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Syracuse Orange 40-1 to Win NCAA Basketball Championship


It wasn’t always pretty, but with one of the youngest lineups and shortest benches in the country, Syracuse reached the Sweet 16 and finished fifth nationally in defensive efficiency. Yes, they spent much of the regular season producing inconsistent results but considering their youth, the Orange’s postseason run gave bettors a good glimpse of their potential.

The biggest issue for the Orange last season was lack of offensive efficiency (12th in the ACC). Even though you don’t expend as much energy playing zone, the ridiculous amount of minutes the starting lineup endured no doubt led to fatigue. Ten times during their four NCAA Tournament games an Orange player was forced to play a full 40 minutes. Even with Syracuse purposely slowing down the pace of the game to preserve energy, the offense had no life with poor shots a common theme. That should change this season. Not only does Syracuse return its entire starting lineup but the bench should be much deeper. The biggest acquisition is transfer Elijah Hughes who sat out last year after playing as a freshman at East Carolina. Hughes is a pure scorer, one who Jim Boeheim referred to as one of the most talented offensive players he’s ever seen. Boeheim also added three incoming freshmen, two of which are being billed as ace 3-point shooters including his son, Buddy. With fresher legs from the starters and scoring potential off the bench, look for Syracuse to make massive strides on the offensive end. If so, coupled with arguably the nation’s best defense, the Orange are built for a deep postseason run.

Your usual cast of characters (Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, etc.) make up the top betting choices to win the NCAA Tournament. They’re a talented bunch but at less than 8-1, offer little to no value. Syracuse meanwhile may not have as rich a roster but the attributes to win in March are certainly present. At 40-1, we see lots of value.

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