College Basketball Handicapping: Boston College Eagles at #1 Syracuse Orange

Boston College Eagles at #1 Syracuse Orange
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, New York
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Syracuse -16
Current Line: Syracuse -13 1/2
Opening Total: 132
Current Total: 131 1/2
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -1600 / Boston College +930
Current Money Line: Syracuse -1300 / Boston College +810

Syracuse is a heavy favorite against Boston College Wednesday night.
Syracuse is a heavy favorite against Boston College Wednesday night.

The 25-0 Syracuse Orange are off to the best start in program history. The Orange are one of two undefeated teams in college basketball along with Wichita State. Syracuse leads the ACC with a 12-0 record over 13-1 Virginia. With a game coming up Saturday at #5 Duke, the Orange can’t afford to overlook their opponent Wednesday night. Syracuse hosts 6-19 Boston College. The Eagles are in second to last place in the conference at 2-10 by a half game over Virginia Tech.

Syracuse leads the series against their former Big East rival 41-23, including 20-9 in Syracuse. The Orange won  69-59 January 13 in Chestnut Hill.

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, Clemson, Syracuse, at North Carolina, Georgia Tech twice, Notre Dame twice (including 73-69 Saturday at home), at Virginia, and Duke. BC has wins over Florida Atlantic, Washington, Sacred Heart, Philadelphia, and Virginia Tech twice. The Eagles have lost 5 straight games.  Boston College is 7-15-1 ATS and the total is 13-10 this season.

BC is being outscored 75-70 this season. The Eagles  are shooting 45% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. Boston College is 38th nationally in free throw shooting at 74.2%. Eagle opponents are shooting 46.9% from the field and 37.3% from 3 point range. Boston College is #307 or worse in both categories out of 351 teams nationally.  BC averages 29.6 rebounds per game, and opponents average 29.6 per game. BC is #345 in rebounding nationally. The Eagles average 12.9 assists, 11.2 turnovers, 4 steals and 2.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.2 assists, 9.3 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan averages 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Forward Ryan Anderson averages 14.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Guard Joe Rahon averages 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Guard Lonnie Jackson averages 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Guard Alex Dragicevich averages 4.3 points and 1.6 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 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, Pittsburgh Duke, Notre Dame , Clemson, and North Carolina State 56-55 Saturday plus road wins at Virginia Tech, Boston College, Miami, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh. The Orange are 13-7-1 ATS and the total is 6-12-2 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 70-58 this season. The Orange are #7 nationally in points allowed. Syracuse is shooting 45.4% from the field and 35.7.3% from 3 point range. The Orange make 70.5% of their free throws. Syracuse opponents are shooting 40.4% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. The Orange average 35.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.2 per game. Syracuse is #19 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Orange average 13 assists, 9.4 turnovers, 8.9 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 13 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 4.5 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Syracuse forward C.J. Fair averages 16.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Trevor Cooney averages 14.1 points, 2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Forward Jerami Grant averages 12.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Tyler Ennis averages 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Forward Rakeem Christmas averages 5.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 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. Keita is questionable with a knee injury.

Boston College is 3-0-1 ATS after failing to cover, 4-0-1 in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 5-11-1 after a straight up loss, 7-16-1 overall, and 4-11 against teams with winning records. The road team is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Syracuse is 5-1 ATS in Wednesday games and against teams with losing records, 13-5-1 overall and after a straight up win, 5-2 after failing to cover and against teams with losing road records, 7-3-1 in ACC games, and 1-3-1 at home. The under is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games in this series.

Syracuse needed last second baskets against both Pitt and NC State last week to preserve their undefeated record. Every team always gives their best effort against the Orange because they are #1 and opponents want to be the first to knock them off their perch. I think Syracuse wins but the eagles keep it closer than many people think.

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