College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Syracuse vs. Florida State: Betting Value on Saturday’s Under (Oct. 2)

College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks for Syracuse vs. Florida State: Betting Value on Saturday’s Under (Oct. 2) article feature image
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  • The Syracuse Orange and Florida State Seminoles take the field in ACC action on Saturday afternoon.
  • Despite a slow start to the season, the Seminoles enter as favorites in this matchup.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the game below and explains why he sees betting value on the under in the matchup.

Syracuse vs. Florida State Odds

Syracuse Odds +5.5
Florida State Odds -5.5
Moneyline +185 / -225
Over/Under 50.5
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ACC Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Relative to their season expectations, Syracuse and Florida State are trending in opposite directions entering Saturday’s clash in Tallahassee.

The Orange have notched three wins through four games, including an upset home victory over Liberty last Friday night.

Meanwhile, Florida State had an encouraging performance in Week 1 against Notre Dame but has since lost to Jacksonville State, been blown out by Wake Forest and handled by Louisville.

The Seminoles’ 0-4 start is the worst since the program began the 1974 campaign with the same record.

These two teams didn’t meet in 2020, but Florida State has dominated the series since Syracuse joined the ACC in 2013. The Seminoles have won six of seven, with the Orange’s only win coming in 2018 at the Carrier Dome.

The Orange feature one of the best running backs in the nation in Sean Tucker. They lean on him heavily with one of the top rush rates in the country, but FSU’s defensive front should be difficult to run against.

That should make points hard to come by in this game.


Syracuse vs. Florida State Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 2
3:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network

Syracuse Orange

Syracuse Offense

The Orange’s offense received a late surprise on Friday night vs. Liberty when head coach Dino Babers opted to sit longtime starter Tommy DeVito in favor of Mississippi State transfer Garrett Shrader.

Shrader was hardly an efficient passer as he finished 6-of-15 for 77 yards, but he did manage 53 rushing yards and two touchdowns with his legs.

Syracuse gave Tucker the ball 32 times out of the backfield on Friday for 169 yards and a touchdown. He’s one of the top rushers in all of college football through four games and SU has the 12th highest rush rate in the entire country.

Shrader is severely limited as a passer and the Orange’s offensive line is an inconsistent unit. But Tucker is the workhorse back and he’ll probably get 25+ carries again if the game script allows for it.

Syracuse ranks 118th in Line Yards and 87th in Pass Blocking, though, so a good FSU defensive front could make it more difficult for Tucker than Albany and Liberty did in the last two games.

When the Orange get behind the chains they often find themselves punting because they haven’t been good in obvious passing downs for multiple years now.

The Orange are a run-heavy team without much passing threat and that’ll make it difficult for them to score quickly in this game.


Syracuse Defense

The SU defense showed signs last year that it was a much-improved unit, but it wilted under the immense pressure of a non-existent offense to sustain drives.

The Orange often wore down in quarters three and four after solid starts in games.

The offense has improved a bit this year and the defense has taken quite the leap.

SU’s defense is top-five against big plays, its experienced defensive line is 32nd in Line Yards and the pass rush is 15th in the nation.

The Orange are led by second-year defensive coordinator Tony White, whose defense has made steady improvements throughout his tenure. PFF ranks them in the top 40 in both coverage and tackling grades and Syracuse has statistical edges in almost every category defensively in our matchup matrix.

The unit is 12th in Havoc, another reason to think they should be able to force the Seminoles into long passing downs and turn them over.

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Florida State Seminoles

Florida State Offense

It’s been a nightmare start for the Seminoles’ offense that is 81st in Rushing Success Rate and 88th in Passing Success Rate.

Despite decent offensive line play and ranking 28th in Offensive Line Yards, consistent runs have been an issue and will be difficult to sustain on Saturday against an experienced Syracuse defensive line.

FSU is terrible at preventing Havoc as the offense has had too many turnovers and negative plays to sustain drives. They’ve instead relied on big plays to produce the points they’ve gotten.

The only problem for FSU moving the ball here is that the Orange’s defense hasn’t allowed big plays all year and produces a lot of Havoc.

The offense has been plagued by struggles in finishing drives and turnovers. The Seminoles turned it over six times against Wake Forest, threw a costly interception against Louisville and missed a field goal while settling for three others against the Cardinals.

FSU may be 0-4, but it won the post-game win expectancy in two of those four games.


Florida State Defense

Mistakes by the Seminoles’ defense has made the unit much worse than it really is through four weeks.

FSU has allowed plenty of points because of those short fields, but they have a solid rushing defense, which is really important when facing a run-heavy Syracuse offense.

The Seminoles are 24th in Rushing Success Rate allowed and 44th in Defensive Line Yards. Like Rutgers did in Week 2, FSU should be able to limit the SU running game, preventing a lot of long drives.

The defense can be beaten through the air, but that’s not where SU is going to attack anyway. The Orange haven’t really been able to pass on anyone besides Albany this year and most of their passing happens behind the line of scrimmage or the occasional deep shot.

FSU’s defense is 43rd in preventing big plays and did a pretty good job of containing Louisville’s explosiveness following a bad first quarter.


Syracuse vs. Florida State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Syracuse and Florida State match up statistically:

Syracuse Offense vs. Florida State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 76 24
Line Yards 118 44
Pass Success 76 76
Pass Blocking** 87 48
Big Play 56 43
Havoc 52 72
Finishing Drives 48 95
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Florida State Offense vs. Syracuse Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 81 61
Line Yards 28 32
Pass Success 88 44
Pass Blocking** 53 15
Big Play 35 5
Havoc 125 12
Finishing Drives 70 73
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 32 15
PFF Coverage 39 77
Middle 8 66 60
SP+ Special Teams 54 45
Plays per Minute 63 12
Rush Rate 65.5% (12) 55.4% (62)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Syracuse vs. Florida State Betting Pick

The Florida State defense isn’t nearly as bad as the number of points allowed suggests and they’re built to stop Syracuse’s run game.

The Orange may have run it on Ohio, Albany and Liberty but FSU has a much bigger and better defensive front. That could put more pressure on Shrader to have to make plays, which isn’t good for the Orange’s offensive chances.

But on the other side of the ball, FSU hasn’t been able to establish much of a run game through four games and the SU defense is a fundamentally sound unit that tackles well, covers well and doesn’t allow many big plays.

It’s hard to see how both of these offenses consistently move the ball without turnovers and short fields.

Given the inexperienced Shrader or turnover-prone FSU offense, that’s always a risk in taking the under here. But Florida State can’t possibly keep turning it over at the same rate they have been, and I wonder if SU really has a plan with Shrader if FSU contains the run better than Liberty did.

The market is showing a lot of respect to these offenses given SU’s more run heavy scheme and improved defense this year. I don’t think the market has caught up on the total yet.

Anything 51 or better is good on the under.

Pick: Under 51 or better 

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