Syracuse vs. West Virginia Predictions, Odds, Preview

Mar. 21, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

Syracuse vs. West Virginia Predictions

The Orange are as hot as any team in the country right now, covering the spread in five straight games. The oddsmakers, though, seem to be giving the Orange a bit too much credit with the +3.5-point spread. West Virginia is a far superior team in terms of talent, as Syracuse will have trouble keeping Miles McBride and Derek Culver off the stat sheets.

West Virginia should win this game by five or six points at minimum, so take advantage of the overvalued odds on Syracuse and take WVU. Both teams are split on the the ATS this season however, so the conviction actually lies in the point total market going OVER.

West Virginia has gone OVER 19 times this season, while Syracuse slightly leans OVER as well (14-12).

  • Score Prediction: West Virginia 79 Syracuse 69
  • Best Bets - Side: West Virginia -3.5
  • Best Bets - Total: OVER 147

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Syracuse vs. West Virginia Betting Odds

  • Spread: West Virginia -3.5
  • Total: 147
  • Money-Line: West Virginia -165 Syracuse +145

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Odds to Win Midwest Region

Odds Subject to Change

Second Round Predictions

Sunday's Previews - Mar. 21, 2021

Handicapping Syracuse vs. West Virginia

As mentioned, the point total market has a bit more conviction in wagering on. West Virginia has gone OVER in 19 of its last 28 games, while the schools see a combined O/U of 33-21.

Syracuse doesn't play well away from home either, despite running through San Diego State. I still believe the Aztecs weren't as good as advertised, as the Mountaineers can make a case for being a Top 10 team in the nation. The point total should be looked at a bit more closely for locking a wager here, but if you want to go with a winner go with the better roster and the low spread.

  • Region: Midwest
  • Matchup: 3 vs. 11
  • Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Date: Mar. 21, 2021
  • TV-Time: 5:15 p.m. (ET) - CBS

Handicapping Resources: March Madness Central | NCAA Consensus Picks

Betting Stats & Analysis - Syracuse Orange

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season in March, which is typical with Jim Boeheim's team. They have won four of their last five games, covering in all five. The team can score buckets, averaging 75.9 points per game which is 71st in the nation.

Syracuse also shoots free throws extremely well, hitting 78.6% of their shots which ranks 11th in the nation. The guard play is efficient too, ranking 23rd in steals per game (8.4) and 55th in assists per game (15.2).

The Orange have failed to cover the spread in six of their last nine games as the underdog though.

Seed: 11
Conference: ACC
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 17-9
  • ATS: 13-13
  • O/U: 14-12
  • Current Form (Last 5): 4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS, 2-3 O/U
  • Notable Wins: San Diego State, Clemson, UNC, Georgia Tech
  • PS/G: 75.9 (71st)
  • PA/G: 70.4 (186th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.8 (51st)
  • Def Rtg: 100.9 (190th)

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Betting Stats & Analysis - West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia is split on the ATS at 13-14, along with failing to cover the spread in 11 of its last 20 games when playing as the favorite. This is another reason the point total market should be considered first, because both schools don't cover the spread well.

The Mountaineers have also gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games. They have four players who average a double-digit point total, and make 17.1 free throws per game which ranks third in the nation. They also steal the ball well, snagging 7.6 per game which ranks 61st.

The standout difference in stats is that West Virginia rebounds much better than Syracuse does. Culver is the main reason why, as the Mountaineers average 37.7 per game (65th in nation) with 13.3 (ninth in nation) being offensive boards.

Seed: 3
Conference: Big 12
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 19-9
  • ATS: 14-14
  • O/U: 19-9
  • Current Form (Last 5): 2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS, 4-1 O/U
  • Notable Wins: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, North Texas
  • PS/G: 77.5 (46th)
  • PA/G: 71.9 (223rd)
  • Off Rtg: 108.4 (59th)
  • Def Rtg: 100/5 (184th)

Key Players to Watch

McBride and Culver are the obvious one-two punch to watch for West Virginia. Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil are the other two players who average 11 points or more per game, as the Mountaineers are extremely difficult to beat when either of the two touch 15-20 points in a game.

For Syracuse, coach's son Buddy Boeheim leads the team in points per game while Alan Griffin isn't far behind. Quincy Guerrier averages 14 points per game, and leads the team in rebounding with 8.6 per game.

  • SYR - Buddy Boeheim (17.7 PPG)
  • SYR - Alan Griffin (14.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • WVU - Miles McBride (16 PPG, 4.8 APG)
  • WVU - Derek Culver (14.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG)

2021 March Madness Tournament Team Results

Syracuse easily covered the spread as an underdog against San Diego State, winning 78-62. Syracuse was a +3-point underdog, the third straight game it has covered as the underdog. The point total went OVER for the third straight Syracuse game.

West Virginia beat Morehead State 84-67, covering as a -13-point favorite. The cover snapped a four-game streak in which WVU failed to cover the spread as the favorite. The point total went OVER 136, the 11th time West Virginia has gone OVER in its last 14 games.

March Madness Records & Trends

Syracuse Orange

  • All-Time Record: 69-40
  • Last Appearance: 2019
  • Deepest Run: Champion (2003)

-- Syracuse has won eight of its last 11 NCAA Tournament games.
-- Syracuse has reached the Final Four in two of its last five NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Syracuse has reached the Sweet 16 in 11 of its last 16 NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Syracuse has covered the spread in five straight games.

West Virginia Mountaineers

  • All-Time Record: 32-29
  • Last Appearance: 2018
  • Deepest Run: Final Four (2010) - also 1959 Final Runner-up)

-- West Virginia has been eliminated in the Sweet 16 in three of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- West Virginia has lost by a double-digit point total in four of its last five NCAA Tournament games in which they are eliminated.

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