March Madness Betting — Syracuse Orange vs. Duke Blue Devils
Could the Syracuse Orange possibly do it again? They have arguably been the biggest story in the NCAA Tournament so far, and they will have a chance to advance to the Elite Eight if they can get by the Duke Blue Devils in a Sweet Sixteen game that is scheduled to tip off at 9:37 PM ET at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. If you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get reduced juice on this game, so you can be operating with more favorable March Madness odds, and then, after the game begins, you can place wagers in real time with Live Betting Ultra.
Syracuse’s status for an at-large bid was tenuous enough that ultimately it got relegated to the First Four, which involved a play-in game, and the Orange has been able to shut down the offenses of Arizona State, TCU and Michigan State. As you can probably guess, that last victory on the list was the most impressive, because the Spartans came in as one of the most complete teams in the country, But they shot only 26% as Syracuse beat them 55-53. So it’s all been pretty amazing, and Jim Boeheim’s team, which is playing its matchup zone to near-perfection, has been able to overcome rather poor shooting – 40.8%, 36.6% and 35.7% in these three games.
Duke has beaten Iona by 22 points and Rhode Island by 25, but obviously they are facing a different situation here. This should be a test of their patience, although they shoot a whole lot better than the Orange. The Blue Devils also play a zone; this is a recent development, instituted by coach Mike Krzyzewski after an injury to Marvin Bagley III, and it has worked so well that they have stuck with it. You can imagine that they could be in better shape at attack a zone if they have been practicing against it.
In the March Madness betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Duke is a sizable favorite:
Duke Blue Devils -11
Syracuse Orange +11
Over 133 points -110
Under 133 points -110
These teams have already played each other – that was in ACC play, on February 24, and Duke emerged with a 60-44 victory. Neither team shot particularly well, although it should be mentioned that the Blue Devils, who were only 2-18 from the arc, hit 20 of their 35 shots from two-point range. Both of these teams are among the best offensive rebounding teams in the country – Duke is 1st, while Syracuse is 20th – and the Orange had the edge in that department by a 9-8 margin. Syracuse shot just 31% overall.
Duke has become a team that, while it can hit three-pointers (38.2%) does its best work inside. With Bagley and fellow freshman Wendell Carter, they have the big guys who can plant themselves inside, and get the offensive rebound (which you should be able to do against a zone), but Syracuse does have an able shot-blocker with Paschal Chukwu. Since in this tournament, Boeheim’s team has been punching above their weight, we can’t say that Duke wins this in a runaway, despite what look like a lot of fundamental edges.
But we know what Syracuse is highly-motivated to do, which is to give itself the best chance by keeping the number of possessions to a minimum. Duke does not get out there and press to the point where they are going to force a lot of turnovers, and the Orange takes up 19.5 seconds in an average possession – only ten teams are slower. We think another “under” is in order here.
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