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NCAA Basketball Picks March 4 – Virginia Cavaliers at Syracuse Orange Betting

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Mar/04/2019

The Virginia Cavaliers control their own destiny for a fourth ACC regular season title in six years and they can complete the journey by winning their final two games.


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This piece courtesy of Bookmaker.eu

The Cavs have beaten every opponent not named Duke this year and take a seven-game winning streak into the Carrier Dome for Monday’s tussle with the Syracuse Orange. Cuse got a break in the schedule with a match against Wake Forest on Saturday, but they’ll complete a stretch against the top three teams in the conference in the only scheduled meeting of the year between the two.

Virginia Cavaliers at Syracuse Orange

Date and Time: Monday, March 4, 2019, 7 p.m. ET

Location: Carrier, Dome, Syracuse, NJ

Opening CBB Odds: Virginia -6.5, O/U 122.5

Virginia at Syracuse TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The Cavs are looking good heading into this matchup. They’ve won seven in a row since their second loss to Duke and their defense has been stifling. They thwarted Pitt on Saturday, covering the closing 18-point spread in a 73-49 win, holding their 10th opponent this season to less than 50 points. UVA is 26-2 overall and tied with North Carolina atop the ACC at 14-2. By virtue of their win over the Heels earlier, the Cavs hold the tie-breaker for the regular season crown.

Following losses to Duke and UNC, the Orange got a breather in their schedule and took advantage of it by thumping Wake, 79-54, on Saturday. It’s back to the grind with short rest to take on the Cavs. Only in the ACC can a team face three of the top-5 teams in the country in a span of four games. At 10-6 in league play, the Orange have an outside chance of finishing fourth in the standings and getting the double-bye in the conference tournament that comes with it. They need to beat UVA, however, and that’s no easy task.

Virginia

So much is said about Virginia’s defense, and why not. They are No. 1 in the country in fewest points allowed per game and they haven’t given up more than 58 points in any of their last five games. The Cavs stymied Pitt on Saturday, holding the Panthers to 38.6 percent shooting while limiting an opponent to less than 50 points in a game for the 10th time. Mix in some offense and you have a very dangerous team.

The Cavs scored 73 and they average 72 points per game for the season. It isn’t a huge number and ranks them 204th in the country. But it is the highest average in the Tony Bennett era and it’s a sign UVA can win games when the defense falters. Their blowout of Pitt also allowed leading scorers De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome to get some rest in the second half with a short turnaround heading into Syracuse. Guy hit 5 of 7 triples and scored 17 points in less than 25 minutes. Jerome added 13 points and Hunter 12 with each playing fewer than 28 minutes.

Syracuse

Scoring against Virginia is always challenging, but the Orange have been dialing it up the past few games and they’re hopeful that offensive surge can dent the Cavs. Syracuse averages just over 70 points per game for the season, but they went nuts against UNC dropping 85 in a loss. It was their most in a regulation game this season. Against a not-very-good Wake squad over the weekend, leading scorer Tyus Battle went off for 21 points and Elijah Hughes added 18 as the only double-figure scorers. Just like UVA, the Orange had a healthy advantage in the second half and a number of regulars got to the bench for the closing moments.

There’s another area where Syracuse is a lot like the Cavs. The Orange have been stingy defensively this season as well, ranking 30th in the country in scoring defense by allowing 64.8 points per game. And recent matchups between the clubs haven’t produced a lot of points.

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The Cavs have twice previously played a Monday road game following a Saturday home tilt and both times they were successful, knocking off ranked foes Virginia Tech and North Carolina. And with an ACC regular season title in their grasp, I don’t think they’re going to let the opportunity pass them by. The Orange will be bolstered by a raucous home crowd and that’s good for a few points, but it isn’t going to be enough for a victory. UVA had a chance to rest some players in preparation for this one and they will take full advantage by squeezing out a hard-earned victory.

CBB Score Prediction: Virginia 68, Syracuse 60

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