College Basketball Picks: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Syracuse Orange

Cincinnati Bearcats at No. 6 Syracuse Orange
Monday, 1/21/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Syracuse -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Syracuse -8.5
Opening Total:  131.5
Current Total:  130.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Syracuse Orange are coming off an upset win over top-ranked Louisville last time out
The Syracuse Orange are coming off an upset win over top-ranked Louisville last time out

Cincinnati has won three games in a row since suffering back-to-back losses, as it comes off a thrilling 71-69 overtime victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles as 7.5-point home favorites Saturday, while going OVER the total for the first time in five contests.  “Winning builds belief in your system and the things you try to preach to your team,” commented Bearcats coach Mick Cronin.  The Bearcats have won 10 of their last 14 games against ranked foes, including two of three such meetings during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.  Cincinnati is 18-9 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, which must be considered when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Bearcats have never won four consecutive regular-season Big East Conference games since joining the league prior to the 2005-06 campaign.  Cincinnati is 3-7 all-time against Syracuse, but did manage to earn a split in last year’s series, with a 71-68 victory in the semifinals of the Big East Championship at Madison Square Garden.  The squad may be without the services of second-leading scorer Cashmere Wright, who is questionable with a knee injury.

Syracuse has won seven games in a row, including a 70-68 victory over top-ranked Louisville as seven-point road underdogs last time out, while going OVER the posted total of 135.  The Orange received 23 points from leading scorer Brandon Triche, while point guard Michael Carter-Williams scored 11 of the team’s final 13 points.  The team is averaging 78.5 points per game, while allowing 58.4, which comes out to a plus-20.1 point differential.

The Orange have fared well after earning an upset win as a road underdog during the Jim Boeheim era, as they’ve compiled a 17-8-1 ATS record in that situation in their last 26 opportunities.  Syracuse has won three consecutive home games in this particular series, including the last two by an average of 19.5 points.

Sports bettors will likely back the Orange due to their 9-4 ATS mark on Mondays, while the Bearcats are 0-5 ATS after a straight-up win.

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