The Syracuse men’s basketball team enters the year with aspirations of making it back to the Big Dance after missing the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Just how rare was last year? It marked the first time the Orange has ever missed the tourney under head coach Jim Boeheim, who enters his 47th season at the helm. With many legendary coaches leaving the game of late, one has to wonder if the Orange will be able to give Boeheim a proper sendoff when he decides to hang it up.
Syracuse enters the year ranked No. 54 and seventh in the ACC in Ken Pomeroy’s preseason rankings. The Orange are listed 79th in Bart Torvik’s preseason ratings, as they bring back 40.7% of the minutes from last year’s squad that finished 16-17 overall. Three of the top four scorers from last year’s team are gone, including both of Boeheim’s sons.
Buddy Boeheim is on a two-way contract in the Detroit Pistons organization after he averaged at least 15 points per game in each of his last three seasons with Syracuse. Jimmy Boeheim produced 12.7 points per outing during his lone season after transferring from Cornell. Cole Swider has also moved on after recording 13.9 points per contest last year.
That is a lot of production to replace, but senior Joseph Girard III is ready to embrace a bigger role. He played point guard last year but is expected to move off the ball and build on his scoring average of 13.8 points per game. Judah Mintz is slated to start at point guard as a freshman, while senior center Jesse Edwards returns after averaging 12 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest.
Jim Boeheim has suggested this offseason that his team might run more man-to-man defense, but we can probably expect Syraucse to continue to run a lot of zone. Everything else remains unknown, which makes this an interesting team to bet on entering the 2022-23 college basketball regular season.
Let’s take a look at Syraucse’s betting odds at Caesars Sportsbook ahead of the opener. (NOTE: Bettors located in New York cannot wager on New York-based college teams.)
ACC Betting Odds
The Orange are +2500 to win the Atlantic Coastal Conference this year, meaning a $100 bet would net a $2,500 profit if they were able to win the regular-season conference title. That gives Syracuse the eighth-best odds to win the league entering the season.
Traditional powerhouses North Carolina and Duke are the betting favorites in this conference race. The Tar Heels, who lost in the national championship game last year, are +130 to win the ACC title. The Blue Devils are priced at +290, with every other team listed at 5/1 or longer in this market at Caesars Sportsbook.
Syracuse went 9-11 in conference play last year and has hovered around the .500 mark in ACC play in each of the last eight seasons. The Orange did finish second in the league with a 14-4 clip during the 2013-14 campaign.
National championship odds
Syracuse won a national title back in 2003, and has had its fair share of tourney success ever since then. So you can’t count out the Orange under Boeheim, but they would be considered a long shot to win it all.
At Caesars Sportsbook, Syracuse is listed at 150/1 to cut down the nets. It is the exact same odds as the Virginia Tech Hokies, who are also in the ACC. Crazier things have happened, but the Orange probably aren’t worth a look in this market.
Syracuse will kick off the 2022-23 campaign with a home opener against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks at 8 p.m. Monday. This nonconference clash will be broadcasted on the ACC Network Extra.
The Orange opened as a 19.5-point favorite, so they should start things off with a victory. Syracuse is 4-0 in this all-time series, which includes a 57-47 victory during the 2015-16 season. The total for Monday’s matchup is currently set at 147.
It is tough to lay that big of a number in Game 1, so the better play might actually be on the under instead. Lehigh averaged 68.4 points per game last year, and it is tough to project this team to crack 70 against Syracuse. But the Orange might also deal with some offensive issues to start, as they get used to life without their best players from last year’s squad.
Prediction: Syracuse 81, Lehigh 62