NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse Orange vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

No. 6 Syracuse Orange at Arkansas Razorbacks
Friday, 11/30/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Syracuse -8
Current Betting Line:  Syracuse -7.5
Opening Total:  146.5
Current Total:  149
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Syracuse Orange are 3-2 ATS as road favorites of 6.5 to 9 points since 2010

Syracuse has won its first four outings this season, including an 87-51 victory against Colgate on Sunday, with point guard Michael Carter-Williams leading the way with 13 assists and only a single turnover.  “He’s getting better,” stated Orange coach Jim Boeheim.  “He’s getting the ball in the right places.”  The Orange will certainly be tested in protecting the basketball in this affair, as the Razorbacks have forced the opposition into an average of 18.4 turnovers per game.  Syracuse is 3-2 ATS as a road favorite of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons, which has to be considered when making your college basketball picks against the spread on Friday night.

The Orange are outscoring opponents by an average of 25.0 points per game, as they are shooting 47.1 percent from the field, while holding opponents to a 33.5 percent mark.  Senior forward James Southerland enters this game as the team’s leading scorer averaging 14.3 points per game, which includes a career-high 22 points in a 73-53 victory over the Princeton Tigers on Nov. 21.

Arkansas returns home after suffering back-to-back losses to the Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona State Sun Devils in Las Vegas, but were pleased by the production out of sophomore guard BJ Young.  He is averaging 20.5 points and 3.8 rebounds through five games.  The Razorbacks know they must improve in a big way to pull off the upset in this spot, going against one of the premier programs in the nation.  “When you talk about the ultimate challenge, that’s what we’re going to face here,” stated Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson this week.  Arkansas is 1-4 ATS in November the last two-plus seasons.

The Razorbacks are shooting just 27.8 percent from beyond the arc this year, which will be difficult to improve on against an opponent that’s holding opponents to 28.4 percent shooting in that category.  Arkansas is 84-117 all-time against ranked opponents, which includes owning a 4-6 mark against teams ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.  The program hopes to improve upon its even 1-1 record in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the UNDER is 5-2 in the Razorbacks last seven games versus Big East opponents.

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