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How and what to watch for Syracuse vs. No. 21 Rutgers

Syracuse will head on the road to play in what is quietly one of the toughest places to play in college basketball.

Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III greets guard Buddy Boeheim after a made three-point basket against the Bryant University Bulldogs during the second half at the Carrier Dome.  Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of 3-0 teams will match up on Tuesday night when the Syracuse Orange head on the road to take on the No. 21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Syracuse survived a one-point win over Bryant in its first game of the season, followed by 30-plus point victories over Niagara and Rider so far this season. The Orange haven’t seen much in terms of competition, but that will change on Tuesday night. Buddy Boeheim is still ruled out indefinitely according to USA Today’s injury tracker as he continues to go through COVID-19 protocols. Aside from Boeheim, who has only played in one game so far, Alan Griffin is leading Syracuse with 16.7 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game. In addition, Quincy Guerrier is averaging 16.3 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Rutgers has played similar teams to Syracuse, but the Scarlet Knights were never in serious trouble of losing any of them with games against Sacred Heart, Fairleigh Dickinson and Hofstra. Like Syracuse, Tuesday night will be Rutgers’ first real test of the season. Even without Geo Baker, who is out indefinitely with an ankle injury, Rutgers has been led by incredible guard play so far. Junior guard Ron Harper Jr. has played very well, averaging 21 points per game with 7.7 rebounds. Additionally, Jacob Young is getting 15.3 points with 5.7 assists and 2.7 steals per matchup. Montez Mathis is adding 15.3 points per game with four rebounds, 2.3 assists and two steals.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Syracuse vs. No. 21 Rutgers on Tuesday, December 8th at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, or you can watch via WatchESPN with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends*

Point spread: Syracuse vs. Rutgers (-4.5)
Point Total: 140
Moneyline: Syracuse (+165) Rutgers (-200)

Betting Splits Against Spread

Syracuse: (55% of action, 44% of bets)
Rutgers: (45% of action, 56% of bets)

  • Syracuse is 6-3 against the spread in its last nine, and Rutgers is 4-4-1 against the number in that span.
  • The point total went under in four of Syracuse’s last five games, and Rutgers overs cashed in four of its last five.
  • Rutgers is 19-1 straight up in its last 20 home games, and Syracuse is 5-1 straight up in its last six games overall.

The Best Bet

Rutgers’ dominance at home I think is one that continues to sneak by people. While this may be void with no fans in attendance, just having so much familiarity on the home court with proven success should give Rutgers the edge here. The Scarlet Knights appear to have the better guard play especially with Boeheim out, so that should be another big advantage for RU. Let’s go with the Scarlet Knights to win and cover the four-point number.

Pick: Rutgers -4.5

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