While the pain continues for Louisville in life after LAmar Jackson, Dino Babers has Syracuse ranked in the AP Poll Top 25 with only a few Games to go. That’s a rare thing for the Orange and while they won’t win the ACC, a good bowl is still in the cards. The Orange opened as -21 point home favorites at YOUWAGER Sportsbook.
Syracuse may be the second-best team in the ACC if everything goes the right way down the stretch. Already with seven wins, the Orange have a couple important tests before the end of the regular season with Notre Dame and a trip to Boston College remaining. After a couple losses, they are back in form taking down NC State and most recently Wake Forest.
There have been few positives for Louisville, losing every ACC Game but the one against Florida State by at least 18 points. Its only two wins have come against Indiana State and Western Kentucky and it’s given up 133 points in the last two Games. That defense is going to be the biggest issue in this Game because Syracuse has scored at least 37 points in its last Four Games.
Senior quarterback Eric Dungey has carved most opponents this year, whether through the air with 13 touchdowns, or on the ground with 628 yards and 10 touchdowns. His versatility will be a problem for Louisville and could lead to another 40-point Game for the Orange. Running back Moe Neal is questionable with an injury, but Dontae Strickland should fill in fine and Dungey is the team’s leading rusher anyway. This offense shouldn’t have any trouble putting points on the board at home after already dropping 51 points on a solid NC State defense a couple weeks ago.
The only way for Louisville to cover is to Scoreat least 30 points. That’s not impossible because the Cardinals scored that many against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, but they also gave up more than 50 points in those two Games. They’ll try and find a running Game with Trey Smith or Hassan Hall, but none of their rushers have more than 263 yards and they average 3.4 yards per carry as a team. Those are not good numbers, nor do they mesh well with quarterback Jawon Pass’s seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. It’s been a tough season for him and it’s unknown where his confidence is. There are at least some positives in this matchup in that Syracuse allows 432 yards per Game and have had issues stopping almost every offense in the conference. They already gave up 44 points to Pittsburgh and 37 to UNC. If Louisville doesn’t get into an early hole and can move the ball on the ground, that should help somewhat in trying to cover.
The Cardinals are 3-13 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and haven’t covered in their last five on the road. The Orange are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five at home, but 1-5-2 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The favorite, which is usually Louisville, has covered in the last Four meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Syracuse and Over