Houston vs. Syracuse Betting Predictions NCAA Basketball

NCAAB March Madness
Houston vs. Syracuse Betting Predictions NCAA Basketball

No.11 seed Syracuse takes on No. 2 seed Houston Saturday in a Sweet 16 battle. Syracuse has the legendary Jim Boheim returning to the Sweet 16 once again, with his son putting up big points. It’s a great Cinderella tournament story, but it ends Saturday against the Cougars.

Houston vs. Syracuse Betting Odds

The Orange shocked No. 2 seed West Virginia 75-72 Sunday to advance. Buddy Boheim shot 6-for-13 from 3 and finished with 25 points in the win. Boheim has scored 55 points total in the Orangemen’s two tournament games. The Orangemen also got 12 points on 50% 3-point shooting from guard Joseph Girard.

Boheim leads the team in scoring this season with 18 points per game on 44% shooting, while Girard is their assist leader with 3.6. Forward Marek Dolezaj finished the season shooting hot from the field (55.8%) on 10 points per game. Alan Griffin (13.7 PPG) and Quincy Guerrier (13.9 PPG) are other offensive threats Houston will have to contend with.

Houston barely got by Rutgers Sunday, beating the No. 10 seed Scarlet Knights 63-60. Quentin Grimes scored 22 points and DeJon Jarreau had 17 in the win. The Cougars earned their fifth trip to the Sweet 16 in school history, but it wasn’t pretty.

The Cougars trailed by as much 10 with just over 10 minutes to go, and Jarreau was hobbled with a bruised hip that required attention on the sideline. He eventually returned and hit a clutch 3-point shot to help Houston close the lead.

The Cougars’ Grimes leads the team in scoring with 18.1 points per game this season, while forward Justin Gorham is shooting 50 percent from the field on 8 points per game.

Houston can’t feel good about just barely getting by a No. 10 seed team, but I think Sunday’s game was a hiccup. At 26-3 and holding opponents to 57.9 points per game this season, this is an elite team that plays tough defense.

The Cougars have won 18 straight games dating back to February. But they’ll need to improve on their second round performance if they want to get past this Syracuse team. The Cougars let Rutgers shoot 43.8 percent from 3 on Sunday, and that’s not gonna cut it against an Orange team that is capable of getting hot from behind the arc. Syracuse hit on 14 of 31 from 3 in their win against West Virginia, and they’re shooting 50% from beyond the arc in their two tournament wins.

The legal sports betting sites in New Jersey have Houson as 6.5 point favorites. The Cougars are 20-9 ATS this eason, and I expect them to cover. Syracuse will hang with them and hit some 3s, but the Cougar’s defense will eventually wear them down and Houston will pull away late. The Cougar’s defense is holding opponents to under 30% shooting from 3 this season, and I don’t think Syracuse will hit from long-range as much as they did in their first two tournament games.

There are a few game specific bets I’m looking at for this contest. I like Houston over 72.5 total points at -117 odds (Sugar House) and Houston over 73.5 total points at -110 odds (BetMGM). The Cougars have hit over 73 in seven of their last nine games. I don’t expect another 63 point performance against a Syracuse team that is giving up 70.4 points per game this season.

Houston Syracuse
888Sport
-250 +200
Sugar House
-250 +200
FanDuel
-260 +215

My Prediction

Houston -6.5 Points

Jim Boheim is making his 20th appearance in the Sweet 16 with his son getting hot from 3 at the right time, but Houston is just too strong defensively for the Orange to continue their great 2021 tournament run. The Cougars get the win.

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Conor Allen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he roots passionately for the 49ers, Warriors and the UC Berkeley Golden Bear football team. After previously spending several years in the Boston area he is also not ashamed to root for the Patriots. Conor currently writes about college basketball for UsaLegalBetting and blogs about a variety of sports, including the NFL at https://herecomestheblitz8.blogspot.com. He enjoys performing improv comedy and trail running in his spare time.

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