2013 Final Four Picks – Nightcap Is An Intriguing Matchup Of Fourth Seeds


There are two kinds of national semifinals at this year’s Final Four: A David-Goliath matchup between Wichita State and Louisville, and a coin-flip Final Four Picks game between Syracuse and Michigan. Syracuse Orange vs. Michigan Wolverines – Saturday, April 6 Betting line: Michigan -2.5.

2013 Final Four PicksNo NCAA football betting expert would deny the contention that Syracuse has a very good chance in this contest. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you will see that Syracuse is playing the best defense of any team left in the Final Four. Louisville is playing the best basketball overall, but that’s because the Cardinals are getting so much production out of their offense, having scored at least 77 points in every NCAA tournament game and at least 73 points in all but one game since March 9. Syracuse, though, is the defensive colossus in this Final Four collection. The Orange’s 2-3 zone held Marquette to 39 points in the East Regional final on Saturday, the lowest point total for a regional final loser since 1973 (San Francisco). The Orange, on March 28, held the No. 2 team in the United States, the Indiana Hoosiers, to just 50 points, far below the team’s season-long average of 78.6 points per game. The length of Syracuse guards Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. Fair takes away shooting hands of opposing perimeter players. James Southerland and Baye Keita are swatting shots near the rim. This imposing length could take away the things Michigan likes to do. It is not an easy puzzle to solve, and the Wolverines will have their work cut out for them. As an added note, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is 3-0 in Final Four national semifinals.

When people pursue a sports betting play, they have to look at the whole picture in a given matchup and not get sucked into certain trends that might not mean anything when a game begins. Even football betting gurus who possess minimal knowledge of college basketball could tell you that while Syracuse’s zone defense is extremely tough, it has not faced in this NCAA tournament the kinds of guards who can bust it open. Trey Burke’s combination of speed, ballhandling ability, and shooting prowess can pry open so many opportunities – not just for himself, but for teammates such as Tim Hardaway, Jr., and Nik Stauskas – against Syracuse’s defense. If Burke can hit a stepback three, or if he can penetrate into the paint and draw a few defenders before making a kickout to an open shooter for a made three-point field goal, Michigan can crack the code and distort the shape of Syracuse’s defense. Michigan is a team with weapons, and if big man Mitch McGary – who starred for the Wolverines in each of the team’s past three games – continues to perform at a very high level, Michigan should have more than enough to get past a Syracuse squad that lacks a proven low-post scorer.

This figures to be a close game, but the presence of Trey Burke on the floor is going to throw a monkey wrench into Syracuse’s zone defense and give Michigan the best path to victory. Take the Wolverines in this situation.

Click here to get more information on the latest basketball betting odds. Free Sports Picks Daily Final Four Picks: Michigan -2.5.

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