The college basketball slate for Wednesday night is loaded with interesting games, one of which comes in the form of the “other” ACC national matchup. While the UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils matchup has drawn a lot of attention (for good reason), the ESPN game between the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals and Syracuse Orange has the potential to be a great one.
Louisville enters this game holding an 18-8 record while Syracuse isn’t far behind at 17-8. The two are also close in the ACC standings, as the Cardinals (9-4) hold a slight edge over the Orange (8-4). This will be the first and only meeting between the two schools this year unless they were to meet in postseason play.
These teams have been featured in a few great games over the years and have an even 5-5 split in the past 10 meetings. While Louisville has won three of four, Syracuse picked the most recent win, back in February of last season in a narrow 78-73 finish.
We’re going to take a look at the betting line, over/under and offer up a prediction and pick on this matchup.
Louisville vs. Syracuse Betting Line & Over/Under
*Betting information from Bovada and provided by Odds Shark
- Louisville Cardinals vs. Syracuse Orange (-2 at -105)
- Over/Under: 132 (-105)
While Syracuse sits as a slight favorite, Odds Shark details that Bovada listed the game on Tuesday evening as a pick, but it quickly moved in favor of the home team. It’s a close matchup on paper and both teams have done well against the spread, with Louisville posting a 14-11-1 record and Syracuse has gone 14-11 ATS to this point.
One interesting thing that stands out is that the Orange are just 9-7 against the spread at home while the Cardinals are 7-3 covering when on the road this season. Both teams have been great in terms of covering recently, though, and with the two jockeying for position and a possible top-four spot in the ACC up for grabs, there’s a lot to play for.
Louisville vs. Syracuse Prediction
Currently, Louisville is tied with the Florida State Seminoles for the No. 4 spot in the ACC while Syracuse is a half-game behind and holds the No. 6 seed. Both teams have players capable of taking over games if they get hot, and while the Orange are possibly a more well-rounded group right now, Louisville forward Jordan Nwora has tremendous upside.
Nwora is averaging 17.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season and has shot 46.0 percent from the field. Tyus Battle (17.4 points) and Oshae Brissett (13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds) lead the Orange this season.
The two teams have had ups and downs of late, losing two of three and both face top-five teams this coming weekend. Syracuse draws Duke while Louisville is at home against Virginia so either could be in a prime lookahead spot. I like how the Cardinals have played of late and the success they’ve had away from home this year. In the 11 games since January 12, they’ve lost just three times and each game was against a top-25 opponent with only one by more than five points.
I’ll take the points with Louisville on the road, but it’s a tough call.
Prediction: Louisville Cardinals 68, Syracuse Orange 65 (Louisville +2)