There’s an interesting conundrum that arises in every college basketball game that oddsmakers deem a ‘Pick Em.’ First off, it would seem like the easy wager is on the home team as all they have to do is win on their own court. At the same time however, it’s hard not to wonder why said home team isn’t favored by more – at least 2 or 3 points? Either way, that’s the exact situation oddsmakers have put bettors in for the 1/31 college basketball free pick when Syracuse (15-6) travels to Georgia Tech (10-11).
Tonight’s headlines: Even with a loss, neither Virginia nor Purdue falls off the top line. A Michigan State loss could lead to Cincinnati moving up to No. 2. Finally, Syracuse likely falls out of the Thursday update with a loss at Georgia Tech. https://t.co/sZTyyxc6Vf
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) January 31, 2018
Take Syracuse For the Win?
The Orange actually started off as -1 favorites when betting opened for tonight’s contest but since have been lowered to even odds. The line movement is a little odd considering 55% of the public bettors are liking Syracuse on the road tonight. ‘Cuse however is just 2-3 in true road games this year. Their last away game was a win – 60 – 55 versus Pitt – but Syracuse was also -10.5 favorites in that tilt. Prior to that Syracuse lost by 11 at Florida State, by 7 at Virginia and by 6 at Wake, The true road wins are an OT tilt against Georgetown when favored by -5.5 and a win over Connecticut that was only ‘technically’ a road game since it was held at Madison Square Garden.
Road issues aside, Syracuse is still 15-6 on the season and has put together a three game winning streak. It should be noted that two of those victories during the streak came against 8-14 Pittsburgh. Continuing their winning ways in the 1/31 college basketball free pick could be a bit tough as backup point guard Howard Washington will miss the game after being injured in practice Monday while F Matthew Moyer will also be out with a sprained ankle. Syracuse played just seven players on Saturday against Pitt and with Washington’s injury it means they’ll be down to six scholarship players versus GT.
Can Georgia Tech Take Advantage at Home?
A sellout crowd has been announced for tonight at the McCamish Pavilion, where Georgia Tech is 9-5 this year. The Yellow Jackets don’t have that strong of record overall, but it’s also a little skewed considering Josh Okogie (18.3 ppg) missed the first eight games of the year season due to both a suspension and an injury. Okogie went for 26 points the last time out against Clemson and had 16 points and 16 rebounds the game prior against FSU to give you an idea how valuable a player he is.
Georgia Tech is in the midst of their second four game losing streak of the season but this latest run is actually kind of warranted. The last four opponents for the Jackets were North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State, and Clemson – all games in which GT was the underdog and all teams who are top 20 if you believe Ken Pomeroy’s system. Tech would love to get this win considering they notched a 71-65 home victory over the Cuse last year as +4 underdogs and may feel a bit slighted again in the 1/31 college basketball free pick.
1/31 College Basketball Free Pick Betting
PREVIEW: It’s a “Whiteout” and the third straight sellout crowd at McCamish Pavilion as Tech takes on Syracuse Wednesday night (8pm). https://t.co/h1QHO7YjII
— GT Men’s Basketball (@GTMBB) January 31, 2018
The Orange are actually 1-5 ATS the last six meetings against Georgia Tech, are 5-12 ATS their last 17 road games, and are 2-5 ATS their last seven overall. The Yellow Jackets are likely better than their overall record indicates and are better than their recent four game losing stretch which all came against elite opponents. All Georgia Tech has to do is win tonight, and they should be able to do so in front of their home crowd against a depleted Syracuse team.
Free Pick: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets PK