The No. 11 seed Syracuse Orange have a habit of springing upsets as a double-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament and seek to continue that trend against the third-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Orange (17-9) rolled to a surprisingly easy 16-point victory over No. 6 seed San Diego State to improve to 9-1 in their last 10 NCAA Tournament openers. West Virginia was a deceptive 1-3 in its previous four games -- all the losses vs. ranked teams -- before posting a 17-point victory over Morehead State on Friday.
Tip-off is set for 5:15 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The winner moves onto the Sweet 16 to face either Houston or Rutgers. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Mountaineers as a 3.5-point favorite, while the over-under for total points scored is 147.5 in the latest West Virginia vs. Syracuse odds. Before making any Syracuse vs. West Virginia picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned almost $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on West Virginia vs. Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Syracuse vs. WVU:
- West Virginia vs. Syracuse spread: West Virginia -3.5
- West Virginia vs. Syracuse over-under: 147.5 points
- West Virginia vs. Syracuse money line: West Virginia -180, Syracuse +155
- WVU: The Mountaineers have dropped five straight and nine of 10 to Syracuse
- SYR: The Orange reached the Sweet 16 as an 11 seed in 2018 and a 10 seed in 2016
Why West Virginia can cover
While the Mountaineers employ a four-guard lineup at times, they have an imposing inside presence in Derek Culver. The 6-foot-10 junior forward is second on the team with an average of 14.5 points and paced the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.7 per game. Leading scorer Miles McBride (16.0 points per game) was 0-of-8 from behind the arc in his previous two games before hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points in Friday's victory.
West Virginia finished second in the Big 12 in both scoring at 77.5 points per game and 3-point shooting (36.2 percent), trailing only Baylor, which earned a No. 1 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers also are aggressive and attack the rim, leading to a conference-best 669 free throws attempted. They also were No. 2 overall in the Big 12 in both assists (13.9) and steals (7.6) per game).
Why Syracuse can cover
Buddy Boeheim, the coach's son, continued his late-season surge by burying 7-of-10 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 30 points in Friday's romp over San Diego State. The junior guard has averaged 29.3 points over his last three games, shooting over 50 percent overall while knocking down 18-of-30 3-pointers. Boeheim is the first Syracuse player to rack up consecutive 30-point performances since Hakim Warrick in February 2005.
The Orange rolled Friday despite a scoreless outing from No. 2 scorer Alan Griffin, who has only three points in his last two games after averaging 15.4 during the regular season. Third-leading scorer Quincy Guerrier (14.1 points per game) was limited to three points Friday, but Joseph Girard III filled the void with 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Reserves Robert Braswell and Kadary Richmond also combined for 17 points.
How to make Syracuse vs. West Virginia picks
The model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 146 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Syracuse vs. West Virginia? And which side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.