One of the last undefeated teams in the nation will be tested on Wednesday night in NCAA basketball betting action, when the Syracuse Orange take on the Villanova Wildcats in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Orange really look like the real deal this year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time with the program being under scrutiny for the Bernie Fine problems. They are 17-0, and they are 11-5 ATS, proving that they are better than what the oddsmakers thought of them at the outset of the season. Big East play really started off well for Syracuse as well. It is 4-0 in conference play, and it only failed to cover its first game over the weekend when it “only” beat the Marquette Golden Eagles, another Top 10 team in the land by seven points at the Carrier Dome. The Orange are outscoring their foes by over 20 points per game this year, and though their schedule hasn’t always been the toughest and the best Big East games are yet to come, that is still ridiculously impressive for both sides of the court. This is a team that is just insanely deep. Nineteen different players have already taken the court this year for Syracuse, and 10 average at least 12 minutes per game. Each of the 12 is averaging at least 3.1 points per game, seven of which are scoring at least 7.3 points per game. Keep an eye on Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters, and Brandon Triche, who are all averaging double digits per game.
The Wildcats are clearly off to a terrible start to this season, as they are just 8-8, and they really don’t have much of a chance of making it into the NCAA Tournament unless they go on a ridiculous run here in the Big East. The good news is that they are 7-1 at home this year, but the bad news is that they were off to a terrible start in conference play. An 81-77 loss to Marquette was at least remotely encouraging, especially since it was on the road, but just four nights later, the team was beaten at home against the South Florida Bulls by 17, and the Bulls could be one of the worst teams in the conference. Villanova rebounded with an 87-71 win against the DePaul Blue Demons in what probably amounted to be the most complete game of the season Sure, DePaul isn’t one of the creams of the crop of the conference either, but wins are wins, especially in this conference, and especially when they are dominating victories. There is some talent here on this team, as Maalik Wayns, Dominic Cheek, and Mouphtaou Yarou can compete with anyone in the conference, but aside from that, the rest of the club needs to step up.
Syracuse Orange @ Villanova Wildcats Keys: Villanova is a huge underdog in this game, and for good reason. For the Wildcats, this is going to be the equivalent of the Super Bowl, and winning a game against an undefeated and rather undisputed No. 1 team in the country would go a long way in helping the season. Syracuse has to keep doing what it has done over the course of the season, and that means putting teams down early. Taking the Philly faithful out of this game would be crucial, but even if the Orange don’t pull it off, they would still have the ability to win if they can use their depth to wear down the Wildcats.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.