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Syracuse vs VCU Picks and Odds (Nov. 24)

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Nov 24, 2021 · 2:33 AM PST

Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim dribbling
Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim (35) dribbles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • The Syracuse Orange are 6.5-point favorites over the VCU Rams in their NCAA men’s basketball game slated for Wednesday, November 24
  • It’s an opening-round game in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas
  • Syracuse is 2-1 on the season, while VCU are 2-2

The Syracuse Orange are arriving in paradise off a shocking setback, while the VCU Rams are also coming there on the heels of a heartbreaking defeat.

Both schools are in the Bahamas, among eight schools participating in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Also involved in the event are defending national champion Baylor, Arizona State, Auburn, UConn, Michigan State, and Loyola Chicago.

Syracuse and VCU clash in a first-round game on Wednesday. Oddsmakers are setting the Orange as 6.5-point favorites. Syracuse is 1-2 against the spread this season.

VCU vs Syracuse Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
VCU Rams +240 +6.5 (-110) O 133.5 (-105)
Syracuse Orange -303 -6.5 (-110) U 133.5 (-115)

Odds as of November 23rd at BetMGM.

Tipoff of this game is set for 5pm ET at Imperial Arena on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. ESPN2 is carrying the broadcast.

Syracuse Orange Betting Trends

You could say that the Orange got the brush off in their last game. For the first time in almost 60 years, Syracuse lost to Colgate. And the Orange really didn’t even keep it close against the Red Raiders after blowing an early 17-point lead.

Colgate were 100-85 winners. It was their first victory over the Orange since February 24, 1962. That 67-63 victory, like this win, was fashioned at Syracuse. The Orange had won 54 in a row over the Red Raiders prior to this latest loss. It was also the first time since January of 2018 that Syracuse surrendered 100 points in a game.

Junior guard Joseph Girard III led the Orange against Colgate, coming up just shy of a triple-double. Girard III scored 27 points. He was 8-of-14 from the field. Girard added eight assists, seven rebounds and a steal. Redshirt senior forward Jimmy Boeheim posted his first double double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Girard is hitting on 81% of his 3-point attempts (13-of-16) to lead the nation. He’s second on the team in scoring (19.3 points per game). Senior guard Buddy Boeheim leads the Orange in scoring, averaging 20.0 ppg. His brother Jimmy, a Cornell transfer, is netting 14.3 ppg.

VCU Rams Betting Trends

The Rams lost their last game 56-54 to Chattanooga when Chattanooga’s Malachi Smith hit a short jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second half. The loss dropped VCU to 2-2 on the season.

Senior forward Vince Williams of the Rams led all scorers with a career-high 21 points and six rebounds. He connected on 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

During the loss, VCU shot a season-high .478 (22-of-46), including .571 (12-of-21) in the second half. Averaging 12.3 ppg, Williams is the only VCU player in double figures this season. Junior forward Hason Ward, who’s from Barbados, has pulled down a team-leading 6.8 rebounds per game.

The Rams have posted wins this season against Saint Peter’s and at Vanderbilt. VCU is showing a minus-6 rebound differential. Two of the Rams’ four games this season were decided by margins of three points or less.

Orange-Rams Prediction

Syracuse can score the basketball. The Orange are #16 at KenPom in offensive efficiency and are averaging 85.7 points per game. They’re 16th in the nation in field goals made (59%) and 15th in the NCAA in 3-pointers made (43%).

VCU struggles to put the ball in the hoop. The Rams are averaging just 50.7 ppg. Twice in four games they’ve failed to break the 50-point barrier. In fact, Girard and the Boeheim brothers together are outscoring the entire VCU team this season.

The vaunted Syracuse zone forces opposing offenses to rely on long-range shooting to beat the Orange.  It worked for Colgate. The Red Raiders put up 43 shots from beyond the arc and hit 42% of them.

VCU is shooting a dismal 26.3% from 3-point range (15-of-57). That doesn’t even rank in the top 300 in the NCAA.

This game is setting up to be a Syracuse rout.

Pick: Syracuse Orange -6.5 (-110)

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