Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Odds, Expert Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Jan. 11)

Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Odds, Expert Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Jan. 11) article feature image

Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Virginia Tech Hokies

  • Virginia Tech is searching for its first ACC win of the season as it travels to New York to take on Syracuse.
  • While the Hokies have lost four straight, they match up well with Syracuse's 2-3 zone
  • Will that be enough for a cover, though? Anthony Dabbundo breaks it all down below.

Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 11
7 p.m. ET
ACC Network Extra
Virginia Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
Syracuse Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

At the beginning of the season, Virginia Tech was viewed as one of the teams in the upper-middle tier that could potentially surprise North Carolina, Duke and Virginia at the top of the ACC standings.

Through five league games, few teams have underachieved more relative to expectations coming into conference play.

The Hokies have lost four straight games and are desperate for a victory on the road against Syracuse on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Orange are in a rebuilding year, but they've managed a 3-2 start to league play despite mediocre underlying numbers.

Virginia Tech handled the Orange last season in Blacksburg, and Mike Young's system would — in theory — cause problems for the Syracuse 2-3 zone.

The market has moved solidly toward the Hokies overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, but value still lies with the Hokies, who may have sharpshooter Hunter Cattoor back for this game.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Cattoor is a major part of the Virginia Tech offense. He burst into the national spotlight in the ACC Championship game win against Duke last March and helped carry the Hokies into the NCAA tournament.

The Hokies lost him in the Boston College game and really could have used him when they lost the next three games by a combined nine points to Wake Forest, Clemson and NC State.

Young said that Cattoor is a game-time decision, but he was spotted practicing yesterday in photos. That — plus the market movement — suggests that someone knows he will be back on Wednesday night.

The Hokies don't have the same depth of shooting that they did last year, and they're running more offense out of the high post than normal. But this offense likely has positive regression coming for some of its sharpshooters.

They were the second-most efficient shooting team from 3 in the country last year. Both Sean Pedulla and Darius Maddox have had poor starts to the season from deep and should regress positively toward their previous season averages.

Cattoor is a 40% 3-point shooter himself, and the Orange do not do a good job of defending the 3-point line. That's a staple of the 2-3 zone, but Syracuse's declined athleticism from its peak years under Jim Boeheim means that it doesn't contest shots nearly as well.

Syracuse allows the 33rd-highest percentage of unguarded jumpers in the entire country. The Hokies have a 58.9 effective field goal percentage on these shots.

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Syracuse Orange

The Orange had a late comeback against Virginia to make the score more respectable in the final box score, but that game on Saturday was never competitive.

Virginia led by 23 points five minutes into the second half and the Orange closed on a 29-16 run after the Cavaliers' offense went into a lengthy scoring drought.

Syracuse still has no wins against any team in the KenPom top 100, and its only two games against teams in the KenPom top 50 — Virginia and Illinois — it trailed by 20+ in the second half.

I'm not sure the market has still properly caught up to the true quality of this Orange team.

Syracuse's offense doesn't produce open shots at a high rate at all. The Orange rank 233rd in percentage of unguarded jumpers, and they only have one player who can consistently make contested shots in Joe Girard III.

Boeheim isn't known for trusting young players and the freshmen, but this is one of the youngest teams he's ever coached.

The Orange are expected to have athletic sophomore wing Benny Williams back from illness, but Syracuse still grades out poorly guarding 3s and getting defensive rebounds even with him in the lineup.

Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse Betting Pick

It's a similar situation to last year for Virginia Tech — the Hokies dealt with a bunch of injuries and bad close-game variance early in the season. The market then undervalued them considerably and they went on a run in the second half of league play and into the postseason.

They've lost four straight games to this current point and have been downgraded in the market for it. But all of those games were close to coin flips, and they didn't have Cattoor.

Assuming he's a go here based on the line, the Hokies match up really well with the Syracuse zone.

Virginia Tech hasn't seen a ton of zone, but expect it to move the ball and generate plenty of wide open looks on Wednesday.

Justyn Mutts is an ideal player to put in the high post because of his versatility and shooting range, too.

The Hokies saw plenty of zone last year and were a solid offense despite the ball screens not being as useful.

I'll take the Hokies at -4 or better in Syracuse.

Pick: Virginia Tech -4 or Better

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