College Basketball Predictions: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Syracuse Orange

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Syracuse Orange
Monday, 11/25/13, 5:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Syracuse -1
Current Betting Line:  Syracuse -1
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Syracuse Orange have won the Maui Invitational in both of their previous trips
The Syracuse Orange have won the Maui Invitational in both of their previous trips

Minnesota won its only meeting against Syracuse in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, while first-year head coach Richard Pitino has compiled a 3-3 SU record as an assistant when taking on one of the top programs in the country.  The Golden Gophers are led offensively by the play of guard Andre Hollins, who ranks fifth in the Big Ten Conference in averaging 18.8 points per game.  The program has managed 44 steals through five games, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball predictions.  Minnesota is 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight neutral site games.

The Golden Gophers have a combined 74-42 record when participating in in-season tournaments, including a 13-5 mark the last six seasons.  Minnesota has defeated seven top-10 ranked teams in the last six seasons, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.  The roster welcomed back its top three shooters from three-point range from a season ago.

Syracuse returns to Hawaii for the first time since the 1988-99 season to participate in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, as it looks to win the event for the third time in as many tries.  The Orange are outscoring opponents by 15.5 points per game, but shooting just 61.7 percent from the charity stripe.  Senior forward C.J. Fair is leading the way in averaging 18.0 points per game, as he was named a 2013-14 ACC Preseason Player of the Year.  Syracuse is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games versus Big Ten opponents.

The Orange have been ranked in 78 straight AP polls, while longtime head coach Jim Boeheim has amassed 924 wins at the Division I level.  Syracuse was picked to finish second in the ACC preseason poll behind the Duke Blue Devils.  The team’s sophomore class is contributing 46.6 percent of its points this season, while its senior leadership is pitching in with 27.7.

Sports bettors will likely back the Golden Gophers due to their 4-1 ATS mark in their last five games.

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