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Week 11 College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks: Our Top Bet for Syracuse vs. Louisville

Week 11 College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks: Our Top Bet for Syracuse vs. Louisville article feature image

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Maximilian Mang (left) and Garrett Shrader (right).

  • The Syracuse Orange enter at +3, according to updated odds, when they take on the Louisville Cardinals.
  • The Orange are led by running back Sean Tucker, who has been a dominant force at running back.
  • Check out Keg's top bet for the game below.

Syracuse vs. Louisville Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
12 p.m. ET
Syracuse Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Louisville Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Syracuse Orange enjoyed a much-needed rest during the bye week. After three ACC losses in a row, all by just three points, they’ve turned it around and enter this game on a two-game winning streak.

Those two most recent wins have put the Orange above .500, and they now only need to win one of their last three games to become bowl eligible.

The first of those three games may be their best chance as they head to Louisville this weekend to take on the Cardinals.

But while it might be their easiest game left on the schedule, this weekend’s game against Louisville will be anything but easy. The Cardinals have defeated Eastern Kentucky, UCF, Florida State and Boston College. But their most recent game resulted in a blown fourth-quarter lead against Clemson.

A year ago, the Orange were shut out, 30-0, against Louisville on the road.

This is also an important weekend for the Louisville football program, as it will retire Lamar Jackson’s number. The former Heisman Trophy winner will be in attendance in front of what’s expected to be nearly a sell-out crowd.

Syracuse Orange

Syracuse Sticking With Run-Heavy Offense

Dino Babers has transformed this Syracuse football team that went 1-10 last year, its worst record since 2005. Led by sophomore quarterback Garrett Shrader they Orange sit at 5-4 heading into their matchup against Louisville this week.

Shrader took over for Tommy DeVito six weeks ago. While he’s been better than Devito, he’s a far cry from one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC.

Shrader is completing 51.2% of his passes and has thrown for 1,119 yards this season, but he’s thrown three interceptions compared to just seven touchdowns.

The good news for Shrader is Syracuse doesn’t want or need him to be in the running for the Davey O’Brien Award. Syracuse runs the ball on 61.52% of plays. And it does so for a good reason: Running back Sean Tucker is one of the best in the nation.

Tucker ran for 207 yards and a touchdown in his last game against Boston College, and he should be able to produce another strong outing on the ground against Louisville. Tucker has totaled 1,267 yards on the season, behind only Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State, while scoring 11 touchdowns.

Offensively, Syracuse is averaging 415.1 yards per game and 29.4 points.

Orange Defense Needs to Stop the Run 

Defensively, the Orange have been much better than expected. They’re allowing just 22.4 points per game and 316.7 yards on average.

One area they will need to focus on this weekend is against the rush. Syracuse has limited teams to just 142 rush yards per game and just 3.7 yards per carry, but Louisville ranks inside the top 25 in yards per rush and total rush yards per game.

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Louisville Cardinals

Status of Cunningham is Paramount

After an impressive win over Boston College, the Cardinals were humbled by NC State. Then last week, they entered the fourth quarter against Clemson with a four-point lead, only to be outscored, 10-0, en route to a tough defeat.

This week, the most important thing for Louisville will be the status of quarterback Malik Cunningham, who is dealing with an ankle issue and is questionable.

Injuries Hurting Louisville Defense

On the other side of the ball, Louisville’s defense lost star linebacker Monty Montgomery to a torn ACL in the win over UCF, and it has been a struggle for the unit since. An already subpar defense losing its star is a recipe for disaster.

Defensively, the Cardinals are allowing 27.4 points and 407.6 yards — 274.6 passing and 133.0 on the ground.

Louisville has won the past two meetings and leads this all-time series, 12-7.

Syracuse vs. Louisville Matchup Analysis

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

Syracuse Offense vs. Louisville Defense
Rush Success 18 79
Line Yards 45 95
Pass Success 90 38
Pass Blocking** 87 116
Big Play 51 107
Havoc 31 40
Finishing Drives 51 113
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Louisville Offense vs. Syracuse Defense
Rush Success 31 72
Line Yards 41 36
Pass Success 54 36
Pass Blocking** 13 44
Big Play 45 5
Havoc 29 45
Finishing Drives 55 78
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 4 55
Coverage 55 40
Middle 8 81 44
SP+ Special Teams 119 54
Plays per Minute 60 86
Rush Rate 63.5% (11) 57.9% (45)

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

Syracuse vs. Louisville Betting Pick

It’s tough to bet against Louisville here. With Lamar in the building, I think it performs above what it’s done so far this year.

That said, Tucker is one of the best running backs in the country. Even if Louisville plays its best game of the year on both sides of the ball, I don’t think it will be able to find answers against him.

On Tuesday, local news outlets confirmed that Cunningham was practicing, and there was little to no doubt he would play this weekend. But you have to assume he’s going through an injury on some level.

For that reason, I’m taking Syracuse and the points. But I wouldn’t go below the critical number of three.

Pick: Syracuse +3 (Play to +3 at -120)

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