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Villanova vs. Syracuse: Can Wildcats Keep Rolling?

The Orange are looking for a signature win

#6 Villanova Wildcats

What a tough stretch of games the Wildcats have had early in the season, but they have weathered the storm so to speak, and are still ranked sixth nationally. They have reeled off three straight victories after they fell to the now top-ranked team in the country in Purdue. Outside of a couple of very tough games against elite teams, Villanova has done what they should do and destroyed lesser teams. They will be looking to add a win against a big-time program when they take on Syracuse on Tuesday.

Senior guard Collin Gillespie has led the Wildcats in scoring in each of their last three games, and remains the player to watch in this game with his next-level professional skills. Gillespie is averaging 17.8 points and 3.5 assists per game, and is the engine that keeps Villanova moving. He has a 26-point outing against Penn a couple of games ago, and he may need to do that again here.

Junior guard Justin Moore has been fantastic to watch as well, with some really impressive numbers of his own. He is averaging 15.4 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. That rebounding number really stands out, because that is a ton for a backcourt player like Moore. He's been fantastic at grabbing boards at his position.

The defense looked rough early on, but has since allowed 56 points or less in four of their last five outings. They avoid turnovers and play efficient basketball, and we'll have to see if that continues against Syracuse.

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Syracuse Orange

The Orange are a big-time program that is looking for a big-time win early in the season. So far, it has been a struggle with a 5-3 record and several disappointing games that don't help the cause for Syracuse. They got ripped at home by Colgate, and then went on to lose two of their three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. They have since gotten back on track a bit with a double-overtime win over Indiana and a road victory at Florida State.

Five Orange players are scoring in double digits, including two of coach Boeheim’s sons, with guard Buddy averaging 19.1 points per game and 4.0 assists per game, and forward Jimmy averaging 14.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. Buddy had 27 points in that win over Indiana, and he's proven that he is a go-to shooter than can score with the best of them. He has caused some real damage early in the season.

What has really killed Syracuse is that famous zone defense, which teams have figured out this season. They gave up over 100 points to Colgate in that loss, which just can't happen. Boeheim’s teams have been known for their lockdown defense, but the program has really struggled on that end recently.

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Syracuse vs. Villanova Prediction

As long as Villanova doesn't turn the ball over, I think they can handle business here against the Orange. The defense of Syracuse has been awful, and with Gillespie and company on the horizon, that doesn't seem to be changing this week. The Wildcats have played better defense, but they will certainly be tested by the hot shooters that the Orange have. I think whoever plays the better defense will pull this game out in the end, and I'll take Villanova to do just that.

You really should be looking at the BetQL model for this game though. It has a 186-150 record when it bets on the Syracuse Orange, and a 190-122 record when betting on the Villanova Wildcats. That is over a 55% winning percentage on both teams, so you know you have a great chance to win when you bet with the model on this game.

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