NCAA Tourney East Betting Picks: #4 Syracuse Orange vs #13 Montana Grizzlies

2013 NCAA Tournament – East Region Second Round
#4 Syracuse Orange vs #13 Montana Grizzlies
Thursday, March 21, 2013, 9:57 pm Eastern, TV: tru TV
HP Pavilion – San Jose, California
Opening Line: Syracuse -13
Current Line: Syracuse -12 1/2
Opening Total: 128
Current Total: 127 1/2
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -1100 / Montana +750
Current Money Line: Syracuse -1000 / Montana +700

Syracuse is a heavy favorite against Montana in the east region second round in San Jose Thursday.
Syracuse is a heavy favorite against Montana in the east region second round in San Jose Thursday.

The 26-9 Syracuse Orange looked to be a one seed in the NCAA tournament at the end of February. However, the Orange lost 4 of 5 games to close out the regular season. The Orange ended up tied for 5th in the Big East with  Notre Dame with 11-7 records. The Orange did rebound with 3 straight wins in the Big east tournament before losing to Louisville in the Championship game 78-61. Syracuse led 45-29 in that game with just under 16 minutes to go in the second half, but the Cardinals closed the game on a 49-16 run.

Syracuse was given the #4 seed in the East and will take on #13 Montana in San Jose Thursday. The winner will take on the winner of #5 UNLV and #12 California in the third round Saturday. The Montana Grizzlies are 25-6 and won the Big Sky regular season title with a 19-1 record. The Grizzlies beat Weber State 67-64 in the Big Sky Championship game Saturday. Montana has won 6 straight games. Syracuse and Montana have never met before in basketball.

Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have losses to Temple in Madison Square Garden, at Villanova, at Pittsburgh, at Connecticut, Georgetown twice, Louisville twice, and Marquette. The Georgetown loss snapped a 38 game home winning streak for Syracuse. The Orange have key wins over San Diego St on an aircraft carrier, Princeton, at Arkansas, Eastern Michigan Long Beach St, and Detroit. In conference Syracuse has home wins over Rutgers, Villanova, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and Providence, along with road wins at South Florida, Providence,   Louisville, and Seton Hall. The Orange are 17-14 ATS and the total is 14-15 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 72-60 this season. The Orange are #31 in points allowed.  Syracuse is shooting 44.1% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Orange make 68.3% of their free throws. Syracuse averages 38.7 rebounds per game and allows 30.3 to opponents. Syracuse is #21 in rebounding nationally. Orange opponents are shooting 37.6% from the field and 29.8% from 3 point range. Syracuse is in the top twenty nationally in both categories. The Orange average 15 assists, 9 steals, 6 blocks and 12 turnovers a game.

Brandon Triche averages 13.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. C.J. Fair averages 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block a game. James Southerland averages 14 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game. He missed  6 games due to being ineligible. Michael Carter-Williams averages 12 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2.8 steals a game.  Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney, Baye Keita and Jerami Grant make up the rest of the rotation.

Montana is coached by Wayne Tinkle. The Grizzlies have losses at Colorado St, at BYU, at San Francisco, South Dakota St in double overtime, at Weber St, and at Davidson in overtime. The Grizzlies have wins over Idaho and San Diego. Other than Montana, only Weber St and North Dakota were at .500 or above in the Big Sky. Montana is 17-11-1 ATS and the total is 12-10 this season.

Montana is outscoring teams 71-65 this season. The Grizzlies are shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.5% from 3 point range. Montana is 22nd or better in both categories. The Grizzlies are #5 in free throw shooting at 76.8% from the line. Montana averages 31.2 rebounds per game and allows 29.9 per game. The Grizzlies are #312 out of 347 teams in rebounding. Montana opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 33.3% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies average 13 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 12 turnovers.

Forward Mathias Ward is out for the season with a broken foot. He has missed the last 7 games for the Grizzlies. He averaged 14.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. Guard / forward Kareem Jamar averages 14.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. Guard Will Cherry averages 13.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Jordan Gregory averages 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Spencer Coleman averages 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Keron DeShields, Mike Weisner, Eric Hutchison, and Kevin Henderson also get significant minutes.

Montana is 7-0 ATS overall, 6-0 after a win and a cover, 5-1 in neutral site games, and 1-4 in non-conference games.

Syracuse is 7-2 ATS in non-conference games, 4-9 in neutral site games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 in NCAA tournament games.

The loss of Ward hurts Montana’s chances  to pull off the upset obviously. The Grizzlies ahve played somegood teams this season like Colorado St, BYU, and Weber St, but they haven’t faced anyone like Syracuse yet. I like the Orange to roll.

Our best college basketball picks from our award winning handicappers  will help you crush the books throughout the tournament. Don’t miss out on any more winners.

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