Colgate vs Syracuse Odds, Pick | NCAAB Betting Guide
Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Judah Mintz (Syracuse)
Colgate vs Syracuse Odds, Pick
Prior to the last few seasons, the Syracuse Orange had no trouble with a nearly annual game against the Colgate Raiders, located just down the road. Syracuse won the matchup 54 times in a row dating back to 1962.
In November of 2022, Colgate dropped 100 points on the road in the Dome and snapped the streak. Eager to prove that win was no fluke, Colgate returned and won at Syracuse again last season.
Now the Syracuse program, in its first season without Jim Boeheim, looks to reclaim its dominance in this local rivalry, but that's easier said than done. Colgate is the three-time reigning Patriot League champs and will tip tonight as just modest underdogs. Can Syracuse take care of business and snap Colgate's winning streak?
Let's dive into my college basketball pick and prediction for Colgate vs. Syracuse on Tuesday, November 14.
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It's funny that Syracuse enjoyed more than 50 years of beating up the low-major down the road — making for an easy buy game win for local fans to enjoy — before that little program down the road grew into a real problem.
I'll repeat: Those wins at the Dome were no fluke. Colgate has won either the Patriot League regular season, tournament, or both in each of the last five years. If you'd like to bet the Raiders to do so again, you won't find odds better than -250 — Colgate is a heavy favorite to repeat again.
Matt Langel has built a powerhouse at Colgate, seemingly poised to continue its run this year. The Raiders opening game, however, was a little troubling. Colgate beat a Brown team that's not expected to compete at the top of the Ivy League by just two points.
Sophomore Braeden Smith, largely expected to step into the role of primary offensive creator this year at Colgate, scored 17 points and tossed five assists, yet totaled five turnovers.
Fifth-year senior and all-conference performer Keegan Records fouled out against Brown. That's troubling considering how much more physical and athletic Syracuse's frontline will be.
It's tempting to read too much into that performance, though this game now comes after eight days of rest and practice. I trust a coach of Langel's caliber to reset his team after a lackluster a start (which, despite the flaws was indeed a win).
You might be tempted to read into the final scores of Syracuse's first two games as well. The Orange beat New Hampshire and Canisius, each by 12 points or fewer (failing to cover both spreads).
In reality, those final scores don't tell the whole story. Syracuse led New Hampshire 32-9 to open the game and stretched a lead to 20 late in the second half against Canisius.
The most encouraging sign for Syracuse's fate this season has been the development of sophomore guard Judah Mintz. He's averaging 23.0 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game, fully looking like he'll be one of the best guards in the ACC this year.
He's joined in the backcourt by Notre Dame transfer JJ Starling. They'll make for a potent combo, testing any opposing defense's ability to stop dribble penetration.
The real question lies in the frontcourt. First year head coach Adrian Autry will be relying on 7-foot-4 Florida State transfer Naheem McLeod at the center spot. It's early, but that has been a mixed bag so far. McLeod posted seven points and nine rebounds against Canisius but only four points and three rebounds in 10 minutes of action in the opener against New Hampshire.
Colgate vs. Syracuse
Betting Pick & Prediction
There's a few reasons to love Colgate in this matchup.
Langel is an elite basketball coach, well overdue for the right job to move up to a bigger gig. In the last two years, he's had no trouble scheming up an attack that carved up Boeheim's zone defense.
Boeheim is gone and Autry has said the Orange will be moving towards mostly man-to-man, though he did sneak back into some zone already this season.
Autry, in general, is an unknown. Langel should have the leg up in the coaching matchup, facing a 51-year-old first-time head coach, but its too early to have a sense of Autry's ability as a head coach or his tendencies.
Beyond the sidelines, Colgate has the talent and the shot-making to compete in a game like this. The analytical models at EvanMiya and Bart Torvik both think the Raiders are the better team here (Torvik especially: his T-Rank has Colgate 92nd in the country, but Syracuse down at 117th).
On the flip side, you can pile up reasons Syracuse should and will win this game. Records does not see a lot of bodies his size in the Patriot League, but will be tested by the massive frame of McLeod. Mintz and Starling offer a tall test for the Colgate defense, one that I'm not sure it's ready for at this point in the season.
Ultimately, the pressure is on Syracuse here to avoid a third straight loss to Colgate. The roster might not be stacked with players who have experienced the first two, but the motivation remains. I like the Orange to take care of business, though I'm not willing to lay a bunch of points.
This line may move even lower, so I'll have an eye on it between now and game time hoping for movement.
Pick: Syracuse -5
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