Syracuse Orange vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
First place meets last place in the Big East as the Syracuse Orange host the Pittsburgh Panthers on Monday. The Orange are -16 point favorites over the Panthers with an over/under point total set at 137.
The Syracuse Orange are unbeaten and the undisputed number one team in the nation and have simply been rolling. Jim Boeheim’s team has made it look easy winning by double digits in all of their conference games with the exception of one going a perfect 13-0 at home and their schedule has included three top 25 teams. Kris Joseph is averaging 13.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, Dion Waiters is averaging 12.9 points, and Brandon Triche is averaging 9.9 points. As a team Syracuse is averaging 80.4 points, 17.3 assists, and they are shooting 48.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 60.2 points and their opponents shoot 38 percent from the floor. Whether they be at home or on the road it is going to take a monster effort to knock off Syracuse.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are in a free fall and Jamie Dixon’s team has lost six games in a row including their first five Big East games of the season. Pitt entered conference play ranked in the top 25 but now they are 2-3 on the road and in 16th place in the conference even though they have played just one team ranked in the top 25. Ashton Gibbs is averaging 16.9 points, Nasir Robinson is averaging 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, and Lamar Patterson is averaging 8.8 points and 5.7 rebounds. As a team Pittsburgh is averaging 71.6 points and they are shooting 46.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 66 points and their opponents are shooting 43.9 percent. Pittsburgh has a ton of talent and experience which is what makes their losing more confusing.
Syracuse is 5-1 against the spread following a win, 5-1 against the spread in their last six Big East games, and 4-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Pittsburgh is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games, 1-5 against the spread against the Big East, and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games overall. Pittsburgh is 13-3 against the spread in the last 16 meetings of these two.
Pittsburgh has been awful and Syracuse has been impressive but even so, this is just way too many points and taking them is the play here.
Pittsburgh Panthers +16 Syracuse Orange