8:06 pm
December 18

#14 Buffalo @ Syracuse

Who will WIN this matchup?

#14 Buffalo Bulls (10-0)

@ Syracuse Orange (7-3)


Current odds:

Buffalo Bulls: (+145)

Syracuse Orange: (-165)


 The line for this game is Syracuse by 3 points.

• Ten games into the season, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim knows that shooting percentages don’t lie. The Orange hope to enjoy a rare good shooting day Tuesday when they host No. 15 Buffalo in non-league action. “We’re not making anything,” Boeheim told reporters after Saturday’s home loss to Old Dominion. “We missed so many key shots. Playing at home, you have to make those shots. You can’t miss 12 free throws.” The Orange finished that game at 33.3 percent from the field and enter this one at just 41.4 percent on the season, including 29.7 percent from 3-point range. Aside from Marek Dolezaj (3-of-7), the Orange don’t have a single regular shooting over 35 percent from long distance.

• Getting back on track won’t be easy against an undefeated Bulls team that has allowed 60.7 points over its last three games.

• The Bulls already have defeated West Virginia as part of their undefeated start, but the team is coming off its second-lowest scoring output of the season. They scored 73 in Saturday’s win over Southern Illinois and likely will need more points this week if they are going to defeat major college programs Syracuse and Marquette. “It’s the biggest week of our non-conference season,” Buffalo coach Nate Oats told reporters. “If we take care of business this week, we pretty much guarantee ourselves an at-large bid.”

• Tyus Battle averages a team-high 18.5 points and has scored at least 20 in five of the last six games, but the junior guard needs more help offensively. Oshae Brissett averages 14.9 points but has shot over 40 percent only four times all season, while Buddy Boeheim is a woeful 8-of-43 from the field, including 6-of-29 from 3-point land. Elijah Hughes (14.3 points) has probably been the most consistent complementary player for Syracuse, having scored at least 14 points in eight of the 10 games and having made multiple 3s in seven of the last eight contests.

• Buffalo seniors, G CJ Massinburg and F Nick Perkins, average a combined 30.9 points and 15.3 rebounds to lead four Bulls players averaging double-digit points.

• Syracuse won 81-74 in last season’s meeting, after which Perkins said “I felt we were the better team.”

• In six games since returning from a leg injury, Orange G Frank Howard is shooting 10-of-37 (27 percent) from the floor.

StreakSmarter Pick
#14 Buffalo Bulls