Wednesday College Basketball Betting Previews: Missouri-Auburn, Syracuse-Boston College
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyus Battle
Life is all about timing.
College basketball is all about the matchups.
Both things play a part on Wednesday night when Missouri visits Auburn and Syracuse travels to Boston College.
Let’s take a look at which teams will validate those old adages.
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
Betting Odds: Missouri Tigers at Auburn Tigers
- Spread: Auburn -14
- Over/Under: 144
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: SECN
Missouri (10-8) is 1-5 in conference play, with four of its five losses coming by double digits.
The Tigers are just 6-8-3 overall against the spread and an abysmal 1-5 on the road.
Auburn (13-6) is in desperate need of a win having lost three SEC games in a row. The Tigers are 9-1 at home, with only a two-point loss to Kentucky as their only misstep.
The most glaring problem for Missouri will be turnovers. The Tigers average 14.6 turnovers per game which ranks 274th in the country. They are facing an Auburn team that is fifth best in the country in forcing turnovers at 18.74 per game.
Defensively, Missouri does not create pressure in the half court, ranking last among all SEC teams in blocks and steals per game.
Missouri is a feast or famine offensive team. The Tigers only shoot 47.3% from the field, ranking 265th nationally. They’re built to shoot threes, which they make at a 38.4% rate.
However, in their last four SEC losses, Missouri has cooled down considerably, shooting only 32.9% (29 of 88) from beyond the arc.
Auburn has completed its toughest three-game stretch in the conference this season. The Tigers played Kentucky at home and then traveled to South Carolina and Mississippi State.
Auburn was competitive in all three games and held the lead with under a minute left in both the Kentucky and South Carolina losses.
The Tigers are the best 3-point shooting team in the SEC, averaging over 40% in the conference games. Playing without 6-foot-11 center Austin Wiley for three games, they are still the third-best offensive rebounding team in the SEC.
Guards Jared Harper (15.3 ppg) and Bryce Brown (16.9 ppg) are both shooting 40% or better from 3-point range.
Auburn expected to compete for another regular season conference title, but instead, finds itself in 10th place in the SEC. This is a must win for Auburn who will feed off the turnovers provided by Missouri.
Mizzou doesn’t have the talent to stifle Auburn’s explosive offense, especially at home. Similar to the Texas Tech “get right game” on Monday night, the Tigers will put up a huge scoring night at home and beat Missouri.
THE PICK: Auburn -14
Syracuse Orange at Boston College Eagles
- Spread: Syracuse -3
- Over/Under: 138.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ACCN
Boston College looked impressive in an 87-82 comeback win at home against Florida State but has struggled on its home floor all season. It is just 1-6 ATS in its last seven home games.
The Eagles don’t excel in the offensive areas needed to score against a zone like Syracuse’s. They are just 226th in effective field goal percentage and 254th in 3-point percentage. In their conference games, the Eagles rank 10th in the ACC in offensive rebounding percentage.
With poor scoring efficiency and limited rebounding, Boston College will struggle to find points against the length of the Syracuse zone.
Syracuse is being undervalued because of its 78-56 loss at Virginia Tech. In that game, the Hokies shot 46.7% (14 of 30) from beyond the arc, something Boston College cannot replicate.
The Orange were one of the hottest teams in the country before that loss, winning seven of eight games, including a 95-91 overtime win at Duke. Their defense has been stifling, ranking first in blocks and turnovers forced within ACC play.
Senior point guard Frank Howard has averaged 2.1 steals in his last five games and has completely recovered from an early-season injury. Junior guard Tyus Battle (17.4 ppg) and freshman guard Buddy Boeheim (9 of 14 from 3 last four games) have been hot on offense.
If not for a fantastic shooting night from Va. Tech, the Orange would enter this game tied at the top of the ACC standings. The Eagles don’t have the offensive firepower to produce a performance at that level, and the balanced Orange offensive attack will score against the Eagles.
Look for Syracuse to translate a weak home court advantage to a comfortable ACC road victory.
THE PICK: Syracuse -3