Offense meets defense when the Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2) travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange (11-2). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 142 points with Syracuse set as a 2.5-point favorite. Action gets underway at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 31, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPNU.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Syracuse Orange Free Preview
In the Hokies last game, they were victorious over the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 76-59. Ahmed Hill led Virginia Tech in scoring with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Virginia Tech played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.203 (matching their season average) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 25.8 (below their season average of 27.5). North Carolina A&T was 0.113 and 18.4, respectively, for those same stats.
The Orange come in on a high note after beating the Eastern Michigan Eagles in their last contest, 62-47. Syracuse’s Paschal Chukwu had a good outing, putting up 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Syracuse played a perfect game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.435 (above their season average of 0.284) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 34.4 (below their season average of 40.2). Eastern Michigan put up marks of 0.074 and 25.0, respectively, for those same stats.
Points could be at a premium as a pair of the NCAA’s top defenses clash. Syracuse ranks 39th in defensive efficiency (93.0) and Virginia Tech is 51st (94.8). Conflicting styles will be on display in this showdown. The up-and-down Hokies rank 47th in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Orange rank 321st.
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Games including Virginia Tech have gone over 75.0 percent of the time, while Syracuse games have gone under 63.6 percent of the time. Both teams have phenomenal straight up (SU) records (11-2 for Virginia Tech; 11-2 for Syracuse), but the Hokies have the edge against the spread (ATS). Virginia Tech is 7-2 ATS, while the Orange are 5-6.
Oshae Brissett has really been playing well over the last five games for Syracuse, averaging 20.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Hokies won the only contest last season, 83-73. The Hokies dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.333 and a ridiculously low turnover percentage of 8.0. For those same stats, the Orange had marks of 0.185 and 13.2, respectively.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Syracuse Orange Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Syracuse, ATS Winner – Syracuse, O/U – Over
- The Orange rank 12th in rebounds per game (42.1) while the Hokies rank 100th (37.5).
- Virginia Tech ranks 155th in three pointers attempted per game (21.5) while Syracuse ranks 236th (18.3).
- On the road, Virginia Tech is 2-2 ATS with 3 overs and 1 under.
- At home, Syracuse is 3-5 ATS with 6 unders and 2 overs.
- Virginia Tech averages 18.8 assists per game, which ranks 10th in the NCAA. Syracuse ranks 203rd in assists allowed per game (15.8).
- The Orange rank 16th in steals per game (8.9) while the Hokies rank 166th (5.4).
- Syracuse ranks 10th in blocks per game (6.4) while Virginia Tech ranks 99th (3.5).
- Syracuse is 2-2 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Virginia Tech is 1-1 ATS with 1 over.
- The Orange’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.0, down from 9.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Hokies have scored an average of 82.6 points per game (8.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 63.0 points per game (7.3 below their season average).