ACC College Basketball Handicapping: #2 Syracuse Orange at Boston College Eagles

#2 Syracuse Orange at Boston College Eagles
Silvio O. Conte Forum – Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Monday, January 13, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Syracuse -10 1/2
Current Line: Syracuse -8 1/2
Opening Total: 133
Current Total: 133
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -500 / Boston College +390
Current Money Line: Syracuse -425 / Boston College +335

Syracuse is an  8.5 point favorite against Boston College Monday in ACC action.
Syracuse is an 8.5 point favorite against Boston College Monday in ACC action.

The 16-0 Syracuse Orange are one of four undefeated teams left in college basketball, along with Arizona, Wisconsin, and Wichita State. It is no coincidence that all four of those teams are ranked in the top 5 of the current AP poll. The Orange are #2 in the country and tied for first in the ACC with Pittsburgh and Virginia. All three teams are 3-0. Syracuse travels to 5-11 Boston College Monday night. The Eagles are the only team in the new look ACC with a losing overall record. BC is part of an 8 way tie in the conference at 1-2.

Syracuse and Boston College were longtime conference rivals in the Big East until the Eagles moved to the ACC after the 2005 season. They haven’t played since, but are now conference rivals again as Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame all joined the ACC this season. Syracuse leads the series 40-23 against BC, but the Eagles are 12-10 in Chestnut Hill. Boston College won the last two meetings against Syracuse. The two teams will play again February 19 in the Carrier Dome.

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 and North Carolina Saturday 57-45, plus a road win at Virginia Tech. The Orange are 8-4 ATS and the total is 4-5-2 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 73-58 this season. The Orange are #8 nationally in points allowed. Syracuse is shooting 45.9% from the field and 34.9% from 3 point range. The Orange make 69% of their free throws. Syracuse opponents are shooting 41% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Orange average 36.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.6 per game. Syracuse is #10 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Orange average 13.6 assists, 9.9 turnovers, 9.4 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.8 assists, 15.8 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Syracuse forward C.J. Fair averages 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Trevor Cooney averages 13.6 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Forward Jerami Grant averages 12.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Tyler Ennis averages 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.6 steals per game. Forward Rakeem Christmas averages 5.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward DeJuan Coleman averages 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game but is questionable with a knee injury. Michael Gbinije, Tyler Roberson, and Baye-Moussa Keita also get significant minutes in the rotation.

Boston College is coached by Steve Donahue. The Eagles have played a very difficult schedule so far with losses to Providence, Massachusetts, Toledo, Connecticut, Purdue, USC, Maryland, Auburn, VCU, Harvard and Clemson. BC has wins over Florida Atlantic, Washington, Sacred Heart, Philadelphia, and Saturday at Virginia Tech 62-59.The Virginia Tech win snapped a four game losing streak for the Eagles and it was also the first ACC win for BC. Boston College is 3-11 ATS and the total is 7-7 this season.

BC is being outscored 75-71 this season. The Eagles  are shooting 44.5% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. Boston College is 9th nationally in free throw shooting at 76.5%. Eagle opponents are shooting 45.9% from the field and 35.8% from 3 point range. BC averages 31.4 rebounds per game, and opponents average 28.8 per game. The Eagles average 12.6 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 3.6 steals and 2.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.6 assists, 9.3 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan averages 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Forward Ryan Anderson averages 15.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Guard Joe Rahon averages 9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Guard Lonnie Jackson averages 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Guard Alex Dragicevich averages 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Eddie Odio, Garland Owens, Patrick Heckmann, Will Magarity, and Dennis Clifford will also get significant minutes in the rotation. No Eagle player averages more than one steal or block per game. Guard Darryl Hicks is out for the season with a knee injury.

Syracuse is 5-1 after a cover, 8-2 after a straight up win and overall, 4-1 against teams with losing records, in road games, and against ACC teams. The under is 4-1 in the last five games in this series, but they haven’t played in 9 years.

Boston College is 5-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 1-5 at home, 1-7 against teams with winning records and overall. The underdog si 5-2 ATS in the last 7 in this series. The Eagles have covered four of the last five games against the Orange.

This line opened at -10 1/2 and moved to -8 1/2. I think bettors look at this like a potential sandwich game for the Orange as they beat North Carolina Saturday and host Pittsburgh this weekend. Still, 8.5 points seems like a bargain against a terrible Boston College team. The Orange should roll.

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