There are questions surrounding the future of Louisville second-year head coach Kenny Payne, who is just 11-43 since taking over for Chris Mack two years ago.
The Cardinals are tied with Notre Dame in the basement of the ACC, but did stun Florida State (101-92) over the weekend as a 5.5-point underdog for their second league win of the season, snapping a six-game skid. Can the Cardinals notch another upset, or, at the very least, hang within the number against Syracuse on the road?
Syracuse is happy to be home after a tough road trip where the Orange dropped a close one to Boston College (80-75) and were blown out by Wake Forest (99-70). Syracuse has lost three of its last four, but are favored to get right at home on Wednesday. Do they pull away?
Here’s the betting preview for Wednesday’s ACC action with a best bet.
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Louisville vs. Syracuse odds, spread and total
Louisville vs. Syracuse betting trends
- Louisville is 10-11-1 ATS this season
- Syracuse is 9-13 ATS this season
- Louisville is 8-6-1 ATS as an underdog this season
- Syracuse is 6-6 ATS as a favorite this season
- The OVER is 12-10 in Louisville games this season
- The OVER is 11-11 in Syracuse games this season
Louisville vs. Syracuse how to watch
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 7
- Game time: 7 p.m. EST
- Venue: JMA Wireless Dome
- How to watch (TV): ACC Network
- Louisville record: 7-15 (2-9 ACC)
- Syracuse record: 14-8 (5-6 ACC)
Louisville vs. Syracuse key players to watch
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield: The 6-foot-10 junior forward is top-5 in the ACC in rebounds (8.5 per game) and averages 11.6 points while shooting 56.7% from the field. The Tennessee transfer and second-year Cardinal has scored 20-plus points in two of the last four games, including a season-high 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go with 7 rebounds in Louisville’s 101-92 victory over Florida State on Saturday.
Judah Mintz: The guard started 32 games as a freshman last season and was excellent, averaging 16.3 points per game. Mintz has made a jump as a sophomore, ranking third in the ACC in scoring at 18.2 per night. Mintz has shot 50% or better in three of the last four games, including a 28-point night against Florida State Jan. 23. Mintz also ranks third in the ACC in assists and has six or more dimes in four of the last five contests.
Louisville vs. Syracuse prediction and pick
In Syracuse’s 99-70 loss to Wake Forest, the Orange allowed the Demon Deacons to shoot 66% from the field and 63.2% from 3-point range. That seems like an anomaly for a Syracuse defense that has been superb this season and ranks No. 39 in KenPom in overall efficiency.
Syracuse’s defense can get hurt from inside the arc, ranking No. 251 in 2-point field goal percentage, but Louisville is a poor shooting team, ranking No. 231 on 2-point shots and No. 302 from the perimeter. Syracuse is No. 25 in steal percentage and Louisville is No. 217 in turnover percentage and No. 243 overall in giving up steals.
On the other side, Louisville’s defense ranks last in the ACC in scoring (78 points per game) while allowing opponents to shoot 46.5% from the field (last in the ACC). The Cardinals rank No. 319 in defending 2-point shots and No. 311 in effective field goal percentage. Syracuse’s offense should be able to get right against the Cardinals and the Orange defense will bounce back in a big way after getting lit up by Wake Forest. Lay the points with Syracuse.
PICK: Syracuse -8.5
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.