Syracuse vs Gonzaga Odds
Tuesday, Nov. 21
2:30 p.m. ET
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
We’re onto the consolidation side of the Maui Invitational bracket. Luckily, this field is arguably the most stacked Feast Week field in the last decade. For this one, the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Syracuse Orange will hope to avoid falling to 0-2 in Maui.
Below, we have Syracuse vs. Gonzaga odds and a pick, including a college basketball betting guide for Tuesday, Nov. 21.
Syracuse has gotten tested in each of its four games. Even against lower-conference foes — like Canisius and New Hampshire — the Orange failed to cover the spread.
On the season, Cuse is 0-4 ATS, with an overall record of 2-2. However, the Orange were covering the spread against Tennessee for the entire game until the final four minutes. While there’s no moral victories in betting, Syracuse had the edge for a majority of the game until poor shot selection put it out of hand.
The idea of Syracuse’s upside in the backcourt is more of a dream than reality. While Judah Mintz looks like one of college basketball’s top guards, JJ Starling’s transition to New York hasn’t come easily. Mintz is averaging 23 points and five assists per contest, but Starling’s lack of shooting isn’t making him the perfect sidekick to Mintz.
Right now, Syracuse sits at 117th in KenPom, which puts it between Santa Clara and Northern Iowa. I believe Syracuse isn’t fairly valued by KenPom, which undervalues it in the betting market.
As of now, Cuse hasn’t given the analytics or market a reason to believe otherwise. That’s why you have to look deeper at what could become of this Orange team long-term.
Syracuse’s ceiling is pretty high. It just needs the guards to play like two talents who carry serious NBA chances, and anything can happen.
The Bulldogs lost their top shooter — Steele Venters — to an ACL injury before the season, and his presence was needed against Purdue. Gonzaga went a shockingly poor 6-of-32 from downtown, good for just 18%.
Starting guards Nolan Hickman and Ryan Nembhard shot a combined 10-for-31 from the floor. That’s just not good enough for Gonzaga to win games while Graham Ike is looking to establish himself as the top post option in life after Drew Timme.
Ike scored 14 points against Purdue, but he’ll need to produce more than that moving forward. After all, Ike was the Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year in 2022-23.
Another major Gonzaga concern is depth. One of the calling cards of Gonzaga teams over the years has been a deep roster; sometimes its bench could go 11 or 12 players deep. But injury issues and a lack of recruiting in the portal is currently limiting Gonzaga’s roster to nine healthy players.
When it comes to it, who will Mark Few rely on to make the plays when it matters? That’s my question surrounding this Gonzaga team.
Nembhard benefits from other players around him before actually imposing his own scoring will. Ultimately, I think the best way for Gonzaga to beat Syracuse is bringing 7-foot-4 center Naheem McLeod out to the perimeter and using Braden Huff and Ben Gregg to exploit his lacking foot speed.
Tuesday’s game provides a great chance for Coach Few to figure out the offensive pecking order against an underwhelming defense.
Syracuse vs. Gonzaga
Betting Pick & Prediction
Considering Syracuse closed as 12.5-point underdogs to Tennessee, the point spread implies that Gonzaga and Tennessee are comparable teams.
I simply don’t think that’s the case right now.
At worst, Tennessee is arguably the best defensive team in America with immense offensive upside. What’s the appeal on Gonzaga right now — besides Nembhard turning into a reliable scorer?
I expect the Zags to beat Syracuse, don’t get it twisted. But 12.5 points is too lofty in this spot.
I’m fading Gonzaga as much as I’m backing Syracuse.
Pick: Syracuse +12.5
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