line. Demon Deacon opponents are shooting 40.4% from the field and 28.2% from 3 point range. Wake is #57 in field goal defense and #11 nationally in three point defense. The Demon Deacons average 38.5 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.2 per game. Wake Forest is #48 in rebounding nationally. The Demon Deacons average 14 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.9 assists, 11.2 turnovers, 6.6 steals and 3.8 blocks per game.
Guard Codi Miller-McIntyre averages 15.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. Forward Devin Thomas averages 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. Forward Travis McKie averages 10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Coron Williams averages 9.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. Forward Tyler Cavanaugh averages 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Forward Arnaud-William Adala Moto averages 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Guard Madison Jones averages 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Andre Washington leads the team in blocks at 1.8 per game. Miles Overton and Aaron Rountree III will also get time in the rotation.
Syracuse is 4-0-1 ATS after a straight up win, overall and against ACC teams, 3-0-1 against teams with winning records, 6-1-1 after a cover, 6-1 in road games, 4-1 against teams with winning home records, and 16-7 in Wednesday games.
Wake Forest is 22-8-1 ATS against teams with winning home records, 15-6 at home, 1-4 in Wednesday games, and after a straight up win.
Wake Forest is a solid team with an RPI of 59. That puts them firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament as February fast approaches. A high profile win over the #2 team in the country would certainly bolster the Deacons’ resume. While Wake is undefeated at home, it will be a very high mountain to climb to upset the Orange. Syracuse might overlook Wake Forest considering they host Duke on Saturday. Still, I think the Orange pull away late for a tough road victory.