No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 3 Syracuse Orange

NCAA Tournament Betting Preview
No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (29-5) vs. No. 3 Syracuse Orange (28-9)
Friday, 7:27PM Eastern betting line – Oklahoma -1, O/U 152.5

Day two of the sweet sixteen will host many exciting games with one of the most anticipating venues coming out of Memphis, T.N when the Oklahoma Sooners battle the Syracuse Orange. Oklahoma has been stellar throughout the tournament despite ending the season losing 4 of their last 6 games. The Sooners took down the Michigan Wolverines in impressive fashion 73-63 to earn a sweet sixteen appearance and the road to the final four gets even tougher on Friday when they take on Syracuse. The Orange have went through the entire season in the shadows of the top names in the Big East. However, Syracuse is shaping out to be a very tough tournament team heading into their showdown with Oklahoma. Syracuse best Arizona State 78-67 in their last outing and they will look to slow down Blake Griffin and the Sooners in quest for an Elite Eight appearance.

Oklahoma will be a mere one point favorite heading into the game with Syracuse in what many people are expecting to be a hard fought contest. The Sooners appeared to lose their momentum when they ending the year disappointingly missing out on the Big 12 regular season title they seemed to have locked up midway through the season. However, Oklahoma has bounced back on good terms playing solid basketball in the opening rounds. Future Player of the Year for 2009 Blake Griffin has been amazing through the Tournament. Griffin has averaged right at 30 points through his first two games while pulling down 30 rebounds combined in those games as well. Griffin is the difference maker in every game for Oklahoma and it will be interesting to see if Syracuse can do anything to slow down the sophomore sensation. Another sensational player is freshmen guard Willie Warren. Warren has had a solid season and his ability to knock down shots from the outside gives Oklahoma a huge advantage along with Griffin. Warren knocked down 16 points in the win over Michigan. Oklahoma will be nearly impossible to beat if Griffin is controlling the inside and Warren is hitting shots from the perimeter.

Syracuse may be in the position to surprise a lot of people. The Orange may appear as a quiet number 3 seed, but they are on the verge of making a lot of noise. Syracuse has closed out the season as strong as anyone winning 9 of their last 10 games with their only loss coming from Louisville in the Big East Tournament. Syracuse held Stephen F. Austin to a season low 44 points in the opening round and their defense will definitely need to be sound against the major threats from Oklahoma based around Blake Griffin. Unfortunately for Syracuse, they have given up as many points as any team in the country this season allowing 71.4 points per game. However, the Orange sport one of the best scoring offenses in America ranking inside the top 10 with 80 points per game. Syracuse defensive number however may be a little misleading considering they were battling some of the best offenses in the country week in and week out. The Orange offense is led by two talented guards in Eric Devendorf and Jonny Flynn. Flynn has been the most efficient performer all season long averaging 17.3 points and 6.3 assist per game this season. Devendorf has been equally dangerous averaging 16 points per game for the year and also knocked down 21 in their win over Arizona State. Syracuse will look for these two guards to lead them past the impressive two from Oklahoma this Friday night.

Betting Trends…
Syracuse is 9-1 ATS and 9-1 SU in their last 10 games. The Orange have also reached the over total in 6 of their last 7 games as well. Oklahoma on the other hand is 17-4 SU in their last 21 games while reaching the under total in 4 of their last 6 games.

Pick – Under 152.5