(16-2, 9-5-1 ATS)
(18-1, 7-10 ATS)
The Villanova Wildcats and Syracuse Orange both know that they are going to be big time competitors for the NCAA Tournament, but they are both going to want to get the better of the other in college basketball betting festivities this week, as they duke it out at the Carrier Dome.
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The Cats are in the midst of a tremendous fight right now, as this is the second of three straight road games. A loss against the Connecticut Huskies did still provide Villanova with a cover on the NCAA basketball odds by a hook, but this isn’t going to be any consolation whatsoever to Head Coach Jay Wright. Without a doubt, this is a team that is fine tuned offensively. Averaging 76.6 points per game is a rock solid number, especially at the outset of the Big East campaign. Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes have combined for almost 32 points per game this year, while Maalik Wayns is at 13.5 points per game. Antonio Pena is still struggling to make headway after a great 2009-10 season, and he is only averaging 9.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Even though he is playing almost seven minutes per game more than Mouphtaou Yarou, there is no doubt that Yarou is putting in the more quality time on the court. He is averaging 8.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per night, and he has 21 blocked shots to lead the team as well.
The Orange were also losers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but they had a bit of a built in excuse. Not only were they playing the tougher team in the Pitt Panthers, but they didn’t have their leading scorer in Kris Joseph either. Joseph is still dealing with this head injury that caused him to not take the trip to the Steel City, and he is very much so up in the air. The leading scorer in that game was a surprising CJ Fair, who put up 16 points and nine boards in 36 minutes on the court. Fair is only averaging 5.3 points per game on the season, but if Joseph cannot play, there is no doubt that someone else is going to half to step up in a huge way. Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson, and Brandon Triche are going to need to be called upon in a huge way to win this game, as all three are double digit point scorers on the average night. Head Coach Jim Boeheim knows what it takes to win games like this, and part of the factor in this one is going to be the fact that there are going to be over 33,000 fans at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.
The ‘Cuse just have to be the way to go in this one. There are just too many fans that are going to be on the side of the men in orange for them to fail, with or without Joseph in the lineup.
College Basketball Free Pick: Syracuse Orange