Local Event Sports Association

Jim Boeheim has likely run out of motivational speeches due to coaching the Syracuse Orange for 36 seasons, but Las Vegas oddsmakers have supplied him plenty of ammunition for Saturday's Elite Eight contest against the Ohio State Buckeyes inside the TD Garden.

The Orange were sent out as two-and-a-half point underdogs for the first time this season, while the total has held steady at 136.

It's not often that this year's Big East Conference regular season champions are given points on any court, as the program hasn't played in this role since capturing a 69-64 win over the Villanova Wildcats as three-and-a-half point road underdogs on Feb. 21, 2011.

Sports bettors will find that the Orange are 6-3 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog since the start of the 2009-10 campaign, which includes a perfect 2-0 ATS mark on a neutral court when receiving three points or less.

Boeheim should also take comfort in knowing that Big East programs are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six chances as an underdog in the Elite Eight.

Ohio State is certainly no slouch in being the No. 2 seed in the East ...

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