College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions for Cornell vs. Syracuse (Wednesday, Dec. 29)
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Boeheim (Syracuse)
- Syracuse and Cornell put together a last-minute game that will take place at the Carrier Dome.
- The Orange beat Brown on Monday evening, but lost their two previous games against Georgetown and Villanova.
- College basketball betting analyst D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his top bet.
Cornell vs. Syracuse Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Cornell Big Red will head to Syracuse to take on the Orange in a last-minute battle of colors. Georgia Tech had to cancel its matchup with Syracuse due to COVID-19, so Cornell will replace the Yellow Jackets.
These are two of the fastest-paced teams in the NCAA, so expect quick possessions and plenty of points.
Cornell has not played since December 8, while the Orange defeated Brown on Monday evening. However, both of these teams like to put up 3s, so if they can match each other from beyond the arc, the total is within reach.
The Big Red rank seventh in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom. This team pushes the pace and controls the game, even if they are destined to lose.
They utilize the least amount of time per possession (14.1 seconds) in all of college basketball and have one of the weakest defenses, as well. They may defend the arc better than inside (31% 3-point percentage for opponents), but Syracuse will throw some matchup nightmares at Cornell.
Cornell shoots a plethora of 3-pointers. In fact, 38.2% of its scoring comes from outside shots. The Big Red have the 25th-ranked 3-point-to-field-goal ratio, so they will get their long-range shooting in.
They shoot 37.8% collectively from 3. Keller Boothby is lethal from downtown, drilling over 60%, while Sarju Patel, Nazir Williams and Jordan Jones contribute from outside, too.
On the other hand, they have most of their offensive firepower in the backcourt and on the wings, so rebounding is usually a concern.
This Syracuse team has the same issues inside, though, so this should not be as much of a detriment to the Big Red attack as it would be versus lengthier Power-6 foes.
Still, this will likely be a slight edge to Syracuse.
Syracuse’s main offensive threats come from behind the arc, much like Cornell. The Orange rank 25th in 3-point shooting, hitting over 38% of their outside shots this season.
Most of this is attributable to Jimmy Boeheim, Buddy Boeheim and Joseph Girard III, who shoot far and away the most outside shots for the Orange. When they catch fire, it is nearly impossible to stop them.
Even if the Orange struggle inside, they will be able to manufacture some two-points attempts due to the lack of defense on the Cornell side. Look for strong appearances from Jimmy Boeheim, Cole Swider and Jesse Edwards.
These three are the leading rebounders on the Orange, so they should exploit their opponent’s lack of height every time down the floor. This should provide some extra opportunities for Syracuse.
Given its distinguished 2-3 zone, Syracuse usually allows the least amount of outside shots in the NCAA. The Cornell pace could be able to alter this typical pattern with its ball movement and ability to shoot the ball quickly.
If Cornell doesn’t capitalize on this, it may struggle to find other scoring chances within the Syracuse zone.
That said, the Cuse defense is not as strong this year as it has been in years past, so expect the Cornell attack to blow by it at times.
Cornell vs. Syracuse Betting Pick
Both of these offenses are far too fast-paced to not go over this total. Syracuse will get some inside attempts with the Boeheim brothers, Swider and Edwards, but mostly, both teams live by the 3.
Neither team has shown it will let up against poor defenses, so expect each squad to exploit the other’s defensive weaknesses and mishaps.
It is hard to envision a scenario where defense reigns supreme in this matchup, so take the over at 162 and play it to 166.
Expect outside shots to fall consistently.
Pick: Over 162 (Play to 166)
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