Syracuse Orange vs Houston Cougars Sweet 16 Betting Picks, Odds, & Lines
The No. 2 seed Houston will battle No. 1 Syracuse for the Sweet 16 betting place in the Elite Eight in the Sweet 16 matchup on Saturday night. The Cougars haven’t been to Elite Eight since 1984. The Orange are in the Sweet 16 for the 20th time under coach Boeheim.
The Boeheim father-son duo led the Orange to two wins against the higher-seeded teams last weekend. They sneaked past the No. 3 seed West Virginia 76-73 after trashing the No. 6 San Diego State 78-62. Syracuse has now covered the spread in six consecutive games. Overall this season they are 18-9 straight up.
Houston dealt easily with Cleveland State to win by 31 in the first round, but barely got past Rutgers thanks to the 14-2 run to win 60-56. The Cougars have now won 9 games in a row. They lost only three times this season and went 19-9 against the spread.
Syracuse Orange vs Houston Cougars Sweet 16 Betting Line Movement
Opening Sweet 16 betting odds favored Houston by -6.5 and the line hasn’t changed much since. It bounced to -6 a couple of times but now it’s back to -6.5. The total also hasn’t seen much movement, opening at 140 and slightly increasing to 140.5.
Notes On The Syracuse Orange
The Orange has hit the form just at the right time. Syracuse won 5 out of the last 6 games. In the opening games, they were insanely hot from the deep, hitting 29 threes combined. They’re probably the hottest shooting team in the country right now, having hit double-digit threes in 4 out of the last 5 games. The only time Syracuse got cold was in a loss to Virginia. Also, they played fantastic defense keeping both first-weekend opponents below 40% from the field. We’ll see how coach Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 zone defense will fare against another trigger-happy team in this round.
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The key man for Syracuse is the coach’s son, Buddy Boeheim. The junior guard is on fire, averaging 26 points over the last 6 games and hitting more than five threes per game during that stretch. With 55 points in the first two games, he’s perhaps the most dominant player at the tournament so far.
Notes On The Houston Cougars
The Cougars were very close to getting knocked out in the Sweet 16 betting Second Round. However, they rallied late for a close win against the Scarlet Knights, completely stifling the Rutgers offense. This is not the first time the Houston defense got them the win. The Cougars are holding opponents to only 43% from the field this season. They’re capable of slowing down even the most potent defenses. Houston is particularly good against isolation plays which is exactly where the Syracuse offense thrives. The Rutgers game provided Coach Sampson more headache on the offensive end. 63 points equal the team’s lowest output this campaign. Furthermore, they’re a pick and roll-heavy offense, running some type of this play on 31% of offensive possessions. Scoring from pick and roll on Syracuse’s 2-3 zone will be almost impossible, so the Cougars will have to find the points elsewhere.
Houston’s leading scorer Quentin Grimes is having a fantastic tournament so far. The junior guard has 40 points already and shoots 9-17 from the deep. A reason for worry is a dip form for Marcus Sasser who hit only 1 shot on 9 attempts against Rutgers.
Syracuse Orange vs Houston Cougars Sweet 16 Betting Pick: UNDER 140.5
Both teams are currently thriving on the Sweet 16 betting defensive end. The Cougars prefer to play long and deliberate possessions while the Orange likes to run a bit more. However, Houston’s ability on the offensive boards should prevent Syracuse’s transition game in check.