Syracuse vs. UConn Odds, Picks: Betting Guide for This Week 2 Affair
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Syracuse wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II (left) and running back Sean Tucker (right).
- After pummeling Louisville as an underdog in Week 1 as a home underdog, the Orange take on UConn.
- The Huskies have looked competent so far in the Jim Mora era, but can they keep it up?
- Anthony Dabbundo dives into this clash and offers up his top selection.
Syracuse vs. UConn Odds
Syracuse had one of the more eye-opening performances of Week 1 with its 31-7 demolition of Louisville as a home underdog. The market moved against the Orange all week and they never trailed in the game.
Next up for Syracuse is a tricky road spot at UConn on Saturday night. The Huskies have looked competent through two games under new head coach Jim Mora, which is more than can be said of Huskies' teams in the past.
UConn lost to Utah State, 31-20, in a game that was competitive throughout and then took down FCS Central Connecticut State, 28-3. Mora downplayed the idea that this game is a rivalry — in football it's not much of one — but the Orange did win the last meeting, 51-21, in the then-Carrier Dome in 2018.
Everyone believed in the Orange's ability to run the ball after last season. The Orange became a run-heavy attack that focused on top rusher Sean Tucker and the legs of quarterback Garrett Shrader. The biggest surprise was Shrader's passing efficiency in the season-opener.
Tucker didn't even amass 100 yards on the ground, yet the Orange's offense was explosive and efficient. He averaged 9.9 average net yards per attempt and 7.1 yards per carry. Shrader's accolades as a runner were well established last year, but his passing numbers were dismal.
The match with pass-first offensive coordinator Robert Anae from Virginia didn't seem to make sense given that pretense, but Shrader showed flashes of excellent precision against Louisville.
Also, 60.5% of the Orange's rushing attempts went for at least five yards. The offense has the potential to truly shine if Shrader can pass as he did. PFF graded him as the top quarterback in Week 1 in the Power Five conferences.
UConn has been at the bottom of the Division I barrel for years, but there's cause for optimism with some of the talent they have offensively. Mora has opted to start freshman quarterback Zion Turner, who won the job over a four-star transfer from Penn State.
The Huskies also return eight starters on defense.
On offense, running back Nathan Carter returns after averaging 4.6 yards per carry last year. That's one area where the Huskies could potentially exploit Syracuse. The Orange lost nearly all of their defensive line snaps and although it didn't show in the Louisville game, there should be some holes that UConn can find on the ground.
The Huskies defense did take a step forward in explosiveness allowed last year and that will be tested with the Orange's dual-threat attack of Shrader and Tucker on Saturday night.
The defense did hold Utah State to just 4.8 yards per rush. Even though the offense turned it over three times and put the defense in some perilous situations, it held the Aggies to 31 points.
Syracuse vs. UConn Betting Pick
Syracuse's defense wasn't particularly impressive on a play-to-play basis in the victory against Louisville. But, as is tradition for this defense under Tony White, the Orange caused Havoc and their underrated secondary continues to create a ton of turnovers.
The Orange replaced nearly all of their defensive line snaps and that could enable the Huskies to keep the chains moving and slow the game down on the ground.
It's hard to see how UConn moves it through the air against Syracuse's defensive strength with a true freshman making his third start and his first against a Power Five opponent.
The Orange are also unlikely to find as much explosiveness against a Huskies defense that has prevented big plays under Mora.
The market has steamed Syracuse too far for me to bet them, as this opened at 19.5 and is now at 23. However, the total is still at 49, and I'd bet the under at 49 or better.
UConn's run game and slow pace is the only way for them to stay in this game, and I don't expect Shrader to play as well as he did last week.