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When you look at the NCAA Tournament bracket from the onset, there are certain matchups that you check out down the line hoping that they might happen. On Thursday night in the East Regional, we get one of those matchups, when the No.1 seed Indiana Hoosiers face the No.4 seed Syracuse Orange with a trip to the Elite 8 at stake. Coverage over this one will begin at 9:45pm ET (CBS) following the Marquette/Miami game airing earlier (3/28 7;15pm ET), for which the two winners will meet.
In the third round, Indiana found themselves in a battle with a very stingy No.9 seed in Temple, led by Khalif Wyatt, who had been a one-man show in the first game that the Owls had. That continued and spilled over against the Hoosiers, as Wyatt scored 18 of the first 22 points Temple had. But it’s difficult to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament without having other players step up and make plays. And in the end, the Hoosiers were able to rely on several of their playmakers to procure a tight 58-52 victory. The biggest shot of the night came courtesy of Indiana’s biggest star, Victor Oladipo, who knocked down a three-point shot to put the Hoosiers up by four with just seconds remaining. It was the shot that sealed the victory.
It wasn’t a great performance on the night, and it was the lowest offensive output all season for the Hoosiers in which they won a game. They will certainly have to step it up against Syracuse and get off to a better start. Though that could be tough as well, with the athletes that the Orange have.
Syracuse took care of No.12 seed Cal in their third round game, despite going 12 minutes without making a field goal. It’s not often that a team can do that and live to play another day. Fortunately, the Orange have a few days to rest and figure out how to stop Indiana.
The Hoosiers have so many ways that they can win a game, and Syracuse will have to do their best to try and limit those options. Of course, the Orange have some players who can do some damage as well. C.J. Fair and James Southerland are two of those players, as they put up 18 points and 14 points respectively against the Golden Bears. The Orange defend the perimeter well, allowing just four made shots on 21 attempts. That could be a key factor against the Hoosiers.
As with most games in this stage in the NCAA Tournament, this one is getting a lot of attention from the Vegas bookmakers. In checking the sports betting sites we promote, we’ve found that Indiana has been set as a 5.5-point favorite over the Syracuse Orange to move forward to the Elite 8. And even though this margin is at 5.5 points, oddsmakers weren’t quite sure enough to set the Hoosiers as a big favorite… but then again, Syracuse is a very good squad. Despite playing one of the best teams all year in college basketball, this line is indicative of the evenness in athleticism between each team. To cover the spread, the Hoosiers will need at least a six-point win while Syracuse must keep this game within five points or win it outright.
If you are one of those who like the Orange straight up to win and advance, betting the spread is fine but the real money comes into play when you are betting on the moneyline lines. At +200, a Syracuse win pays out double whatever the amount that was wagered. When compared to the spread which usually pays out right around 90%, giving up the 5.5 points and going for the outright win is very attractive. Indiana’s moneyline is currently at -240 which offers no real value in terms of payouts; wager $2.40 to win $1 plus the original wager.
As far as scoring in this one, oddsmakers have set the over/under total at 135.5 points. So that 58-point performance from the Hoosiers against Temple obviously isn’t playing a huge factor. If these two teams hit the 136 point mark, the ‘over’ wins this wager. If that number stays below 135, through regulation and overtime (if needed), then the ‘under’ takes the prize.
Like what you see? You’ve got a while to bet on this one but do know that the lines will be changing as the game approaches. Now might be your best time to get down on these odds. At the bottom of this post, LatestBettingOdds.com has furnished an odds tracker which shows the odds we mentioned in this story, but from four different betting sites. One site might have a better line on Indiana versus another which might have a better payout on Syracuse. There is value in shopping the lines which is the reason why that tool was included on this post.
Additional resources include previews + matchup info for all the other seven Sweet 16 games, plus more about this one, as the 2013 NCAA Tournament rolls on.
(4) Syracuse Orange vs. (1) Indiana Hoosiers – Matchup (scroll to see more info)
More 2013 NCAA Tournament Betting Previews & Matchups
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Live Betting Odds For Upcoming NCAA Tournament Games