The 10-2 Cavaliers welcome the 9-4 Orangemen into Charlottesville on Monday evening. Virginia is the last unbeaten team left standing in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 6-0. Most recently the Cavaliers squeaked out a two-point win over Georgia Tech at home last Saturday. Syracuse sits at 3-3 in conference play, but appears to be finding its stride. The Orangemen have won their last two outings by an average of 22 points per game – most recently throttling a very talented Virginia Tech team 78-60 last Saturday.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Syracuse||+7 (-105)||+270||O 130 (-110)|
|Virginia||-7 (-115)||-325||U 130 (-110)|
Syracuse is traditionally known for its stout 2-3 zone defense crippling offenses. And while Coach Jim Boeheim still utilizes it very effectively, it has been Syracuse’s offense this season tht has been most responsible for winning games. The Orangemen average 79.4 points per game, best in the ACC. Syracuse is led by Quincy Guerrier, who averages 16.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Guerrier is one of five players on the roster averaging double-digit points per game this season. Virginia is led by Marquette transfer Sam Hauser, who is averaging 14.5 points per game to go along with 7.4 rebounds. The Hoos have four scorers averaging in double figures, but the majority of their success has stemmed from their usual unrelenting efforts on the defensive side of the ball.
Virginia is looking to pick up its 15th consecutive regular-season conference win for a reason. Put simply, the Cavaliers are experts at making their opponents play at their pace. Syracuse wants to get out and run in transition, but those opportunities are not usually readily available against the stingy Cavaliers. Virginia will make this a half-court game and will look to pounce on and capitalize on every mistake the talented, yet young, Syracuse team makes. Take Virginia to collect a sweat-free, double digit-win at home tonight. Only three Virginia games this season have had a total above 130, and two of the three went under. The only one to go over was against No.1 Gonzaga. Virginia makes games ugly with its elite defense and the safe bet is to assume they will win and cover without even having to score 70 points.
The Picks: UVA -7; Under 130