Odds & Pick for Georgetown vs. Syracuse Basketball: Saturday’s Betting Value Lies With Over/Under
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Ewing (left) and Dante Harris (right).
- Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas will face Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange on Saturday night.
- It's cliche to say records don't matter in rivalry games, but that seems to be the case in this matchup.
- Check out Pat McMahon's full betting preview complete with updated odds below.
Georgetown vs. Syracuse Odds
One of college basketball’s most storied rivalries gets renewed on Saturday night as Georgetown battles Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.
Both teams are coming off midweek losses in which they blew late leads.
It was the second straight such game for Georgetown, which was on the wrong end of a 10-0 run to close the game in an eight-point loss to Butler on Wednesday.
Last Saturday against Marquette, the Hoyas raced out to a 16-point halftime lead before collapsing in the second half and falling to the Golden Eagles by four.
Syracuse hosted Pittsburgh on Wednesday for its first game in 18 days following a program pause due to positive COVID-19 tests.
The Orange looked sharp early, getting out to an 18-point lead in the first half. They held a big lead for the majority of the second half but melted down the stretch as Pittsburgh took its first lead with eight seconds and came away with a three-point victory.
It sounds cliche, but you can pretty much throw out the records when these two rivals play. Syracuse and Georgetown always provide an entertaining game, and a win means a lot to the coaches and fans of both teams. We should be in for a fun one on Saturday.
When Syracuse has the ball
The Orange rely heavily on the 3-point shot, and as a result, are a high variance offensive team. Attempts from 3-point range account for 44% of their total shots, so their success is largely dictated on how hot or cold they are on a given night.
In two of their best offensive performances this season, Syracuse sunk 16 3s against Boston College and 15 versus Rider and converted at 50% or better in both games. The Orange shot under 30% from 3 combined in their two losses to Rutgers and Pitt.
The Orange offense has had more good nights than bad nights this season, and it ranks 56th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Syracuse’s 32% 3-point shooting isn’t great, especially considering its heavy volume from deep.
It’s doing a better job of scoring in the paint and hitting free throws (77.6%), which has led to the Orange posting 80.8 points per game.
Five Syracuse players are averaging double figures, and its top scorers have been a bit of a surprise. Illinois transfer Alan Griffin (16.4 ppg) and sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier (16.1) have been bright spots for Syracuse all season. Both players can score inside and out, and Guerrier’s emergence on offense was much needed. He’s been very aggressive going to the rim and is crashing the offensive glass relentlessly.
Guards Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard were expected to carry the offense, but both have struggled to find the ball consistently.
Boeheim, who has missed three games due to COVID-19 protocols, is only hitting 24% of his 3s, and Girard is converting just 32%.
When the two have been on, this offense explodes and the Orange are really tough to cover. That hasn’t been the case as much as Orange fans would like this year, but both players shot it better last season so there’s good reason to expect some better shooting performances to come.
The Hoyas have been solid defensively and rank 103rd in defensive efficiency. They are limiting opponents to just 41% shooting from the floor and 32% from 3.
Patrick Ewing’s club is filled with great athletes who can stay in front of their men and force the offense into tough shots. They have struggled, however, when the opposition tries to speed the game on them and get out in transition.
When Georgetown has the ball
Like Syracuse, Georgetown has had its ups and downs offensively.
In each of its last two games, the offense flourished in the first half before falling apart in the second. The Hoyas managed just 24 points in the second half against Marquette and 21 against Butler.
On the season, the Hoyas rank above average nationally in efficiency (125th). They’re hitting only 41.7% of their shots from the floor but are an impressive 35.5% from 3 as a team.
Jahvon Blair is the go-to guy on offense and leads the team with 18.2 points per game. Jamorko Pickett (11.0) and Qudus Wahab (12.3) are both averaging double figures as well.
Wahab has improved drastically on offense from last season, and his emergence in the post has been huge for the Hoyas and helps ease the loss of Omer Yurtseven.
Donald Carey and Dante Harris will have a big impact in this game with their outside shooting.
Carey has been the Hoyas’ most efficient 3-point shooter (42.6%), and Harris (35%) has been solid as well. They’ll need to hit some shots for the Hoyas to beat the Syracuse zone.
Arkansas transfer Jalen Harris took a leave of absence from the team on Dec. 18 for personal reasons. He was a big part of the Hoyas offense for the first five games and leads the team in assists (5.2 per game). Ewing has not given a timetable for his return, but it’s doubtful he will suit up tomorrow.
Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone has looked sharp this season, with the Orange ranking 24th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The easiest way to beat the zone is by hitting 3s, but that’s easier said than done against the long and athletic Orange. A few teams have had the hot hand against Syracuse, but it’s been guarding the perimeter well for the most part, limiting opponents to 29.4% 3-point shooting.
Another thing Syracuse does well is force turnovers. The Orange are averaging 9.9 steals per game, the 10th-best mark in the nation.
Lightning-quick freshman guard Kadary Richmond gives the Orange a huge spark off the bench and is grabbing an impressive 2.5 steals per game.
Center Bourama Sidibe tore his meniscus in the Orange’s season opener and has yet to return to the lineup. He did return to practice this week and will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday. If he is available, he’ll see minutes in the middle of the zone and allow Marek Dolezaj to go back to his natural position on the wing.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Given how inconsistent both teams have played this season, I don’t feel comfortable taking a side. However, I do see value on the total.
Recent history points to a high-scoring game, and I think we’re in for another one on Saturday night. The average points scored in the last five games between the Orange and the Hoyas has been 155.2, and four of those five games went over the total.
This year’s Syracuse team has more offensive weapons than in recent years, and I think it’ll look sharper in its second game back from its long layoff.
If the Orange aren’t shooting the ball well and fall behind, Jim Boeheim will bring out the full-court press. He likes to employ the press early in the second half when trailing, which will speed the game up and create more possessions and points for both sides.
Whether it’s through hot shooting or an increased tempo, I think we’re in for plenty of points, and the first team to 80 will win.
Pick: Over 146.5 (up to 149).