Houston vs Syracuse March Madness Odds — Sweet 16 2021

Written By Staff on March 22, 2021 - Last Updated on March 25, 2021

A Sweet 16 matchup features the No. 2 seed Houston Cougars (24-3) playing as  favorites against the No. 11 seed Syracuse Orange (16-9) on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The NCAA Tournament matchup tips off at 9:55 PM ET, with the winner moving on to the Midwest Region bracket final.

The betting insights in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of March 22, 2021, 2:10 AM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Betting Odds

Houston vs. Syracuse Game Matchup

Everything on paper tells us Houston should win this game by multiple possessions. Buddy Boehiem and Syracuse’s stellar shooting in the tournament do not match up well with a Houston defense that ranks top 15 in the nation in scoring defense, defensive efficiency, opponent effective field goal percentage, two-point field goal defense and three-point field goal defense. Yeah, that’s pretty good defense from Kelvin Sampson’s crew.

It’s the other end of the floor that is just so hard to project in the NCAA Tournament. Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone has now provided a sample size of tournament games across multiple years where the Orange plays above expectation on defense. It’s part of the theory that during March Madness, the ‘Cuse is facing non-conference teams who are not used to seeing it.

Syracuse ranks only 142nd in overall defensive efficiency. We’ve seen highly-seeded teams that struggle that much on defense already eliminated despite stellar offense (Iowa, Ohio State and West Virginia). Nevertheless, the 11-seeded Orange upset two teams ranked top-45 in offensive efficiency (San Diego State and West Virginia). There seems to be an element of unfamiliarity in facing this 2-3 zone for the first time in a single-elimination tournament that is not reflected in the season-long statistics.

The chink in the armor in the Sweet 16 is perhaps behind the zone, allowing offensive rebounding and second-chance points. Houston can exploit this. The Cougars rank second in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. Syracuse ranks 340th in offensive rebounding percentage defense.

Houston Betting Information

  • The Cougars have covered the spread more often than not this season, earning a record ATS of 19-8.
  • When favored by at least 6 points, the Cougars are 17-8 against the spread this season.
  • Houston and its opponents have hit the over in 14 of 27 games this season (51.9%).

Against the Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

Houston Players to Watch

Quentin Grimes 27 18.1 6.0 1.9 1.3 0.3 3.4
Marcus Sasser 26 13.3 2.5 2.3 1.3 0.0 2.5
Dejon Jarreau 28 10.9 5.3 4.1 1.3 0.5 1.0
Justin Gorham 28 8.5 8.5 1.2 0.8 0.4 0.6
Tramon Mark 29 8.3 3.2 1.8 1.0 0.2 0.6
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Syracuse Betting Information

  • In their games this season, the Orange have come up with a balanced record of 12-12 ATS.
  • The Orange only hold a 1-6 record against the spread this season when they play as at least a 6-point underdog.
  • 13 of the Orange 24 games (54.2%) this season have covered the over/under.
  • The Orange beat West Virginia 75-72 and covered the spread as 4-point underdogs, while falling short of the 148 point total in their most recent game on Sunday. Buddy Boeheim totaled a team-high 25 points in the victory.

Against the Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

Syracuse Players to Watch

Buddy Boeheim 24 18.1 2.5 2.6 1.3 0.0 3.2
Quincy Guerrier 27 13.9 8.5 0.9 0.8 1.2 0.8
Alan Griffin 27 13.6 6.0 1.9 1.2 1.7 2.0
Marek Dolezaj 27 10.0 5.4 3.3 1.2 0.9 0.0
Joseph Girard III 27 9.7 3.0 3.7 1.4 0.1 1.8

Total Facts

  • In Houston’s matchups this season, the Cougars and their opponents have gone over Saturday’s point total of 140 points 12 times (41.4% of opportunities).
  • In Syracuse’s games this year, the competing teams added up to a higher point total than Saturday’s matchup point total in 19 out of 27 matchups (70.4%).
  • The total for the game of 140 is 13.3 points fewer than the combined points per game averages for the Cougars (77.4 points per game) and the Orange (75.9 points per game).
  • The 128.3 points per game these two teams allow their opponents to score on average this season are 11.7 fewer than the 140 over/under in this contest.
  • This season the average total for Cougars games is 135.3 points, 4.7 fewer than the over/under of 140 points for this contest.
  • A difference of 6.3 points separates the average total points bet in Orange games (146.3 points) and this game’s over/under (140 points).

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