The Sweet Sixteen is set, and it will be the #1 seed Syracuse Orange taking on the #5 seed Butler Bulldogs in the West Region Semifinals. This game is scheduled for Thursday, March 25th at 7:07 Pm ET from Salt Lake City, Utah. Butler has an impressive 30-4 overall record on the season, but what is not impressive is that 18 of those victories came out of the Horizon League, a league that has very little competition within it. On the other side, the Syracuse Orange cruised to a 30-4 record this year themselves, but faced much stronger competition on a consistent basis coming out of a strong Big East Conference. The 30 wins on the year for Butler include victories over such teams as Ohio State (without superstar Evan Turner in the lineup), Xavier, Siena, UTEP, and Murray State, but the Orange will be the best team the Bulldogs have seen all season without a doubt. Syracuse was eliminated in the first round of the Big East Conference Tournament this year by Georgetown, but the Orange have come back strong with two large spread victories to start this tournament, including a 22-point win over a talented Gonzaga team. Important to note for this game is that the Orange will be without Center Arinze Onuaku in this game as he is still out since suffering a knee injury in that March 11 first round loss to Georgetown. To be blunt, this game should really highlight the big difference between the Horizon League and the Big East, as the Orange have looked solid en route to this Sweet Sixteen Matchup.
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Syracuse vs. Butler Sweet Sixteen Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
Syracuse -6 (-110)
vs. Butler +6 (-110)
Over 138 (-110)
Under 138 (-110)
Syracuse vs. Butler Sweet Sixteen Predictions:
Spread/Line Prediction – Take the Syracuse Orange to cover the 6 point spread in this Sweet Sixteen Matchup. The against the spread numbers clearly favor the Orange in this one. Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite, and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. The Butler Bulldogs have sub-par ATS numbers, as they are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog. The Orange are also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games, and should be able to cover the 6 point spread tonight from Salt Lake City.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the Over 138 total points in tonight’s game. The Orange have the clear ability to score, while Butler is usually involved in high-scoring NCAA Tournament games as well. The OVER is 11-3 in Butler’s last 14 neutral site games, as well as 4-1 in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games. The OVER is 6-1-1 in Syracuse’s last 8 games overall, and 17-5 in the Orange’s last 22 neutral site games. Look for lots of scoring in tonight’s Sweet Sixteen matchup.
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