Big East Betting: Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Syracuse Orange

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Syracuse Orange, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Saturday, February 19, 2011, 4:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN3
Opening Line: Syracuse -12
Current Line: Syracuse -11.5
Opening Total: 131
Current Total: 131
Money Line: Syracuse -725 / Rutgers +575

Syracuse Rutgers College Basketball Preview
Syracuse has won the last 10 meetings with Rutgers overall and the last 14 against the Scarlet Knights at the Carrier Dome

The 17th-ranked Syracuse Orange (21-6, 8-6 Big East) may have silenced some of their critics on Monday with a strong second half in a 63-52 home win over West Virginia on Monday.  But the Orange (-11.5) will need to continue their dominance of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-12, 4-9) on Saturday if they going to stay in the hunt for one of the top four seeds in the conference tournament.

Syracuse has won the last 10 meetings with Rutgers, going 6-4 against the spread in those games.  The Orange have covered the last five meetings with the UNDER going 4-1.  They have also won the last 14 games against the Scarlet Knights at the Carrier Dome yet head coach Jim Boeheim remains concerned.

“Rutgers can play with anyone,” Boeheim said. “I saw them beat Villanova. They play great basketball. Even if you play well you can have a problem. That is just the nature of the league and you have to be ready for that.”

Truth be told, the shocking 77-76 win for Rutgers over the Wildcats on February 9 is the team’s only victory in the last six games.  And that took a miraculous four-point play with one second remaining to become a reality.  To their credit, the Scarlet Knights have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, with four of the games decided by five points or less.

The main concern for Syracuse will again be the team’s ability to defend the 3-point shot, something that has plagued the Orange as they have dropped six of nine games following an 18-0 start.  They were able to overcome 11 long-range baskets by the Mountaineers in their latest win, limiting the opposition to 6 of 25 shooting (24 percent) on two-point attempts.

Rutgers made 8 of 19 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in a 69-64 home loss to Seton Hall last Saturday and is shooting only 31.4 percent on 3-point attempts away from home this season.  The OVER is 2-0-1 in the last three games for the Scarlet Knights, but the total has seen much different results for Syracuse lately.  The UNDER is 5-1 in the past six for the Orange.

Turnovers could very well be the deciding factor in this game considering Rutgers has given the ball away 42 times in the last two meetings with Syracuse and had 18 against the Pirates one game after stunning Villanova.  The Orange rank second in the Big East in steals with 8.7 per game.

If you are betting this Big East college basketball game between Syracuse & Rutgers, make sure to check out the winning basketball picks packages we offer.  You can also get free winners on our free NCAA basketball picks page.

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