Purdue vs Syracuse Odds & Picks: The Week 3 Moneyline Bet to Make
Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Damien Alford (Syracuse)
Purdue vs Syracuse Odds
Syracuse entered the season with the next-to-longest odds to win the ACC and a win total of 4.5 wins.
After consecutive dominant offensive showings in victories against Louisville and Connecticut, the betting market is showing some respect to Syracuse, with the Orange being a small home favorite when Purdue visits central New York on Saturday afternoon.
The Boilermakers lost a heartbreaker in Week 1 against Penn State, 35-31, and then rolled over FCS foe Indiana State, 56-0, in their second game.
Purdue is replacing plenty from last season on both sides of the ball, namely wide receiver David Bell and defensive end George Karlaftis.
Syracuse is still a run-first offense through star running back Sean Tucker, and the biggest question is whether the Boilermakers' run defense is good enough to prevent the Orange's offense from rolling.
Purdue quietly had an excellent defense last season that propelled it to a bunch of key victories. The Boilermakers finished the season 36th nationally in Success Rate Allowed, 20th in EPA/play Allowed and 34th in Finishing Drives.
The loss of Karlaftis, a First Team All-American, is hard to replace, though.
The Boilermakers also lost both starting corners and the pass defense can be exposed a bit, as Sean Clifford showed with quick passing on the final drive for Penn State two weeks ago.
The Boilermakers were a pass-first offense in 2021, and the same has remained true in 2022 with Aidan O'Connell under center. That's not great for this matchup, given the losses at receiver and the fact that the strength of the Orange's defense is the secondary.
Purdue hasn't faced a rushing attack like the Orange, either. Even Penn State had major struggles along the offensive line and wasn't able to establish much of a rushing game.
If Purdue's defense had weaknesses last year, it was the linebacker unit and the run defense. The Boilermakers are outside the top 50 in Rushing Success Rate, and now face one of the best running backs in the country in Tucker.
O'Connell has picked up where he left off in 2021, and is one of the better quarterbacks in the entire country.
The senior finished last year with top-10 ranks in passing grade and Big Time Throws.
Syracuse's defense has had a clear identity under defensive coordinator Tony White in the past few seasons. The Orange aren't big up front and can struggle against the run, but the defense has produced and developed a ton of secondary and back-seven talent.
Despite losing three secondary players to the NFL draft after the 2021 season, the Orange's strength is still in the back seven.
The Orange also are successful at generating turnovers and have more often than not under White been excellent at defending in the red zone. Through two weeks, the Orange are top-30 in Havoc created and Defensive Finishing Drives.
But the story of the first two weeks of the season is not the Orange's defense.
It's Garrett Shrader at quarterback.
Many questioned the hire of offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterback coach Jason Beck, given their backgrounds running a pass-first offense at Virginia.
Through two weeks, PFF has Shrader graded as the best quarterback in the entire country.
Last season, PFF graded Shrader's passing as a 54.4 overall. He finished 2019 and 2021 at Mississippi State and Syracuse, respectively, with more Turnover Worthy Plays than Big Time Throws, based on their charting.
Through two games, Shrader has made three Big Time Throws and has a passing grade of 92.2.
Shrader has improved his yards per attempt from 6.2 last year to 10.9 this season. He threw nine touchdowns and had four interceptions last season, and already has improved his completion percentage by more than 20 points while throwing five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Instead of a run-only offense around Shrader and Tucker, Syracuse's offense is multi-dimensional in 2022.
Purdue vs Syracuse Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Purdue and Syracuse match up statistically:
Purdue Offense vs. Syracuse Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Syracuse Offense vs. Purdue Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||55||34|
|Seconds per Play||23.5 (24)||28.3 (102)|
|Rush Rate||42.9% (108)||63.6% (18)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Purdue vs Syracuse Betting Pick
Our Action Network PRO projections have the Orange as a two-point home favorite in this game, and I think you could make the case Syracuse should be slightly bigger favorites than that because of the rapid rise of Shrader.
The market opened Syracuse as a 1.5-point home underdog, and now the Orange are favored by a point. It's noteworthy because the market steamed heavily against Syracuse in Week 1 when Louisville opened -2 at the Orange and closed as a 5-point road favorite.
The Boilermakers' biggest weakness on defense is stopping the run, and that's a major issue facing Tucker, who was a top-five back in the nation last season.
Meanwhile, the Purdue offense will be throwing heavily into the strength of the Orange's defense.
Purdue also lacks the game-changer in Karlaftis that raised the ceiling of the defense last season.
Without him, the Orange should be favored at home. I'd bet Syracuse on the moneyline at -130 or better.