College Football Odds & Picks for Syracuse vs. Notre Dame: Betting Value on Saturday’s Over/Under
Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame standout Bo Bauer.
- With one win on the season, Syracuse heads to South Bend as humungous underdogs against the Notre Dame..
- Notre Dame QB Ian Book is 13-0 at home in his career and leads an offense that is averaging 464 yards per game.
- Patrick Strollo lays out how to bet this game and why you should expect a high total on Saturday.
Syracuse vs. Notre Dame Odds
|Syracuse Odds||+34 [BET NOW]|
|Notre Dame Odds||-34 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51 [BET NOW]|
|Time||2:30 p.m. ET|
The Syracuse Orange (1-9) head to South Bend, Ind., to face the second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0) on Saturday afternoon. The Fighting Irish are looking to win their 24th consecutive home game, as they keep their eye on a potential rematch with Clemson in the upcoming ACC Championship game.
A win in this spot would give quarterback Ian Book a perfect 14-0 home record as a starter. On the other side, the Orange look to ruin Notre Dame’s perfect season and national-title push with an upset victory.
Historically, this is the 10th meeting between the two programs, with Notre Dame holding a 6-3 edge in the series. The teams, who last met in 2018 at Yankee Stadium, will be battling in South Bend for the first time since 2008.
The Fighting Irish have everything on the line, heading into the game with a perfect record and a spot in the College Football Playoff within reach. That said, it’s unlikely head coach Brian Kelly will allow his team to fall victim to a trap game this late in the season.
In contrast, Syracuse enters this game at 5-5 against the spread this season, with Notre Dame sitting at 5-4 in the same category. Can the Fighting Irish cover such a huge number at home?
Let’s take a look at this matchup and see where the betting value sits.
The Orange come into this contest averaging just 17 points per game. They rank 126th in FBS total offense, averaging 250.4 yards per game. Quarterback play has largely been inconsistent for Syracuse this season. The Orange trio of quarterbacks average 172 passing yards per game, combining to throw 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.
This offensive unit has had trouble getting this going this season. It has an offensive predicted points added (PPA) per play of -0.08, which ranks 126th in FBS. The Orange allow offensive havoc on 22% of plays (120th in FBS), compared to the FBS average of 17%.
The Syracuse defense is conceding 31.5 points per game and 453 yards per game, ranking 102nd in FBS total defense. However, it isn’t as bad as the macro stats would indicate.
The Orange has a defensive PPA per play of 0.18, ranking 69th in FBS. The defense is able to generate Havoc on 16% of plays, just below the FBS average of 17 percent. Syracuse has the ability to make plays but is on the field an average of 36 minutes per game.
That being said, it appears the defense will be in for a long afternoon.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The offense is led by Book, the Fighting Irish’s standout and nationally under-appreciated quarterback. He has looked excellent in demonstrating brilliant pocket awareness, especially on the big stage. Book leads a Fighting Irish attack that is ranked 24th in FBS total offense, averaging 464 yards per game.
The offensive production is almost evenly split between rushing and passing, thanks to the running-back committee. Notre Dame has three running backs who have carried the ball more than 50 times this season, averaging more than five yards per carry.
The Irish have an offensive PPA per play of 0.26, good enough for 22nd in FBS. They are ranked eighth in FBS in offensive havoc, allowing havoc on just 12% of plays. This offense has the capability to grind teams down, which is exactly what it will look to do against Syracuse.
Notre Dame’s defense has been first-rate this season, which will continue to play an important role in its national-title aspirations. Senior safety Kyle Hamilton leads the team in tackles. The defense is ranked 10th in FBS total defense, allowing an average of 303.4 yards per game. The Fighting Irish are allowing only 16.7 points per game.
Additionally, Notre Dame is ranked ninth in FBS in defensive PPA per play, allowing 0.01 points per play. The defense generates havoc on 24% of plays, ranking fifth in FBS and significantly above the 17% FBS average. The Fighting Irish will look to ratchet up the pressure early on Syracuse, in an effort to stymie any upset bid.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Notre Dame looks to make another impression on the CFP committee in this game. The balanced Fighting Irish offense will look to control the pace from the start and tire out Syracuse’s defense.
Notre Dame and its marquee defense hope to shut down the lowly Syracuse offense, thus keeping the Irish offense on the field. Bottom line, the Orange will have to pull out all the stops to remain competitive in this game.
In my opinion, the Fighting Irish should have no problem controlling the pace. It is unlikely they will let up or let this one get close, as they will still be looking to make a statement.
Notre Dame’s standout defense should be able to force Syracuse off of the field with ease, giving its offense ample opportunity to put points on the board.
Pick: Total Over 51.5 (play up to 52 points).