NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Odds, Picks: Syracuse vs Duke Best Bets & College Lacrosse Lookahead Lines

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Odds, Picks: Syracuse vs Duke Best Bets & College Lacrosse Lookahead Lines article feature image

Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Duke Blue Devils attack Dyson Williams (51) and Duke Blue Devils midfield AJ Delgado (21) lead the team out of the tunnel before the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championships Semifinal game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Penn State Nittany Lions on May 27, 2023, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.

This Wednesday night, we’re treated to an ACC showdown between the Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils in Syracuse.

I break down the heavyweight matchup between two ranked teams below and also give two weekend bets to make now before lines move.

If you’re an avid bettor who’s new to lacrosse or a lacrosse fan who’s new to betting, check out my guide on how to bet on lacrosse for some tips to use when placing a lacrosse bet.

No. 4 Duke vs. No. 6 Syracuse

Duke (-2.5) Odds-260
Syracuse (+2.5) Odds+195
TimeWednesday, 7 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Both Duke and Syracuse enter ACC play following dominant wins.

Duke opened as a 2-point favorite but is now as high as -3.5 at one sportsbook. Yet, I think there’s still some value in backing Duke at -2.5 despite both teams boasting two of the most efficient offenses in college lacrosse.

Despite an upset loss to Penn earlier in the month, Duke is actually having a year closer to Maryland’s 2022 undefeated season than many may realize. After beating a really good Richmond last week, the Blue Devils rank first in both adjusted offensive efficiency at 41.3% and adjusted defensive efficiency at 21.1% during competitive situations.

While they don’t possess the face-off dominance that the 2022 Terps had, their numbers are similar to Maryland’s 41.9% offensive efficiency and 21.3% defensive efficiency, according to Lacrosse Reference.

Now, Syracuse is also having a great season, particularly on offense, where it ranks third with an adjusted offensive efficiency of 39.9%.

The Orange also rank first in adjusted face-off percentage, which is their biggest edge in this game, but I think Duke will be able to overcome that potential disadvantage.

Duke has been so good on offense and defense that it's eliminated any potential possession disadvantages. Both Richmond and Princeton rank in the top 15 in offensive efficiency and held Duke to an adjusted face-off percentage below 47% in their games. Duke beat both by nine goals each.

On the flip side, Syracuse’s win over Hopkins saw the Orange gain a whopping 19 extra possessions over the Blue Jays by forcing six failed clears and winning 13 more face-offs. Yet, they still only won by a goal.

Syracuse shouldn’t generate that big of a possession disparity against Duke, and the Orange’s defense is their biggest concern in this matchup. They allowed an adjusted defensive efficiency of 32.8% or higher in their matchups with Maryland, Army and Johns Hopkins, and Duke will be their toughest test to date.

Syracuse's defense should struggle to keep both 2023 Tewaaraton winner Brennan O'Neill and Josh Zawada in check. Expect Dyson Williams to be involved heavily as an off-ball threat as well.

Bet Duke -2.5 at BetMGM or DraftKings.

I also recommend betting Syracuse attackman Joey Spallina to stay under his points prop of 6.5.

Spallina has gone over this in five of his nine games this season and has recorded seven or more points in just eight of his 24 career games. Pus, he's done it just once against a ranked opponent (No. 15 Princeton in 2023).

Spallina will make his presence known in this game, but 6.5 is just too high of a number against this top-ranked Duke defense.

Even at -160 at DraftKings, this is a great price to bet Spallina to stay under 6.5 points.

I also like Dyson Williams to go over 5.5 shots on goal on Wednesday.

Williams has surpassed this mark in five of his nine games this season and 13 of his last 28 games. This includes last year's meeting with Syracuse, where he recorded eight shots on goal.

Expect Williams to be heavily involved and bet him to go over 5.5 shots on goal at +125 at DraftKings.

Pick: Duke -2.5 · Joey Spallina Under 6.5 Points · Dyson Williams Over 5.5 Shots on Goal

Note: This article was originally published at 1:49 p.m. ET on March 20 and incorrectly stated that Duke was hosting Syracuse. It has since been corrected to specify that the game is being played in Syracuse.

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Upcoming Weekend Lookahead Lines

Additionally, there are two games this weekend that I've already bet and suggest jumping on before the lines move further.

We’ll start in the Ivy League with Cornell hosting Yale on Saturday afternoon.

Yale is currently a 1.5-point favorite, but that line will likely move to -2.5 closer to game time. Both Cornell and Yale have similar profiles: extremely efficient offenses bogged down by extremely inefficient defenses.

During competitive situations, the Big Red rank second in adjusted offensive efficiency, converting on 41.2% of their possessions. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are seventh, scoring on 37.4% of theirs, according to Lacrosse Reference.

Cornell also ranks 74th in adjusted defensive efficiency with Yale sitting at 63rd.

Yale’s edge lies in its fourth-ranked adjusted face-off percentage, which has allowed it to mask its issues on defense, as evidenced in every one of its wins this season. The Bulldogs have the fourth-highest adjusted possession margin as a result, averaging +7.9 possessions per game.

Meanwhile, Cornell ranks 34th in adjusted faceoff percentage and has had an even or possession disadvantage in all five of its games without faceoff specialist Jack Cascadden, who suffered an injury after his first game.

So, while both these teams are fairly even both offensively and defensively, Yale should be able to go on runs and maintain a moderate lead en route to a win and cover. Bet Yale -1.5 at -120 at DraftKings.

Another short spread I’m targeting is the Georgetown vs. Richmond game. The Hoyas are 1.5-point favorites and riding a five-game win streak, while the Spiders are coming off a 12-3 loss to Duke.

Richmond’s offense couldn’t get anything going last weekend, but its defense still performed well, holding Duke to just four goals in the first half. The Spiders rank second in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Lacrosse Reference.

Duke’s defense was aggressive and forced the Spiders to turn the ball over often despite Richmond having an advantage at the face-off and seven extra possessions.

Don’t expect a similar game against Georgetown.

The only time Richmond faceoff specialist Jared Chenoy has dipped below 53% has been against Maryland’s Luke Wierman and Virginia’s Anthony Ghobriel, so the faceoff advantage should still be there.

Meanwhile, Georgetown ranks below Richmond in both adjusted offensive efficiency (30th) and defensive efficiency (26th), making +100 on DraftKings a great price to bet the Spiders.

Back Richmond to win outright over the Hoyas on Saturday.

Picks: Yale -1.5 · Richmond ML

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